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FAQs

When should I bring my child in for their first visit?

Our staff at Sheer Smiles recommend that parents should schedule an initial appointment within six months of the eruption of your child’s first baby tooth erupts from the gums or when they have their first birthday – whichever comes first.

How should I clean my baby’s first teeth?

It’s never too early to start helping your child enjoy better oral health! Even before their first tooth has emerged from the gums, use a mildly wet, clean washcloth to gently clean their gum tissue after each feeding. Once that initial tooth has arrived, switch over to a small toothbrush that has soft bristles. In fact, many stores carry toothbrushes that are designed specifically for infant mouths. Our doctors will be happy to explain these tips to you in greater detail and many more when you bring your baby in for their very first check-up.

Are “baby” teeth really that important?

They certainly are! While baby teeth may not last forever, the back molars are present on average until the age of 10-12 years older, often later. Baby teeth are critical in aiding the development of your child’s adult teeth. They allow your child to speak, smile, and chew while also creating a placeholder in the jaw – if a baby tooth is lost too early, it can result in other teeth growing into the space that was originally preserved for an adult tooth. Please let our team know right away if this happens to your child. We’re here to help!

Why is it important to see a pediatric dentist instead of a general dentist?

Every dentist undergoes the same initial educational process, but those looking to become specialists in certain fields (such as orthodontics, periodontics, oral surgery, or, of course, pediatric care) must then enter into additional years of advanced training so that they’re fully prepared to provide their patients with the best care possible. Here in Frisco, parents can rest assured that our doctors know how to handle the unique challenges that come with treating children and ensure healthy, happy results that last for years to come – in fact, all four are certified by the Texas State Board and are Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Better yet, because our office is geared towards young patients, our fun atmosphere and amenities will be sure to make your child smile!

My child sucks their thumb. Will it affect their oral health?

Many children suck their thumb (or other fingers) as babies, and at this stage, it’s a relatively harmless habit. However, if your son or daughter is continuing to suck after they’ve passed the age of four and permanent teeth have begun erupting (or if they’re sucking in an overly aggressive fashion), let our doctors know so that we can inspect their smile and determine whether or not any damage is occurring.   We have various methods to assist them in discontinuing their habit with ease and excitement.

My child loves playing sports. How can I make sure they don’t injure their teeth?

Virtually every sport involves the possibility of contact with other players or hard surfaces. Thankfully, our doctors can design the perfect oral sportsguard to keep your loved one’s smile safe while they play their heart out on the field or court. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

My child is experiencing a dental emergency! Can you help?

Yes! Our team will do everything we can to see your son or daughter as soon as possible and provide treatment to relieve any discomfort. If the incident occurs after-hours, please contact our office and follow the prompts to our emergency number.  If you’re unable to reach our office right away, check out the helpful tips on our emergency dentistry page to see how you can help stabilize and improve your child’s condition during the most common emergency situations.

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

A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?

In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.

What should I do if my child has a toothache?

First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give the child acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.

Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child's teeth?

Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.

How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?

Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bed-time bottle. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child's teeth. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child's first birthday.

How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?

A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.

Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use?

The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. Parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Once children are 3 to 6 years old, then the amount should be increased to a pea-size dollop and perform or assist your child’s toothbrushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their

How do I make my child's diet safe for his teeth?

Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child's teeth from decay. You can also ask your pediatric dentist to help you select foods that protect your children's teeth.

How do dental sealants work?

Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities.

How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?

Have your pediatric dentist evaluate the fluoride level of your child's primary source of drinking water. If your child is not getting enough fluoride internally through water (especially if the fluoride level is deficient or if your child drinks bottled water without fluoride), then your pediatric dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements.

What can I do to protect my child's teeth during sporting events?

Soft plastic mouthguards can be used to protect a child's teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sport related injuries. A custom-fitted mouthguard developed by a pediatric dentist will protect your child from injuries to the teeth, face and even provide protection from severe injuries to the head.

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

The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist.

How safe are dental X-rays?

There is very little risk in dental X-rays. Pediatric dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.

How can parents help prevent tooth decay?

Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.