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Common Questions & Answers From Your Lynnwood Kid's Dentist

Pediatric Dentistry FAQ

Dr. Clint Worton and his friendly team of professionals would like to thank you for choosing our Lynnwood kid’s dentistry practice to care for your child’s oral health. We want to make sure your child has an enjoyable experience at our office and we look forward to their next dental visit! To learn more about when the right time is to schedule your child’s first dental visit or how to handle the aches and pains of teething, please read our frequently asked questions below. If there is something we did not address here that you have questions about, please call our Lynnwood office directly at 425-775-5411 so we can assist you!

Q. Why should my child see a pediatric dentist instead of a regular family dentist?

A. A pediatric dentist is a dental specialist that provides dental care exclusively to children. Following dental school, a pediatric dentist completes two to three years of additional specialty training to learn how to meet the unique dental needs of infants, children and adolescents, including youngsters with special needs. Our Bothell children’s dentist is fully qualified to treat your child’s dental needs.

Q: When should my child be seen by a pediatric dentist for the first time?

A. The general rule is “first visit by first birthday”. To avoid dental problems, your child should visit our Lynnwood pediatric dentist when his or her first tooth appears, which is typically between the age of 6 and 12 months, and no later than his or her first birthday.

Q. How should I clean my baby's teeth?

A. A toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head, especially one designed for infants, is the best choice for teeth brushing for babies. Brushing at least once a day, at bedtime, will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay.

Q: What is baby bottle decay and how can I prevent it?

A. Baby bottle tooth decay is just as it sounds – it is tooth decay caused by prolonged nursing. It occurs when a child is allowed to fall asleep while bottle or breast-feeding. When asleep, the production of saliva is reduced to diminish the natural self-cleaning action of the mouth. To prevent baby bottle tooth decay, avoid nursing your child to sleep or putting anything other than water in the bottle you give him or her at bedtime.

Q: How can I make teething more comfortable for my child?

A. When new teeth erupt, it is normal for a child to have sore gums. You can ease the discomfort your child feels by providing him/her with a frozen teething ring, a teething biscuit or a piece of toast. You can also find medications at your local pharmacy that can be rubbed on the gums to help alleviate the discomfort.

Q: Is a thumb sucking habit harmful to my child’s teeth?

A. When a child sucks his or her thumb or uses a pacifier for an extended period of time, it can result in orthodontic problems like crowded teeth, crooked teeth, and a misaligned bite. While most children stop these undesirable oral habits on their own, our Bothell pediatric dentist can recommend a special oral appliance if necessary.

Q: When can my child start using toothpaste?

A. Children should not use toothpaste containing fluoride until they’re able to spit the toothpaste out. Before that time, simply clean your child’s teeth with water and a toothbrush designed for young children that has soft bristles. Once you start using toothpaste, supervise your child’s brushing and only put a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on the brush. Remind your child not to swallow any excess toothpaste.

Q: What should I do if my child gets a toothache?

A. Schedule an appointment with your Lynwood pediatric dentist right away. In the meantime, have your child rinse out their mouth using warm salt water. If your child’s face is swollen, apply a cold compress to the area on the face. You can give your child ibuprofen or acetaminophen for the pain he or she feels.

Q: How can I help protect my child’s teeth when he/she plays sports?

A. Anytime your child plays sports or partakes in any activity that puts the mouth and teeth at risk for injury, a sports mouthguard should be worn. A mouthguard is designed to protect the teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from injuries. The best type of mouthguard to use is one that is custom-made by our Bothell pediatric dentist.

Q: Will my child need to have a filling if he/she develops and cavity in a primary tooth?

A. When a cavity develops in a primary or “baby” tooth, the decay will slowly and sometimes even rapidly get bigger and deeper. So yes, your child will most likely need a filling. Even though your child will eventually lose his/her primary teeth, these first teeth are very important for biting, chewing, speaking, and for forming a path for the permanent teeth to follow when they’re ready to come in. Taking good care of primary teeth is instrumental in enhancing your child’s oral and overall health.

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

A. If possible, locate the tooth and hold it by the crown, not the root. Try to gently place the tooth back in its socket and hold it in place with clean gauze or a cloth. If you cannot put the tooth back in, place it in a container of milk or water and bring it and your child to our Lynwood kid’s dentistry office. Time is of the essence, so do not delay. If the mishap occurs on the weekend, go directly to the nearest ER.

Contact Your Bothell and Lynnwood Kids Dentistry Office

At Alderwood Children’s Dentistry, we proudly provide excellent dental care that is specifically suited to meet the needs of children. Our goal is to provide your child with the care, confidence and knowledge needed to have a life-long healthy and beautiful smile. If you have any questions about us, the treatments we offer, or would like to schedule an appointment for your child, please contact us at our Lynnwood office. We look forward to hearing from you!