Dupont Pediatric Dentistry

Patient Forms

Dupont Pediatric Dentistry logo, Louisville, KY
Kids Shadows - Dupont Pediatric Dentistry logo, Louisville, KY

Dental FAQ

Dental FAQ

We know parents may have questions about their child’s dental health. Here at Dupont Pediatric Dentistry, we have compiled a list of commonly asked questions and their answers. If you have a question that is not here, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help.

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialty training following dental school and limits their practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

Since every child is different, pediatric dentists have a wide range of approaches to help a child complete needed dental treatment. A pediatric dentist recommends behavior guidance methods for the child based upon health history, special health care needs, dental needs, type of treatment required, the consequences of no treatment, emotional and intellectual development, and parental preferences.

Pediatric dentists care for children of all ages. From the first tooth to adolescence, they help your child develop a healthy smile until they are ready to move on to a general dentist. Pediatric dentists have had an extra 2-3 years of special training to care for young children and adolescents.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend taking your child to their first dental appointment and establishing a dental home by the age of one or six months after the eruption of the first tooth.

Your child’s first tooth will typically erupt between 6 and 12 months, although it is common to occur earlier. Usually, the two bottom front teeth – the central incisors – erupt first, followed by four upper front teeth – called the central and lateral incisors. Your child should have their first complete set of primary teeth by their third birthday.

It is imperative to keep primary teeth in place until they are lost naturally. The primary teeth are essential for many reasons, including:

  • Helping children chew properly to maintain good nutrition.
  • Involvement in speech development.
  • Helping save space for permanent teeth.
  • Promoting a healthy smile helps children feel good about the way they look.

The care of children’s baby teeth is essential to lifelong oral health. Therefore, the first dentist visit is an excellent opportunity for parents to learn how best to care for their children’s teeth.

One of the most common forms of early childhood caries is “baby bottle tooth decay,” which is caused by the continuous exposure of a baby’s teeth to sugary drinks. Baby bottle tooth decay primarily affects the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected.

Early symptoms of baby bottle tooth decay are white spots on the surface of teeth or the gum line and tooth sensitivity. More severe symptoms can appear in advanced stages of baby bottle tooth decay and include: brown or black spots on teeth, bleeding or swollen gums, fever, and bad breath. If your child shows any of these symptoms, you need to see your pediatric dentist immediately to prevent further, more complicated problems from occurring.

1 - Don’t send your child to bed with a bottle of anything EXCEPT water.
2 - Gently brush your child’s first tooth.
3 - Limit sugary drinks and food.

X-rays are valuable aids to help dentists diagnose and treat conditions that cannot be seen by looking in the mouth. X-rays can detect much more than cavities. X-Rays can show erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, measure the damage of an injury, or help with the planning of orthodontic treatment. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child and more affordable for you.

Dental X-Rays are very safe and the amount of radiation from dental X-Rays is very small. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary x-rays and restricts the x-ray beam to the area of interest. Dental X-Rays are designed to limit the body’s exposure. Pediatric dentists are incredibly careful to minimize the exposure of their patients to radiation. Dental radiographs represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem.

We offer several modes of sedation to provide comfort for your child. Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas,” helps children relax during specific procedures. Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose. It is not intended to put them to sleep but to help them feel calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide are temporary and wear off soon after the mask is removed.

For treatments that may last longer or cause more discomfort, we often recommend a moderate oral sedative that your child will take before treatment.

More complex treatments may require deeper sedation to relieve both pain and anxiety. On occasion, general anesthesia may be necessary. Your child’s comfort and safety are important to us, and we will make the best decision based on the needs of the patient.

Yes. Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a liquid substance used to arrest dental caries. We try to use this in situations when the patient might be too young to cope with dental treatment.

