As a parent, it is natural to have questions about your child’s oral health and dental care. As a trusted provider for pediatric dentistry in South Jordan, Utah, our pediatric dentists and team are committed to helping you keep your child’s smile healthy and strong. Dr. Hardy and Dr. Bushell receive many questions from anxious parents, and we have provided answers to the most common:

1. How does a pediatric dentist differ from a general dentist?

All dentists attend dental school to gain the standard knowledge and skills that will help us care for the average patient. Pediatric dentists undergo two or three years of additional training that focuses specifically on dentistry for kids. We are the specialty dental care providers for kids of all ages, from infancy to adolescence.

2. When should my child start seeing a dentist?

You should schedule your child’s first visit to Copper Cove Pediatric Dentistry as soon as their first tooth comes in or no later than 12 months of age. Though your child will not have a full set of teeth, you can still take preventive measures against oral disease and help your child become accustomed to visiting the dentist.

3. How often should my child see a dentist?

The American Dental Association encourages all patients to visit the dentist at 6-month intervals. However, dental emergencies, risk factors, and treatment plans may require that you bring your child to Copper Cove Pediatric Dentistry more often. Dr. Hardy or Dr. Bushell will help you determine how often your child needs professional dental care.

4. Do baby teeth really matter?

Even though your child’s baby teeth will eventually fall out and be replaced with permanent teeth, they still play a very important role in your child’s oral health. Baby teeth act as placeholders for the permanent teeth, making sure the permanent teeth erupt in the right position. Premature tooth loss can cause the other teeth to shift, preventing the permanent teeth from erupting properly. Baby teeth also enable your child to develop proper speech and chewing skills. Your child will be less inclined to practice their oral skills if they have a mouthful of cavities.

5. When should I start caring for my child’s teeth?

As soon as teeth erupt, they are susceptible to tooth decay and other oral issues. To protect your child’s tender smile, begin brushing the teeth gently with a soft toothbrush and a smear of fluoridated toothpaste. Brush in a circular motion, angling toward the gums, and focus on each area for at least 10 seconds. You can introduce flossing as soon as your child has two or more adjacent teeth. Your child may object to brushing and flossing for a time, but persistent care will encourage them to adopt healthy oral habits.

6. How can I reduce my child’s risk of cavities?

Most cavities are caused by children’s eating habits, especially frequent snacking and sugary foods. Frequent snacks and drinks can lead to an acidic environment in your child’s mouth, which is harmful to the tooth enamel. Restricting your child to small snacks and water between meals will greatly reduce the risk of cavities. We suggest healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, and cheese. Avoid putting your child to bed with a sippy cup or bottle unless it contains water. Encourage healthy dental habits, such as brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste. You can also ask Drs. Hardy and Bushell about dental sealants, which provide a protective barrier between bacteria and the teeth.

7. What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is the use of safe sedatives to reduce dental anxiety and help patients feel more relaxed in the dental chair. Many children are nervous about visiting the dentist, which is normal. If your child has fears, please speak with Drs. Hardy and Bushell to learn if your child would benefit from nitrous oxide or oral sedation. You can also help your child become accustomed to the dental office by bringing them to routine checkups at a young age.

8. Should my child see an orthodontist?

Bringing your child to Copper Cove Pediatric Dentistry often allows our pediatric dentists to monitor their oral development and diagnose any developing issues. If your child’s mouth shows signs of needing braces, our pediatric dentists can recommend a trusted orthodontist to help your child receive the proper care.

Thank you for taking the time to read our dental FAQs. If you have a question that has not been addressed, you are welcome to call or visit Copper Cove Pediatric Dentistry to speak with a member of our friendly dental team. We are always happy to help!