Frequently Asked Questions About Dentistry for Children

When should my child’s first visit to the dentist be?

Seeing Dr. Pawlecki once teeth begin to appear and before your child’s first birthday is important to prevent problems, give your child a positive visit and to teach you tips and tools to brush/clean your child’s teeth…even when they don’t want to!

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

Using a small child’s toothbrush with soft bristles helps remove plaque and bacteria. Preventing decay and gum problems is critical to a smiling healthy baby. Your local stores have brushes specifically designed for infants, toddlers, young children on up to adults. If you have questions don’t hesitate to call and ask!

What should I do if my child knocks out a permanent tooth?

First and foremost remain calm. Assess if the whole tooth came out or if it broke. If the entire tooth came out, hold it by the crown as opposed to the root and gently reinsert it. If that’s not possible put the tooth in milk. Call us immediately so we can evaluate and stabilize the tooth as needed. Whether the entire tooth comes out or it breaks call us immediately. We are here to help!

Why is keeping baby teeth healthy important if they are going to just come out?

Healthy primary or “baby” teeth are important to keep your child eating well, pain free and maintain proper space for adult teeth coming in behind them. In addition, you’ve probably heard good oral health is strongly linked to overall health.

When should I begin using toothpaste on my child?

The sooner the better. You can clean your child’s teeth with an infant brush or a cloth and water. Use a tiny smear across the bristles. Once they are age 4 and up they can use a pea sized amount of paste. They should spit it out when done. Always encourage your children to brush their own teeth but tell them you need to ‘check’ their work by going back over everything.

Can you fix my child’s cavities with a painless laser procedure?

In many cases yes! A special and safe laser procedure can be used without anesthetic to remove decay and prepare the tooth for filling. Depending on size and location of the cavity Dr. Pawlecki may use topical anesthetic and a little anesthetic to numb the area…in most cases kids never even notice the injection.

Will thumb sucking or pacifier habits be harmful to my child’s teeth?

Thumb and pacifier habits only become a problem when they go on for a very long time. Most children quit by age three. A mouth appliance may be recommended if the habit continues…long term harm can be done if not corrected. Dr. Pawlecki is happy to give you suggestions and tips to help quit the habit and assess if an appliance is needed

Are Dental X-rays safe?

There is very little risk in dental X-rays. We also use digital x-rays in our office which are only 10 percent of a traditional x-ray exposure. Proper precautions are taken and x-rays are only recommended when needed.

When should my child see the orthodontist to get braces?

In many cases waiting until all the permanent teeth come in is appropriate but in some cases early treatment can prevent the need for extractions and give a better final result.