Dr. Shelby Smith
Kids Love Us, Parents Trust Us.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

We are happy to answer questions about our services and procedures.

These are a selection of some common questions that patients have. If your question isn't answered here, please contact our office. It's important to us that our patients understand their dental care.

Pediatric Dentistry

Both your pediatric specialist and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) state that your child's dental visit should be at one year of age, or at least six months after the first tooth comes in. There are many reasons to start dental care early on such as:

  • It allows your pediatric dentist to begin monitoring your son or daughter's oral health and development so they can detect any concerns at an early stage.
  • It helps your child acclimate to visiting the dentist and to understand that it's a safe and welcoming place.
  • This is an excellent time to ask questions about your son or daughter's oral development so you can make the most of your routine at home.

You can prepare your child for his or her dental visits by talking about it beforehand in a positive way. Reading books or stories to them about visiting the dentist can also be helpful in preparing them for what's going to happen during their appointment. You might also consider bringing your child along with you to your cleaning and checkup so they can see what visiting the dentist is like. 

We are happy to help! Contact our office for more information on preparing your son or daughter for their first dental visit.

Many people feel fearful about visiting the dentist, and your child is not alone. Many adults who suffer from dental anxiety report that it's from a bad experience they had at the dentist as a child.

There are a few things you can do to help prepare your child for their dental visits:

  • Talk about the dentist in a positive way. Even if you have dental anxiety, be careful not to project your fear onto your child.
  • Read stories or color pictures about the dentist, and even role-play visiting the dentist with their stuffed animals or toys.
  • Consider bringing your son or daughter with you to the dentist when you have your next appointment. This allows them to see what it's like at the dental office.

You can also speak with your pediatric dentist about solutions they offer for relieving dental anxiety at their practice. There are options for sedation dentistry such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) that can help your child feel at ease during most types of procedures. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your pediatric dentist before your child arrives for their appointment so you can have an effective plan in place to create a positive experience.

Yes. A child who has a tough time sitting still will need additional support in getting used to the dental office. We can help them become familiar with the surroundings so that when it is time for their dental cleaning, they will be used to our office and the environment.

Digital Dental X-Rays

Yes. Today's digital x-rays are far safer than traditional radiographs. They emit less radiation, equivalent to taking a short walk in the sun. They also produce crisp and resizable images for your dentist, and this contributes to improved diagnostics and better treatment planning.

Additionally, digital x-rays are environmentally friendly compared to radiographs of the past. 

Early Childhood Orthodontics Phase I

Years ago, orthodontic treatment was only for kids over the age of 11 or 12. But today’s orthodontists now treat children as young as eight years old. Called interceptive, or phase I orthodontics, braces in early childhood can reduce time in braces later on and correct problems before they become more serious.

Children’s baby teeth have a big impact on the health of their permanent teeth. That’s why it’s so important to catch major issues with baby teeth before permanent teeth erupt!

Since kids can start dental exams as soon as their first tooth comes in, your dentist or orthodontic specialist can track any issues that may warrant phase I orthodontics. A consultation at around age seven with an orthodontic specialist will evaluate your child for these conditions:

  • Difficulty chewing or speaking
  • Missing or diseased baby teeth
  • Wide gaps between teeth
  • Severe overcrowding
  • Mouth breathing
  • Protruding teeth
  • Severe bite issues
  • Problems with jaw, facial, or teeth symmetry

If your child needs phase I orthodontics, treatment may begin at age eight and may continue in a less invasive, phase II treatment. Dentists use a variety of treatments with young children, which may include both removable and non-removable appliances, such as space maintainers, bands, palatal expanders, and braces.

Children's Orthodontics Phase II

When you think of reasons to get orthodontics, you may envision a set of shimmering, straight teeth. Cosmetic improvements are definitely one of the most common reasons to get orthodontics.

But did you know that certain oral conditions can lead to more serious issues, which require increasingly costly, invasive treatments? The benefits of orthodontics even reach as far as your overall health.

The following are just a few benefits of orthodontic treatment:

  • Improved self-confidence. When you feel like you need to hide your smile, it can affect your relationships and how you feel about yourself. Not only that, but a healthy-looking smile can make a good impression at work and in any situation when you need to feel confident.
  • Healthier gums. Gums of misaligned teeth may harbor more bacteria. Periodontal, or gum, disease is a health concern that can affect your heart, too, and even contribute to stroke and diabetes.
  • Decreased risk of tooth damage. Teeth that protrude further than other teeth are more at risk for chips and fractures.
  • Less wear on teeth. Teeth that protrude or rub against over teeth due to jaw misalignment are worn down relatively quickly, weakening the tooth structure.
  • Easier dental hygiene. When your teeth are aligned properly, you can more easily remove food particles by flossing and brushing.
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