Thumb sucking, finger sucking, and pacifier use are habits common in many children. Nearly one-third of all children suck on their thumbs, fingers, or pacifiers in their first year of life. Thumb sucking, finger sucking, and pacifier use can lead to many growth and developmental issues that negatively affect the development of the mouth and oropharynx. These habits can cause problems with the proper alignment of teeth, breathing, and speech.

To prevent cavities, we suggest enjoying a mouth-healthy diet, full of fibrous fruits and vegetables. Drink more water, which prevents dry mouth and naturally cleans teeth. Brush twice a day for two minutes at a time, and floss daily. Visit your dentist every six months for routine checkups and preventative care.

Children should eat a variety of foods including grains, fruits, protein, vegetables, and low-fat dairy, raw vegetables like carrots, celery, and bell pepper are excellent snacking alternatives to unhealthy chips and crackers. Starchy carbs like potato chips and crackers can stick to teeth and cause unhealthy buildup, which can lead to cavities. Fibrous vegetables like celery can clean your teeth as you eat them! That is also true of fibrous fruits like apples, strawberries, and kiwi.

So, choose raw fruits and vegetables instead of chips, they are better for your overall health, and they won’t stick to your teeth like starchy carbs and sugars.

Dental sealants work to prevent cavities by sealing pits and fissures that naturally occur in molars. Sealants “seal off” the pit and fissure of your molars to prevent food and plaque from collecting and forming cavities.

Fluoride is considered to be nature’s cavity fighter. Fluoride is naturally found in all sources of water such as lakes, rivers, and even the ocean. Fluoride is added to most public water supplies, so the tap water in your home has fluoride added to it. Fluoride helps build tooth enamel which helps protect your teeth from tooth decay.

For more than half a century, the ADA has recommended using toothpaste containing fluoride to prevent cavities. Fluoridated toothpaste does an excellent job of cleaning teeth, but make sure that your child spits all of it out and rinses their mouth thoroughly after brushing since ingesting excessive fluoride can lead to a condition called fluorosis. Fluorosis is faint white lines on the teeth.

Did you know that sports drinks can contain more sugar than leading cola beverages, with as much as 19 grams of sugar per serving? The sugars increase the acidity in your mouth which attracts tooth enamel destroying bacteria. Sugar increases the acidity in your mouth which helps give bad oral bacteria the fuel it needs to create cavities.

Mouthguards work by helping cushion a blow to the face, and minimizing the risk of broken teeth, or lacerating a lip, tongue, or cheek. Did you know that the CDC estimates that more than 3 million teeth are knocked out at youth sporting events? Mouthguards work to prevent tooth loss and other facial injuries. Mouthguards come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and are designed for multiple sports.

Contact us about custom mouth protectors.

A frenectomy is the removal of connective tissue (called the frenum) from under the tongue (Lingual Frenectomy) or the upper gums (Maxillary Frenectomy). If your baby is having trouble with breastfeeding and “latching on” or your older child is experiencing certain speech, eating, or orthodontic problems, we may recommend frenectomy as an option. New technologies have made frenectomies a safe and convenient option for even very young children.

Babies who have difficulty achieving or maintaining proper latching with their mother’s breast may have a condition called Ankyloglossia, sometimes referred to as tongue-tie. Tongue-tie is usually related to a short, thick frenum, which limits the tongue’s capacity to move. Symptoms of a possible tongue-tie or lip-tie in a newborn are prolonged breastfeeding, difficulty latching onto the breast (causing sore nipples on the mother), and excessive gassiness. Many mothers are opting for a safe, fast healing frenectomy to help their babies establish a good seal while eating. Apart from breastfeeding difficulty, tongue ties can also impact speech and eating in children and adults. Patients often try to compensate for the lack of tongue mobility by changing their jaw position – resulting in other orthodontic issues.

Frenectomies can be an important part of orthodontic treatment when a long or short frenum is causing tooth or jaw displacement. In the case of a short lingual frenum, patients may push out the lower jaw to make eating or speaking easier – causing pain in the jaw or an underbite. In this case, a lingual frenectomy may be recommended to help ensure the success of orthodontic treatment. When treating a patient with a gap between their front teeth, the orthodontist may recommend a maxillary frenectomy after braces to prevent the teeth from spreading apart after treatment.

