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For your information about what you can expect during your child’s visit with Dr. Ed Perdue, and to help with any questions you may have, we have included a list of frequently asked questions. Our team looks forward to hearing from you, and we hope to see you soon at your visit with our pediatric dentist in Nashville, Tennessee.

  1. When should my child go to the dentist? The AAPD, or American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommends that you take your child for their first visit at age one or when the first few teeth begin to erupt.
  2. Why are baby teeth so important? Since proper speech development is dependent on having healthy, fully-developed teeth, it is critical baby teeth be cared for. This includes a proper diet and hygiene care both at home and at the dentist.
  3. How can I protect my child’s teeth? The best plan of action is regular oral hygiene, such as daily brushing and flossing, and coming to the dentist every 6 months; visiting the dentist regularly can help us catch any dental issues early on and provide the necessary treatment to avoid additional issues. Diet and genetics are also factors in protecting your child’s teeth.
  4. Why should I take my child to a pediatric dentist? This specific branch of dentistry requires advanced training after dental school so as to better care for all of a child’s dental needs. Pediatric dental offices are designed for the comfort and safety of children.
  5. Can all children grow up cavity-free? Yes, it is possible, but it does depend on many factors and on genetics.
  6. How can I prevent cavities? Brushing and flossing with fluoride toothpaste, drinking fluorinated water, having sealants applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth, and watching your child’s sugar intake and the times snacks can all help prevent decay. In addition, regular visits to the dentist are a necessity.
  7. Is diet important in the prevention of cavities? It can be, but how often your child eats also plays a role. Frequent snacking can leave food on the teeth longer, and since a child usually does not brush their teeth throughout the day, this can lead to increased decay.
  8. What are good and bad foods for the teeth? Anything that stays on the teeth for too long is bad, especially acidic and sticky foods, such as hard candy. Bacteria have an easier time attacking teeth when the mouth is not cleaned on a regular basis.
  9. Can you provide information on snacking? The key is moderation. Since children do not brush after every snack, it may be good to have them eat cheese or any food that stimulates saliva, which clears carbohydrates and harmful acids; these types of food can also re-mineralize teeth and neutralize acids. Peanuts or cashews fight plaque and is therefore a good choice.
  10. If our water supply is fluoridated, should my child also use a fluoridated toothpaste? Both sources can be helpful in preventing tooth decay.
  11. Is it possible to get too much fluoride? In short, yes. However, by following the EPA’s regulations, we will ensure that your child will never get too much fluoride from our treatments. Your child can also get fluoride from drinking water, toothpaste, and mouth rinses. Our dentist can measure the amount of fluoride in your child’s teeth to determine whether they are getting enough or too much.
  12. What are dental sealants? Made of clear or shaded plastic, sealants are a protective covering placed on the surface of teeth to help seal out food and plaque. They also reduce the risk of decay. Sealants are applied painlessly and quickly; while they do last for years, they do need to be checked periodically.
  13. Can all children benefit from dental sealants? Yes; since 4 out of 5 cavities develop in children 15 years and under, placing sealants in those vulnerable years can help prevent cavities from forming.
  14. When should my child begin brushing their teeth? It is important that you start brushing and flossing her teeth for your child before they can do it themselves. Children usually cannot thoroughly clean all of their teeth by themselves until they are at least 6 or 7.
  15. How can I help my child develop tooth brushing into a habit? Start by being the example. If your child sees you brushing and flossing, it can help them know the importance of brushing their own teeth. Keeping regular checkups is a great way to ensure that your child learns about dental hygiene, and they see for themselves how to brush properly. It will give your child a sense of pride and accomplishment, knowing they are taking care of their own oral health.
  16. Is it important to care for my child’s baby teeth since they will eventually fall out anyway? It is important to keep baby teeth healthy to ensure that healthy adult teeth form. Baby teeth also allow for proper alignment and development of the jawbone and muscles.
  17. What should I do in case my child chips or knocks out a tooth? If you can, try to save the fragments and make an emergency appointment with the dentist. If a permanent tooth is knocked out, find it and rinse it off in cool water, but do not touch the roots! Try to gently place it in the socket. If you cannot place the tooth, put in a glass of cool water or milk, and try not to delay getting to the dentist.
  18. What does it mean if my child’s teeth are sensitive to hot and cold? It can be completely harmless, from a sinus headache or from genetics; however, it could also be a symptom of teeth grinding, cavities, loose fillings, or receding gums. If the sensitivity is on-going, we recommend visiting the dentist.
  19. My teeth have always been crooked. Is there anything that can be done to ensure my child’s teeth come in straight? The dentist can help teach your child to avoid oral habits that can lead to orthodontic problems. We can also identify any abnormal dental alignment right away and intervene to help guide the teeth when they emerge.
  20. How often should my child receive fluoride treatments? It is recommended that your child visit the dentist at least twice a year for their routine dental cleanings. Insurance companies, however, may only cover the treatment once a year.
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