Little Girl

Frequently Asked Dental Questions

Why are the permanent teeth so much yellower than the baby teeth?

This is the #1 question or panic call we get in the office. Baby teeth are bright white, like milk, but permanent teeth are really shades of light yellow. When you have both baby and permanent teeth present side by side, it makes the permanent ones look darker. But when all the baby teeth are gone, and their mouth is all permanent teeth, the color will be uniform and they will look more natural.

My child grinds their teeth all the time. What should I do?

Bruxism (grinding of the teeth) is actually quite common in children. While it may indicate stress in adults, it is generally thought to be just a habit in children. Many of them will outgrow it and stop, although some may not. It only requires treatment for one of two reasons, either they show wear of their permanent teeth, or if they develop TMJ pain, which is rare in children. You can discuss this with Dr. Alfano at your time of your visit, and he will let you know if he recommends any treatment.

What should I do if they knock out a tooth?

Baby tooth- These teeth are not re-implanted. Call Dr. Alfano with any questions or concerns you have, but the only way to save the tooth is under their pillow for the tooth fairy.

Permanent tooth- These teeth can be re-implanted, but time is of the essence. Call the office and alert us as to what has happened and then get to the office as soon as possible. The tooth must get back in the mouth within 1 hour to have any kind of chance of success. Do not handle the tooth by the root because we don’t want to disturb the gum cells on them which are vital to the tooth re-attaching in the socket. Keep the tooth moist, either in a glass of milk or water on the way to the dentist.

What is the best toothpaste to use?

Despite what all the advertising on TV tries to tell you, they all work equally well. The key to good hygiene is to brush as long and well as possible. Therefore, whichever toothpaste they like the best, and thus will brush the longest with, THAT is the one I would use. As for toothbrushes, the only thing to remember is to always use a soft brush. It doesn’t matter what the shape or design is, as long as it is soft.

When should I get my child off the bottle?

Prolonged bottle use is the biggest cause of cavities in young children. It is recommended to be off a bottle by 1 year old at the latest. Bottles allow for frequent drinking, and that is how they cause problems. Therefore, once you get off a bottle and switch to a sippy cup, it is equally important that you don’t let your child walk around all day with the cup in their hand, unless it is filled with water, or you will have the same cavity problems that bottles cause.

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