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialty training following dental school and limits their practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

Since every child is different, pediatric dentists have a wide range of approaches to help a child complete needed dental treatment. A pediatric dentist recommends behavior guidance methods for the child based upon health history, special health care needs, dental needs, type of treatment required, the consequences of no treatment, emotional and intellectual development, and parental preferences.

Pediatric dentists care for children of all ages. From the first tooth to adolescence, they help your child develop a healthy smile until they are ready to move on to a general dentist. Pediatric dentists have had an extra 2-3 years of special training to care for young children and adolescents.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend taking your child to their first dental appointment and establishing a dental home by the age of one or six months after the eruption of the first tooth.

Your child’s first tooth will typically erupt between 6 and 12 months, although it is common to occur earlier. Usually, the two bottom front teeth – the central incisors – erupt first, followed by four upper front teeth – called the central and lateral incisors. Your child should have their first complete set of primary teeth by their third birthday.

It is imperative to keep primary teeth in place until they are lost naturally. The primary teeth are essential for many reasons, including:

  • Helping children chew properly to maintain good nutrition.
  • Involvement in speech development.
  • Helping save space for permanent teeth.
  • Promoting a healthy smile helps children feel good about the way they look.

The care of children’s baby teeth is essential to lifelong oral health. Therefore, the first dentist visit is an excellent opportunity for parents to learn how best to care for their children’s teeth.

One of the most common forms of early childhood caries is “baby bottle tooth decay,” which is caused by the continuous exposure of a baby’s teeth to sugary drinks. Baby bottle tooth decay primarily affects the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected.

Early symptoms of baby bottle tooth decay are white spots on the surface of teeth or the gum line and tooth sensitivity. More severe symptoms can appear in advanced stages of baby bottle tooth decay and include: brown or black spots on teeth, bleeding or swollen gums, fever, and bad breath. If your child shows any of these symptoms, you need to see your pediatric dentist immediately to prevent further, more complicated problems from occurring.

1 - Don’t send your child to bed with a bottle of anything EXCEPT water.
2 - Gently brush your child’s first tooth.
3 - Limit sugary drinks and food.

X-rays are valuable aids to help dentists diagnose and treat conditions that cannot be seen by looking in the mouth. X-rays can detect much more than cavities. X-Rays can show erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, measure the damage of an injury, or help with the planning of orthodontic treatment. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child and more affordable for you.

Dental X-Rays are very safe and the amount of radiation from dental X-Rays is very small. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary x-rays and restricts the x-ray beam to the area of interest. Dental X-Rays are designed to limit the body’s exposure. Pediatric dentists are incredibly careful to minimize the exposure of their patients to radiation. Dental radiographs represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem.

We offer several modes of sedation to provide comfort for your child. Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas,” helps children relax during specific procedures. Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose. It is not intended to put them to sleep but to help them feel calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide are temporary and wear off soon after the mask is removed.

For treatments that may last longer or cause more discomfort, we often recommend a moderate oral sedative that your child will take before treatment.

More complex treatments may require deeper sedation to relieve both pain and anxiety. On occasion, general anesthesia may be necessary. Your child’s comfort and safety are important to us, and we will make the best decision based on the needs of the patient.

Yes. Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a liquid substance used to arrest dental caries. We try to use this in situations when the patient might be too young to cope with dental treatment.

Thumb sucking, finger sucking, and pacifier use are habits common in many children. Nearly one-third of all children suck on their thumbs, fingers, or pacifiers in their first year of life. Thumb sucking, finger sucking, and pacifier use can lead to many growth and developmental issues that negatively affect the development of the mouth and oropharynx. These habits can cause problems with the proper alignment of teeth, breathing, and speech.

