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The following information covers the most frequent questions we received on a normal basis. If you are in need of emergency assistance, please call us at (972) 210-0611
Frequently Asked Questions
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that parents bring their child to the dentist by the time they are one year old, or within six months of when that first tooth appears. In most cases, Dr. Schwed will take a quick look in your child’s mouth to evaluate the development of his or her smile.
Once your child is two or three years old, they should begin seeing the dentist for dental checkups twice a year just like you do. Dr. Schwed and his team will examine each tooth, evaluate their gum health, “tickle” their teeth with a cleaning and give parents a few tips on how to maintain oral health in between office visits.
Keep the conversation about visiting the dentist simple. Just say something like, “the dentist will look at your smile and count your teeth.” You might also try playing pretend. With a toothbrush in hand, clean and count their teeth, and then let them do the same with a favorite doll or stuffed animal. Finally, there are many children’s books that offer a simple explanation of what happens in a dentist’s office.
Proper care for children’s smiles should begin before they even have teeth. Whether you choose to bottle or breast-feed your baby, be sure to clean their gums after each feeding. Simply take a soft washcloth dampened with warm water and wipe gently. This removes the sugars in formula or breast milk and helps accustom them to regular oral hygiene. Once that first tooth arrives, it’s time to start brushing, but there’s no need to use toothpaste until a child learns how to spit.
A diet that includes a variety of whole foods is best for children as well as adults. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, chicken and fish, complex carbohydrates and wholesome dairy foods are best. Snacks are important for growing kids. Try to stick with nutritious options such as nuts, raw vegetables with dip and fruit.
No surprise—a diet filled with sweet cereals, snack chips, baked goods and candy is a recipe for cavities in a child’s mouth. Limit these kinds of treats.
We know it won’t be easy, but don’t panic. If possible, call our office. Getting to the dentist as quickly as you can is essential. Dr. Schwed might be able to reimplant the tooth if he sees your child quickly enough. In the meantime, follow these important steps:
- Touch only the crown of the tooth and not the root
- Rinse the tooth in water
- If possible, place the tooth back in its socket and have your child gently bite down to hold the tooth in place
· If bleeding is excessive, store the tooth in a container filled with milk or a mild saline solution to preserve the natural pH
In this case, the damaged tooth may be painful and may be the result of a fall or blow to the face that is also causing discomfort. If there is swelling, offer an ice bag or cold compress. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate pain. If you have the portion of tooth that is broken or chipped, store it in a sealed container of milk and head to our office.