Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric dentists (also known as Pedodontists) are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has completed an additional 2-3 years of specialty training following dental school.

Pediatric dentists receive postdoctoral training in child psychology, behavior modification, and pharmacology. The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD) require pediatric dentists to undergo yearly training and re-certification to stay current with the most recent developments in technology and patient care.

Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?

By limiting the practice to treating only the oral health needs of infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs, Pedodontists are able to focus all their training and experience on your children’s needs.

Choosing a pediatric practice to become your kid’s dental home and to trust with the health and beauty of your child’s smile is an important decision. A unique and positive first impression at your child’s dentist can influence how they view dentistry and their mouths for the rest of their lives, so it is important to make sure your child is comfortable with the doctor and staff.

How Soon Should I Take My Child to the Pediatric Dentist?

According to the American Association of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD), it’s recommended that kids go in for their first oral health checkup when their baby teeth first begin to emerge or by the time their first birthday comes around.

Though it may seem early, this visit is essential to ensure your child doesn’t have any signs of gum or tooth decay and that their teeth are erupting and developing properly. Baby teeth can begin emerging as early as six months, so make sure their dental appointment isn’t far behind.

First dental visits are mostly educational. The AAPD recommends that every child visit the dentist by the child's first birthday. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend a child visit the dentist by age one as well. This “well baby check” for the teeth can establish a dental home and helps ensure that parents learn the tools they'll need to help their children remain cavity-free.

How Often Should I Take My Child to the Pediatric Dentist?

A check-up every six months is recommended in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.

Are Baby Teeth Really That Important?

Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.

What Happens if my Child Knocks Out a Permanent Tooth?

The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist.

If it is a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 and/or go to your nearest emergency room. 

When/How Should I Start Oral Hygiene with my Baby?

Before the teeth erupt, clean the baby’s mouth and gums with a soft cloth or infant toothbrush at bath time. This helps ready the baby for the teeth cleaning to come.

When the teeth erupt, clean the child’s teeth at least twice a day with a toothbrush, to remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristle brush, preferably designed for small children.

What Should I Do if my Child Has a Toothache?

First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give the child acetaminophen (e.g., Children's Tylenol) for any pain. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.

How Can I Prevent Tooth Decay Caused by Nursing/Bottle Feeding?

Breast-feeding has been shown to be beneficial for a baby’s health and development. However, if the child prefers to be breast-fed often or for long periods once a tooth appears and other foods/beverages have been introduced into her diet, she is at risk for severe tooth decay. Clean the baby's mouth with a wet washcloth after breast-feeding, and encourage a bottle with plain water during the nighttime.

If the baby is placed to sleep with a bottle, use nothing but water. When a child is given a bottle containing sugary liquids such as milk, formula, or fruit juice, the teeth are under attack by bacterial acid for extended periods. This can cause cavities in babies called “early childhood caries,” formerly known as baby bottle tooth decay.

When Are my Child's Primary Teeth Supposed to Come In/Fall Out?

A baby’s teeth start to come in when the baby is about six months old. Baby teeth will later be lost one by one. This makes space for adult (permanent) teeth. By the time children are teenagers, they usually have all of their adult teeth.

The chart below show when each tooth usually comes in and is lost. But not all children get the same teeth at the same times. Your child’s teeth may erupt earlier or later than the ages in these charts

Diagram displaying the timeline of a child's dental development, highlighting the progression from baby teeth to adult teeth, with labeled illustrations of each type of tooth and corresponding age ranges. Used to educate patients on dental growth and development at Bite Pediatric Dentistry in Miami Lakes