Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

When should my child first see a dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association recommend the first dental visit when your child has their first baby tooth or by their first birthday.

Establishing a dental provider for your infant and child at one year of age will establish a sound foundation for healthy teeth and gums that lasts them a lifetime. We require that a parent or legal guardian be present at the child’s first dental visit.

What do I do if my child has a dental emergency?

When your child needs urgent dental treatment,
please contact our office at: 858-278-8700

Refer to our DENTAL EMERGENCY CARE GUIDELINES.

How should I prepare my child for the first dental visit and subsequent treatment visits?

  • First VisitLook over the LIST OF ITEMS you need to bring with you to the first visit.
  • Read books about going to visit the dentist such as “Show Me Your Smile! : A Visit to the Dentist (Dora the Explorer)” by Christine Ricci
  • Consider taking your child with you to your own dental appointment if you are not an anxious patient yourself.
  • Talk about the upcoming visit in a positive, calm manner and do your best not to use words or terms that may cause anxiety.

General Post-Operative Guidelines

Regular Diet and Oral Hygiene Instructions:

  • Brush twice daily – after breakfast and at night before going to bed (unless child had fluoride varnish done, then wait until the following morning to brush)
  • Floss daily after brushing at night.
  • Regular visits to the dentist for a cleaning and cavity check every 6 months.
  • Eat a healthy diet.

Extractions:

  • Please have your child bite firmly on the gauze in their mouth for 20 minutes, or as directed by the doctor. If the socket continues to bleed, use the extra gauze given to you and have your child bite firmly on it for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Your child MUST NOT rinse out their mouth, drink from a straw, or gargle or spit for the next 24 hours.
  • A soft diet is recommended for the rest of today and your child must not participate in any sports activities today.
  • If your child is experiencing any discomfort, administer Children’s Motrin at the recommended dose.

Fluoride Varnish:

  • After a fluoride varnish is applied, your child may not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes.
  • Do not brush your child’s teeth today.

Sealants:

  • Your child may not eat anything sticky (fruit snacks/rolls, gummy candy) or crunchy (ice, hard candy) as the sealant may fail.
  • Sealants are tooth colored so you will not see them, but the doctor will check them every 6 months at the cleaning appointment.
  • Flossing is still a MUST after sealants are applied.

Crowns:

  • The gums may be tender and the tooth may feel different. Your child will get used to the crown after a couple of days and the tenderness will go away. Administer Children’s Motrin at the recommended dose as needed for discomfort.

Space Maintainers:

  • If a spacer is cemented in the mouth, your child may need a few days to get used to the appliance. Flossing under or around the spacer is a MUST.

Fillings:

  • Your child may experience slight discomfort in the gum area. Children’s Motrin at the recommended dose will help.

Gingivectomy:

  • Your child may feel some tenderness in the gums for a few days. Children’s Motrin at the recommended dose will help.

Deep Cleaning:

  • Your child may have some sensitivity or tenderness of the gums. Children’s Motrin at the recommended dose with help.