Did you know 514 million children worldwide have cavities in their baby teeth? Untreated cavities can cause infections and pain and even lead to problems eating and speaking. The earlier your child visits the dentist, the earlier you can take control of their dental health. If it’s your first visit to an Elizabethtown pediatric dentist, you’re likely wondering what you need to know before your appointment. Luckily, you just need to learn a few tips and tricks before you go.
In this guide, you’ll learn five important things to remember when seeing an Elizabethtown kid’s dentist!
1. Prepare a List of Questions
Before you visit a pediatric dentist in Elizabethtown, it’s best to prepare a list of questions. If it’s your child’s first dental visit, you might be too overwhelmed to remember everything while you’re there.
It’s also essential to ask questions about proper child dental hygiene to ensure your child is getting the best dental care at home.
The questions you ask will depend on the age of your child, but in general, you’ll need to ask questions like:
- What toothpaste should my child be using?
- When should my child lose their baby teeth?
- When should my child start flossing their teeth?
- Are there any alternatives to flossing if my child has a difficult time?
- Are thumbsucking and pacifier use a problem?
- Should my child be using fluoride toothpaste?
If your child is older and has adult teeth coming in that are crooked and overcrowded, you’ll also want to address possible treatment options for this. All in all, you’ll need to make sure you address all areas of your child’s dental health.
2. Ask About Preventative Dentistry
Preventative dentistry isn’t just for adults. Kids should see a child dentist before their first birthday. They should also see a dentist every six months to ensure their teeth are growing normally and not developing any cavities.
From their first birthday, your child will get dental cleanings and dental exams at each visit. These appointments allow your dentist to evaluate your child’s overall dental health and recommend other treatments.
For example, dental sealants can be one of the best ways to prevent cavities in kids. Dental sealants are like a thin coating applied to the teeth, protecting them from cavities.
In fact, dental sealants can prevent 80% of cavities that occur in the back teeth. Sealants eliminate the need for invasive treatments like crowns or dental fillings later on. They’re also inexpensive, quick, and painless to apply.
When you see an experienced kid’s dentist in Elizabethtown, KY, you’ll also get tips about cavity prevention, such as:
- Information about dental hygiene for kids
- Ideas for nutritious snacks
- Limiting sugary foods
- How to encourage brushing and flossing
- Starting good oral habits early
3. Learn More About Restorative Dentistry
If your child has a cavity or an infection, they may need fillings. It can be overwhelming if you’ve never experienced this with your child.
Restorative dentistry involves renewing or restoring teeth damaged due to infection or decay. When your child has a cavity, a dental filling can prevent the cavity from worsening.
Dental fillings are common in children and even toddlers who have multiple cavities. Children can also have filings on both baby teeth and permanent teeth. It’s vital to address cavities in baby teeth since losing baby teeth prematurely can cause permanent teeth to come in too early.
The main goals of restorative dentistry are to ensure your child:
- Can speak and eat without any discomfort
- Maintains proper dental hygiene
- Has a healthy tooth structure
- Doesn’t have damage to other teeth
- Has a healthy smile
Be sure to ask questions during your visit to understand restorative dentistry procedures better. The professionals at Elizabethtown Dentistry for Children perform restorative treatments in the office or at Hardin Memorial.
They’ll use proper sedation to ensure your child is comfortable throughout the entire process.
4. Ask About Options for Dealing With Anxiety
It’s not uncommon for some children to experience high anxiety levels while at the dentist. In addition, some children are too young to be able to stay calm through restorative dental treatments.
Dental anxiety is due to different reasons, like the memory of a painful experience or the sight of dental instruments.
Pediatric dentists typically use a combination of relaxation and sedation to help children with high anxiety levels. The most common type of sedation pediatric dentists use is nitrous oxide.
Nitrous oxide or laughing gas is a safe and effective way to calm your child during a dental procedure. The best thing about nitrous oxide is it will make your child much calmer during the procedure and leaves no lasting effects once it’s turned off.
Your dentist can also give you tips on how to deal with dental anxiety long-term. These tips include preparing your child for a dental visit and getting them more comfortable with dental hygiene at home.
5. Learn What to Do in an Emergency
Finally, it’s important to ask your dentist for information about what to do when your child has a dental emergency.
For example, children can chip or knock out a tooth due to sports or other activities. Although a knocked-out tooth can be scary, staying calm is essential.
You’ll need to find the tooth and see if you can reinsert it. If your child cannot hold the tooth in their mouth, you’ll need to place it in milk and call the dentist. If it’s a baby tooth, most of the time, treatment isn’t required, but you’ll still need to contact your dentist if you have concerns.
In addition, you’ll need to call your dentist immediately if your child has a chipped or fractured tooth. You’ll also need to apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.
See an Elizabethtown Pediatric Dentist Today
Knowing these tips will help you to get all the information you need when visiting an Elizabethtown pediatric dentist for the first time.
If you’re looking for an experienced pediatric dentist, you won’t have to look any further than Elizabethtown Dentistry for Children. We offer preventative dentistry, restorative dentistry, and options for anxiety relief with sedation.
Our goal is to help children and teenagers to achieve optimal dental health while providing friendly and compassionate care.
We look forward to helping you, so be sure to contact us today to schedule an appointment!