Pediatric Dentistry Richmond, Midlothian, Chesterfield | FAQs
Read the FAQs and Learn the Facts
General question about dentistry? The answer may be on this FAQ list. Please browse through the questions to find answers to your questions. If your question is not listed, please contact Dr. Gore or Dr. Hoover by emailing [email protected] or calling (804) 302-5981.
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Q. When should I bring my child in for his/her first dental visit?
A. The rule of thumb here is to bring them in around the age of two and a half or three. This early age surprises most parents, but more than one-in-four American children accrue cavities by age 4 and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry agrees that a child’s first visit to the dentist should occur just before his/her first birthday.
Q. What are Baby Bottle Caries?
A. Baby Bottle Caries (also known as Early Childhood Caries, or ECC) is an incredibly common bacterial infection in babies and young children, though it is very unhealthy to the development of teeth and gums. Frequent consumption of liquids containing fermentable carbohydrates (juice, milk, formula, soda) can increase the risk of dental caries, due to the sugars sitting on the teeth and reacting to the natural, cariogenic bacteria on the teeth. Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (BBTD) is a severe form of ECC and is often caused by bottle feeding at night, when the salivary glands are less active and, thus, do not clean off the residue from the liquids. A mutant form of cariogenic bacteria is Streptococcus (the bacteria which causes strep throat), so it is important to keep this natural tooth bacterium at bay, but it is equally important to keep it from building up and forming plaque residues (and cavities).
Q. Should my child wear a mouthguard?
A. A mouthguard is an important piece of equipment in sports activities. And though it’s not mandatory for most sports, wearing a mouthguard will cushion any blow to the face or neck, protecting your smile. So, even adults should wear mouthguards during athletics. Custom-made mouthguards are the best for athletes with bridges and braces because they are form-fit. However, the less expensive, ready-made mouthguards can be purchased in any sporting goods store and molded to your smile in only minutes.
Q. When should I consider an orthodontic evaluation for my child?
A. It really depends, since each child’s smile develops differently. We have a guideline to which we refer as your child’s permanent teeth come in, but orthodontic treatment depends on the problem and its severity. Over the years of your child’s development, we watch for facial growth, spacing/crowding issues, extra or missing teeth and habits like thumb-sucking, which can all alter the development of your child’s smile.