Parent FAQ

Pediatric dentists are akin to pediatricians in dentistry. With specialized training spanning two to three years post-dental school, they focus solely on children's dental care. Serving as primary and specialty oral healthcare providers, pediatric dentists cater to infants, children, and adolescents, including those with special health requirements.

In contrast, family dentists offer comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages, from children to adults and seniors. While they may also provide pediatric dental services, family dentists typically manage a broader range of dental needs for the entire family unit. Their expertise encompasses preventive care, restorative treatments, and cosmetic procedures, ensuring holistic dental health for patients across different life stages.

It's important to get an early start on dental care, so that your child will learn that visiting MEK Dental is a regular part of health care.

The dental association encourages the assessment of infants, by a dentist, within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by one year of age.

It's important to make the first visit a positive experience for your child - one reason why it's best to visit before a problem develops. If you think there is a problem, however, take your child to see Dr. Ghada Yaseen right away, no matter what age.

If you are a nervous dental patient, ask your spouse or another family member to take the child for the appointment. If your child senses that you are nervous, he or she may feel nervous too. When you talk to your child about going to the dentist, explain what will happen without adding things like "it won't hurt" or "don't be scared."

Be sure to get an early start on regular dental care at home. Start cleaning your child's mouth with a soft damp cloth before teeth come in and continue with a soft toothbrush once he or she has a first tooth. Limit the number of sugary treats you give your child, and focus on healthy food choices from the very beginning.

During your child's first dental visit, we focus on creating a positive and comfortable experience. The visit begins with introductions, allowing your child to meet the dentist in a friendly environment. We conduct a visual examination of their gums and teeth, assessing their behavior and may request x-rays to evaluate areas not visible to the naked eye.

Our priority is to keep the appointment short and enjoyable for your child. Therefore, we may delay any cleaning or dental work to a subsequent visit. This approach helps minimize any anxiety your child may have and ensures a positive association with dental care. At times, we may ask you to wait in the reception area to allow your child to build trust with the dentist.

Overall, the first visit is about establishing rapport and familiarizing your child with the dental environment. By prioritizing comfort and trust-building, we aim to lay the groundwork for a lifetime of positive dental experiences and optimal oral health.

Prepare your child for their first dental visit by staying calm and positive. Use simple, honest language to explain the purpose of the visit, emphasizing that it's a good thing. Reassure them that the dentist will count their teeth and make it fun. Bring along a favorite toy for comfort and support. This positive approach helps ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for your child.

Typically, a dental check-up every six months is recommended to maintain optimal oral health for children. These regular visits serve several purposes, including cavity prevention, early detection of cavities, and identification of other dental issues. However, the frequency of dental visits may vary based on your child's individual oral health needs.

During routine check-ups, the dentist evaluates your child's oral health, provides professional cleanings, and offers personalized recommendations for preventive care and treatment, as needed. Depending on your child's oral health status, the dentist may recommend more frequent visits or specialized treatments to address specific concerns.

Ultimately, the dentist will advise you on the appropriate timing and frequency of dental visits based on your child's unique oral health requirements. By adhering to recommended dental check-up schedules and practicing good oral hygiene habits at home, parents can help ensure their child maintains a healthy smile and enjoys optimal dental well-being for years to come.

While it's true that children will eventually lose their primary, or "baby," teeth, these teeth play crucial roles in oral development and overall well-being. Children typically retain some primary teeth until approximately 9 to 13 years old. These teeth are essential for clear speech, proper chewing function, and maintaining space for permanent teeth to erupt correctly.

Additionally, primary teeth serve as guides for the eruption of permanent teeth. If primary teeth are lost prematurely due to untreated cavities or other issues, it can disrupt the alignment of permanent teeth, leading to orthodontic problems later on. Moreover, untreated dental cavities in primary teeth can cause pain, discomfort, and infection, negatively impacting a child's quality of life and oral health.

By addressing dental issues in primary teeth promptly, parents can ensure their child's comfort and prevent potential complications that may affect their oral health and development. Regular dental check-ups are essential for identifying and treating dental problems early, promoting a healthy transition to permanent teeth and supporting long-term dental health.

It's essential to brush your child's teeth at least twice daily, ideally in the morning and before bedtime. The most crucial brushing session is before your child goes to sleep at night. This helps remove food particles and plaque accumulated throughout the day, reducing the risk of tooth decay and promoting optimal oral health.

Begin using fluoridated toothpaste twice daily as soon as teeth appear, typically around six months. Use a smear for under twos, and a pea-size amount for ages two to five, ensuring children spit out excess paste. Assist young children with brushing until they can do it effectively. This helps maintain oral health and prevents swallowing toothpaste.

Yes, it's crucial to start flossing your child's teeth even with baby teeth. Children are prone to cavities between teeth, areas toothbrushes alone may not clean well. Introduce flossing when teeth fit closely together, typically between ages two and six.

Establishing daily flossing early is key for good dental health. Assist your child with flossing until they're around 10 years old, when they develop the dexterity to do it themselves. Make flossing fun with child-friendly products and integrate it into their daily routine.

Regular dental visits reinforce the importance of flossing and offer guidance on proper technique. Prioritize flossing to instill healthy habits for strong, cavity-free teeth and gums from childhood into adulthood.

Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for promoting dental health, as the teeth, bones, and soft tissues of the mouth require a well-balanced diet, just like the rest of the body. A key consideration is the frequency and duration of food exposure in the mouth, as this can influence the risk of tooth decay. Snacking habits play a significant role in dental health, with frequent snacking increasing the likelihood of cavities. Foods that linger in the mouth, such as hard candy, sticky snacks, and breath mints, prolong acid attacks on tooth enamel, heightening the risk of decay.

When it comes to choosing snacks, opting for nutritious options is paramount for maintaining healthy teeth in children. Foods from the five major food groups should be incorporated into their diet to ensure a diverse range of nutrients. Instead of sugary snacks, encourage your child to snack on tooth-friendly options such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese. These choices not only provide essential nutrients for overall health but also help promote dental health by minimizing the risk of cavities and supporting the strength of tooth enamel.

By emphasizing a balanced diet and making mindful snack choices, parents can play a proactive role in protecting their children's dental health. Additionally, instilling healthy eating habits from a young age sets the foundation for lifelong oral health and overall well-being. Regular dental check-ups, coupled with a nutritious diet, form a comprehensive approach to dental care, ensuring that children develop strong, healthy teeth and enjoy a bright smile for years to come.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (BBTD) is a severe form of tooth decay affecting a child's front and back teeth by age two or three. It's triggered by prolonged exposure to sugary liquids like milk or juice in a bottle, leading to acid formation that attacks tooth enamel.

BBTD poses risks beyond dental damage, potentially affecting a child's health and development. It can cause pain, eating difficulties, and hinder growth. Moreover, it may influence permanent teeth alignment, speech, and self-esteem.

Prevention involves limiting bottle use to mealtimes, avoiding sugary drinks, and stopping bottle feeding during sleep. Regular oral hygiene and dental check-ups are crucial for maintaining a child's dental health and overall well-being.

Preventing baby bottle tooth decay is essential for maintaining your child's dental health from an early age. One of the most important strategies is to establish good feeding habits right from the start. Limit bottle use to mealtimes only, avoiding prolonged exposure to sugary liquids. This means refraining from using the bottle as a pacifier during the day or night. It's crucial to avoid feeding your child soft drinks, fruit juices, gelatin waters, or other sweetened beverages in their bottle, as these can contribute to tooth decay.

If your baby is currently accustomed to bottle feeding during naps or at night, it's important to break this habit promptly. While it may be challenging initially, stopping this practice is vital for your child's dental health. Be prepared for some resistance, as your child may protest the change with crying for a few nights. However, rest assured that this adjustment period is temporary, and your child will adapt to the new routine. You can choose to cease bottle feeding abruptly or gradually wean your child from the habit by diluting the bottle contents with water over time. This gradual approach can help ease the transition for both you and your child.

In addition to modifying bottle feeding habits, establishing a consistent oral hygiene routine is crucial for preventing tooth decay. Begin cleaning your baby's gums with a soft, damp cloth or infant toothbrush as soon as their first tooth emerges. Once multiple teeth are present, start using a small, pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush their teeth twice daily. Regular visits to the pediatric dentist are also essential for monitoring your child's oral health and receiving guidance on preventive care measures tailored to their individual needs. By implementing these strategies early on, you can help safeguard your child's smile and promote a lifetime of good oral health.

Parents often wonder about the timing of their child's primary teeth eruption, as it can vary widely among individuals. Generally, all 20 primary teeth emerge by the age of 3, but the sequence and pace of eruption can differ from child to child.

The lower central incisors typically appear first, followed closely by the upper central incisors. While most children get their first baby teeth around 6 months of age, it's entirely normal for some to experience this milestone earlier or later. In fact, it's not uncommon for some children to not have their first tooth until after their first birthday.

As for permanent teeth, they usually begin to emerge around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. However, like primary teeth, the timing of permanent teeth eruption can vary. Regular dental check-ups can help ensure that your child's teeth are developing properly and provide guidance on oral hygiene practices to maintain their dental health as their teeth come in. If you have concerns about your child's tooth development, don't hesitate to consult with your pediatric dentist for personalized advice and reassurance.

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a common concern for parents, especially when it occurs during sleep. It's often characterized by the noise created as the child grinds their teeth or by noticeable wear on the teeth. While bruxism can be concerning, particularly for parents observing it for the first time, it's reassuring to know that the majority of cases in children do not require immediate treatment.

Bruxism in children is often a temporary condition that they outgrow as they age. Typically, grinding decreases between the ages of 6 and 9, with most children ceasing the habit by the time they're 9 to 12 years old.

However, if you notice persistent or severe grinding, or if your child complains of jaw pain or headaches upon waking, it's advisable to discuss this with your pediatric dentist. They can provide guidance tailored to your child's specific situation and recommend any necessary interventions or treatments to alleviate discomfort and protect their dental health. Regular dental check-ups can also help monitor your child's oral health and address any concerns related to teeth grinding early on.

Dental sealants are a clear or white acrylic resin material applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth (premolars and molars). These areas are particularly prone to cavities in children due to their deep grooves, making them difficult to clean thoroughly. The sealant forms a protective barrier, effectively sealing off these vulnerable areas from food particles, plaque, and acidic substances that can lead to decay.

This preventive measure is simple, non-invasive, and cost-effective. Research has shown that sealants significantly reduce the risk of developing pit and fissure cavities, thereby promoting better oral health in children. By creating a smooth surface on the teeth, sealants make it easier to maintain good oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing. Overall, sealants are a valuable tool in preventive dentistry, helping to safeguard children's teeth against decay and the need for more extensive dental treatments in the future.