Smith Dental
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Children's Dentistry: 4 Common Questions (and Answers!)

January 27, 2014
Posted By: Smith Dental
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Choosing a dentist for yourself can be difficult enough, but finding one who can treat your whole family can be a challenge. The Hillsboro, OR dentists at Smith Dental understand that challenge well. We know that treating pediatric patients is not the same as treating adult patients. Children have unique dental needs, problems, and fears, and parents have unique questions about their children's oral health. We'd like to try to answer some of those questions today!

Group of kids playing outdoors in Hillsboro ORFirst of all is the timing. When should your child start visiting the dentist? We follow the American Pediatric Dental Association's recommendation and encourage you to schedule your child's first dental visit once their first tooth comes in or at one year of age, whichever comes first. Children should visit the dentist every six months after this for regular check-ups. This helps them get familiar with dentist appointments and learn not to fear the dentist.

Many parents wonder: Is it really important to perform procedures such as fillings on a child's primary teeth since they're just going to fall out anyway? The answer is yes! Primary teeth are important for your child's oral health for several reasons. They not only give a nice appearance to their smile and allow them to bite and chew their food properly, they also allow the jawbone and supporting muscles to develop properly and provide spacing and placement guidance for permanent teeth.

Kids play hard, and sometimes dental trauma can occur. What should parents do in the case of a child’s dental emergency? If your child cuts or bites their tongue, lip, or cheek, apply light pressure with gauze or a clean cloth to stop the bleeding, and treat any bruising with ice. If a permanent tooth is knocked loose, pack the area with gauze to minimize discomfort and call for an emergency dental appointment. If the tooth is knocked out, handle the tooth by the crown instead of the roots. Try to minimize the amount of handling of the tooth. If you can, replace the tooth in the socket. If not, put it in a glass of milk and contact our Hillsboro dental office immediately. Time is essential in the success of replacing a knocked-out tooth!

Another concern we frequently hear from parents is: Is the radiation in radiographs (x-rays) safe for my child? Your child's safety and well-being is our number one priority, and you can rest assured that we will take every precaution to minimize the amount of radiation exposure through shielding and lead aprons. New technologies in radiography and high-speed x-ray machines also reduce the amount of radiation your child is exposed to. Current x-ray practices pose no risk to your child, and radiographs can help us diagnose many problems that can be missed in a physical exam.

We understand that finding an experienced pediatric dentist is important, and we want to ensure that your children's visits to Smith Dental are positive experiences! We pride ourselves on providing quality dental care and a staff that you can trust your entire family with. We want to be your choice for all of your family's dental care needs. Call today to schedule an appointment for you and your family!

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