To prevent cavities, we suggest enjoying a mouth-healthy diet, full of fibrous fruits and vegetables. Drink more water, which prevents dry mouth and naturally cleans teeth. Brush twice a day for two minutes at a time, and floss daily. Visit your dentist every six months for routine checkups and preventative care.

Children should eat a variety of foods including grains, fruits, protein, vegetables, and low-fat dairy, raw vegetables like carrots, celery, and bell pepper are excellent snacking alternatives to unhealthy chips and crackers. Starchy carbs like potato chips and crackers can stick to teeth and cause unhealthy buildup, which can lead to cavities. Fibrous vegetables like celery can clean your teeth as you eat them! That is also true of fibrous fruits like apples, strawberries, and kiwi.

So, choose raw fruits and vegetables instead of chips, they are better for your overall health, and they won’t stick to your teeth like starchy carbs and sugars.

Dental sealants work to prevent cavities by sealing pits and fissures that naturally occur in molars. Sealants “seal off” the pit and fissure of your molars to prevent food and plaque from collecting and forming cavities.

Fluoride is considered to be nature’s cavity fighter. Fluoride is naturally found in all sources of water such as lakes, rivers, and even the ocean. Fluoride is added to most public water supplies, so the tap water in your home has fluoride added to it. Fluoride helps build tooth enamel which helps protect your teeth from tooth decay.

For more than half a century, the ADA has recommended using toothpaste containing fluoride to prevent cavities. Fluoridated toothpaste does an excellent job of cleaning teeth, but make sure that your child spits all of it out and rinses their mouth thoroughly after brushing since ingesting excessive fluoride can lead to a condition called fluorosis. Fluorosis is faint white lines on the teeth.

Did you know that sports drinks can contain more sugar than leading cola beverages, with as much as 19 grams of sugar per serving? The sugars increase the acidity in your mouth which attracts tooth enamel destroying bacteria. Sugar increases the acidity in your mouth which helps give bad oral bacteria the fuel it needs to create cavities.

Mouthguards work by helping cushion a blow to the face, and minimizing the risk of broken teeth, or lacerating a lip, tongue, or cheek. Did you know that the CDC estimates that more than 3 million teeth are knocked out at youth sporting events? Mouthguards work to prevent tooth loss and other facial injuries. Mouthguards come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and are designed for multiple sports.

Contact us about custom mouth protectors.

A frenectomy is the removal of connective tissue (called the frenum) from under the tongue (Lingual Frenectomy) or the upper gums (Maxillary Frenectomy). If your baby is having trouble with breastfeeding and “latching on” or your older child is experiencing certain speech, eating, or orthodontic problems, we may recommend frenectomy as an option. New technologies have made frenectomies a safe and convenient option for even very young children.

Babies who have difficulty achieving or maintaining proper latching with their mother’s breast may have a condition called Ankyloglossia, sometimes referred to as tongue-tie. Tongue-tie is usually related to a short, thick frenum, which limits the tongue’s capacity to move. Symptoms of a possible tongue-tie or lip-tie in a newborn are prolonged breastfeeding, difficulty latching onto the breast (causing sore nipples on the mother), and excessive gassiness. Many mothers are opting for a safe, fast healing frenectomy to help their babies establish a good seal while eating. Apart from breastfeeding difficulty, tongue ties can also impact speech and eating in children and adults. Patients often try to compensate for the lack of tongue mobility by changing their jaw position – resulting in other orthodontic issues.

Frenectomies can be an important part of orthodontic treatment when a long or short frenum is causing tooth or jaw displacement. In the case of a short lingual frenum, patients may push out the lower jaw to make eating or speaking easier – causing pain in the jaw or an underbite. In this case, a lingual frenectomy may be recommended to help ensure the success of orthodontic treatment. When treating a patient with a gap between their front teeth, the orthodontist may recommend a maxillary frenectomy after braces to prevent the teeth from spreading apart after treatment.