Why Us

FAQs….

How long will my child have their baby teeth?

All children lose their teeth at different times, but the average child will lose their last baby tooth around the age of 12! So, your child could have those teeth 12 years or more!

Why is it important to protect baby teeth and fix them?

Baby teeth are important for so many reasons! They aid in speech development and help your child chew their food. Baby teeth also hold the space in the mouth for the developing adult teeth by forming a path for the adult tooth to follow. Most importantly, they keep your child’s smile looking great!

Does diet affect my child’s teeth? How can I make their diet better to protect their teeth?

Yes! Diet is a very important factor to a healthy smile! A diet high in sugars & high fructose corn syrup can lead to tooth decay. Frequent snacking on sugary foods and sugary beverages should be avoided. The acid produced by sugary foods and drinks dissolves the enamel of the tooth and causes decay. More vegetables and proteins will help your teeth grow strong and healthy!

When should we start brushing?

Once the first tooth arrives!

What should I use to brush my baby’s teeth?

A washcloth or soft toothbrush can be used to clean an infant’s teeth. As children get older, an age appropriate sized soft toothbrush should be used.

When should we start using toothpaste?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends all children have their teeth brushed twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. If a child is not able to spit on their own, an adult should brush their teeth using a very small amount (“smear”) of toothpaste. Younger children should use a fluoride free toothpaste when they “practice” brushing their teeth on their own. This will protect them from swallowing too much fluoride by accident.

When should we start flossing?

Flossing needs to start once adjacent tooth surfaces cannot be cleaned with a toothbrush alone. So, if you cannot see between the teeth, you need to floss!

How do I know my child gets enough fluoride?

Talk with your pediatric dentist! Factors such as water fluoridation and diet can influence this – we can analyze these factors and let you know if your child would benefit from fluoride supplementation.

Is it safe to get fluoride treatments? Is it beneficial?

Professionally applied fluoride treatments are safe and highly effective at preventing cavities and even remineralize early stages of tooth decay. We recommend them as part of your child’s preventative dental program. At Little Britches, we use a fluoride varnish that has been shown in research to be safe and better at preventing cavities than fluoride foams or gels. Patients also ingest much less fluoride when using the varnish!

What are Sealants?

Sealants are a thin white or clear coating that is typically applied to the biting surface of molars. This area is the most common place to get cavities and the sealant acts as a barrier to help prevent cavities from forming. Many studies have been done on sealants and they have shown them to be effective and safe, and they are BPA free!

What kind of fillings do you do?

All of our fillings are composite restorative material. These fillings are white and mercury free. We will always discuss any type of restoration we recommend for your child, so please ask questions!

What are space maintainers?

A space maintainer is used when a child loses a baby tooth early and there is a chance for “space loss”. The space maintainer helps hold the space for the developing permanent tooth and can prevent serious orthodontic problems that can be caused by the early loss of a baby tooth.

Is it a problem if my child sucks their thumb or uses a pacifier?

These are very common self-soothing habits and most children stop them on their own as they get older. However, if the habit persists, it is important to address these habits before they cause any developmental problems. If a thumb or finger habit persists past a certain developmental stage, we love to refer patients to our friend Anne Venables (the “Magic Lady”) who has a great program for helping kids stop their habit!

Are X-rays safe?

There is very little risk associated with the use of dental x-rays and they help us diagnose what we are not able to see on our clinical exams (for example: cavities between teeth). At Little Britches, we follow the recommendations for taking x-rays set by the American Dental Association. Furthermore, we limit radiation exposure by using digital x-rays and protective aprons.

What is Nitrous Oxide and why do you use it?

Nitrous Oxide (aka: “Magic Air”, “Laughing Gas”) is a gas that can help a patient relax during dental treatment and increase their tolerance to having somewhat uncomfortable procedures completed. Patients simply breath in the air and it works quickly to decrease their anxiety. There are very little side effects and most kids are very excited about using it (they say they feel like they are in outer space!). At the end of the appointment, the patient simply breaths in oxygen for about 5 minutes and they are back to themselves and ready to go.

Why do you not offer in-office sedation?

At Little Britches, our number one goal is to treat your children in a safe environment where we can take care of their dental needs to the best of our ability. We believe that sedation dentistry is not always predictable in children and can lead to situations where we are not able to treat your child to the high standards we set for ourselves.


What to do if….

Your child has a toothache:

Gently clean the area around the sore tooth and thoroughly rinse the mouth with warm salt water. If there is trapped food or debris, use dental floss or rinsing to try and get it out. DO NOT use toothpicks! DO NOT place aspirin on the gums or tooth. If the face is swollen, apply a cold compress. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain and call us as soon as possible!

You child has a broken or chipped tooth:

Rinse the dirt from the injured area with warm water. Place a cold compress over the face in the area of the injury. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments. Call us as soon as possible!

Your child knocked out a tooth:

Find the tooth! Handle the tooth by the top (crown area), not the root portion. You may rinse the tooth, but DO NOT clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Try to reinsert a permanent tooth in its socket. Hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean cloth or gauze. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport it in a cup containing cold milk or water. Call us immediately! Time is the critical factor in saving the tooth! Baby teeth are NOT replanted! Give those to the tooth fairy but let us examine your child to make sure there were no other complications and that the whole tooth came out.

Your child cut or bit their tongue/lip/cheek:

Apply ice to the bruised areas. If there is bleeding, apply firm pressure with a clean gauze or cloth to the area. If the bleeding persists after 15 minutes, or it cannot be controlled, visit the closest emergency room.

Your child has a bump above the tooth or on the gums:

This might be a sign of a dental infection. Rinsing with warm salt water can help soothe the area. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain. Contact our office so we can evaluate this tooth and recommend proper treatment.

Your child has jaw pain

If there is jaw pain and limited opening or closing secondary to trauma, contact an oral surgeon or go to the nearest emergency room to be evaluated for a possible fracture.
If there is TMJ sensitivity, avoid difficult foods to eat and chewing gum. Use warm compresses and take ibuprofen to alleviate pain. Contact us so we can examine the area. We may refer you to a specialist if needed.


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