Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re like most parents, you probably have some questions about how to best care for your child’s teeth and gums. Below you’ll find a list of answers to questions we hear from parents on a regular basis.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, give us a call at (434) 817-1817. Or contact us online. We’d love to help answer all your questions!
When Should My Child First See a Dentist?
We recommend bringing your child in for his or her first appointment around the age of one. During this first appointment, we’ll focus on educating you, the parent. We’ll also examine your baby’s emerging teeth, gums, and supporting bone.
This first visit will help establish a dental home for your child and create healthy habits for a lifetime, as well as help your child to establish a good relationship with the dentist at an early age.
How Often Should My Child Visit the Dentist?
Just like adults, children should visit the dentist every 6 months. Contact us to make an appointment today!
Do You Accept Insurance?
We do! Our office accepts many insurance plans, including:
- United Concordia
- Delta Dental
Learn more about how insurance works here.
Do You Offer Sedation Dentistry?
Yes! We offer sedation dentistry to help our patients better tolerate dental procedures. This can be very helpful for children who suffer from dental anxiety.
Learn more about sedation dentistry here.
How Can I Prevent Cavities in My Child?
Cavities typically occur as a result of poor dental hygiene and a sugary diet. To prevent cavities, limit the amount of sugar in your child’s diet and encourage a daily dental health routine.
Keep in mind that common sources of sugar extend beyond the usual suspects of candy and desserts. They also include juice, soda, milk, and dried fruit snacks, among others.
Supervise your child’s brushing until he or she is twelve years old. This includes making sure your child brushes at least twice a day for two minutes. Additionally, never allow your child to go to bed with a bottle or sippy cup filled with anything but water.
Should I Be Worried About Thumb Sucking or Pacifiers?
Thumb sucking or the use of a pacifier is normal for infants and young children. The habit should be discouraged by the age of four in order to reduce the risk of crooked or crowded teeth and bite problems.
Are Baby Teeth Really That Important?
Primary (baby) teeth are important for many reasons. Besides chewing, baby teeth help children learn to speak properly. They also help maintain space for permanent teeth as they erupt into the mouth.
Should My Child Use Fluoridated Toothpaste?
Yes. In general, fluoridated toothpaste is preferable as it helps protect teeth from demineralization. If your child is unable to spit, fluoridated toothpaste should be avoided. During this time, you can substitute fluoridated toothpaste with a gum cleanser or non-fluoridated toothpaste.
We Have Well Water at Home– Do We Need Fluoride Drops?
That depends. Some well water does contain fluoride, so you’ll need to test the water before giving any fluoride supplements to your child. Additionally, if your child doesn’t drink the well water and receives adequate fluoride levels from other beverages, then your child may not need fluoride supplementation. Be sure to discuss this with us so we can make a decision unique to your situation.
How Do I Protect My Child’s Teeth During Sports?
Mouth guards are essential to protect your child’s teeth while they are participating in sport. Several types of mouthguards exist, and we’d be happy to discuss which one best suits your child’s needs. Contact us to learn more!
What If a Permanent Tooth Is Knocked Out?
Call us immediately at (434) 817-1817 to schedule an emergency appointment!
By treating this issue early, there’s a better chance the tooth can be saved. Do your best to locate the tooth and bring it with you to the appointment. Learn more about what to do in this situation on our dental emergency page.
How Safe Are Dental X-Rays?
There is very little risk with dental x-rays. Our office uses a digital x-ray system that greatly reduces the amount of radiation exposure your child receives. Living in a brick house, spending a weekend at the beach, or taking a cross-country flight exposes your child to higher levels of radiation than the average set of dental x-rays. Children tend to need x-rays more often than adults since their mouths change more rapidly.
What Are the Risks of Too Much Fluoride?
Fluoride is an important part of caring for your child’s teeth, but it does need to be carefully monitored to safely promote a healthy smile. Too much fluoride causes your child’s tooth enamel to weaken in the unerupted, developing teeth. Once erupted, these teeth may appear rough, pitted, discolored, and weak. These teeth are at a higher risk of developing cavities and need to be treated very carefully.
Talk with us so we can help you ensure your child receives the correct amount of fluoride.