Pediatric dentistry focuses on keeping children’s teeth healthy and strong. Dr. Khuong Nguyen has spent his career helping children look and feel their best with healthy smiles.
He’s here to answer some of the most common questions patients and parents have about pediatric dentistry.
When Should You Bring a Child in For Their First Visit?
You should bring your child in for their first dental visit by their first birthday. It’s recommended that you begin dental visits when teeth begin to appear.
Why Should A Child See a Dentist?
It may be tempting to forgo early dental visits, particularly when your child has primary or baby teeth. However, a lifetime of dental health begins as soon as your child has teeth.
According to Dr. Khuong Nguyen, primary teeth impact your child’s ability to speak and chew properly. They also create the pathway for their permanent teeth to come through. Cavities in primary teeth can also cause an infection in the permanent tooth.
How Does a Pediatric Dentist Differ From a Family Dentist?
A pediatric dentist only treats children. In addition to a standard dental degree, a pediatric dentist undergoes a two-year residency program. This makes them specialists in treating children’s teeth.
A family dentist is typically a general dentist. While they are trained to take care of both children and adults, they lack the specialized knowledge and training of a pediatric dentist.
How Can You Prepare a Child for a Dental Visit?
If it’s your child’s first dental visit, preparation is important for the best experience. You can start by modeling going to the “dentist” at home during playtime.
Dr. Khuong Nguyen states that brushing their teeth regularly is also a way to help them prepare. If they are accustomed to tooth brushing, they will be more comfortable with dental procedures like tooth cleaning.
Lastly, it’s important to explain what will happen at the visit. Young children may only need to know that they will sit in a chair and the dentist will brush their teeth.
Older children have more awareness, so they require a more detailed explanation. If your child needs a cavity filled, explain that the dentist will give them a gas that makes things seem funny. It’s best to avoid using the words shot or novocaine.
How Often Do Children Need to See A Dentist?
The general recommendation is for children to visit the dentist every 6 months. However, this can vary based on your child’s age and the condition of their teeth. During the first visit, your dentist will let you know how often your child should come in.
How Can You Get a Child to Brush Their Teeth?
The best way to get your child brushing is to keep it fun. Allow your child to choose their toothbrush. Consider purchasing a toothbrush that plays a song or flashes when your child is brushing.
Incentives can also help. Consider creating a reward chart. Then, your child can earn a star every time they brush and floss.
Dr. Khuong Nguyen
Dr. Khuong Nguyen began his professional career in 1998. After continuing his education and practicing as an associate pediatric dentist, he opened his own practice, Clairemont Pediatric Dental. He hopes to inspire children and be a positive influence on them.