Dental FAQ page art for Pediatric Dentists Drs.Champion and Dela Rosa in Cherry Hill, NJ.

Dental FAQ

Girls Playing Outside

For more information concerning pediatric dentistry, please visit the website for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.


General Topics

What Is A Pediatric Dentist?

As pediatric dentists, Dr. Bob, Dr. Champion, and Dr. Dela Rosa completed an extra two years of specialized training after dental school dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teenage years. The very young, pre-teens, and teenagers all need different approaches in managing behavior, guiding their dental growth and development, and helping them treat and avoid future dental problems.

Why Are The Primary Teeth Important?

Healthy baby teeth are very important in preventing tooth pain or infections. In addition, they are important for:

  • providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position
  • permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles
  • development of speech

For more information see Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Contact us if you think your child may be having any dental issues or symptoms.

Eruption Of Your Child's Teeth

Children's teeth begin forming before birth. The first primary (or baby tooth) can erupt through the gums as early as 4 months. While the front 4 teeth get replaced by permanent teeth at 6-8 years of age, the back teeth (cuspids and molars) don't typically fall off until age 10-13.

Eruption of adult teeth varies, but if you have questions about the appearance of your child's developing dentition or how his or her teeth are coming in, we'd be happy to perform an evaluation and address your concerns.

Dental Emergencies

Pediatric Dentist - Dental EmergenciesFor evaluation of a broken or knocked out tooth, please contact our office immediately. Adult teeth that have been avulsed (knocked out) should be placed in Hanks Balanced Salt Solution or milk right away. DO NOT clean with soap, scrub or handle the tooth unnecessarily. If the patient is old enough, the tooth may also be carried in the patient's mouth (beside the cheek). Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.

Knocked Out Baby Tooth: Contact our office. This is not usually an emergency, and in most cases, no treatment is necessary.

Chipped or Fractured Permanent Tooth: Contact our office immediately. Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. If possible, locate and save any broken tooth fragments and bring them with you to the dentist.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek: Apply ice to injured areas to help control swelling. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a gauze or cloth. If bleeding cannot be controlled by simple pressure, call a doctor or visit the hospital emergency room.

Chipped or Fractured Baby Tooth: Contact us to assess the severity of the situation.

Severe Blow to the Head: Take your child to the nearest hospital emergency room immediately.

Possible Broken or Fractured Jaw: Keep the jaw from moving and take your child to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)

We take radiographs (x-rays) occasionally to detect cavities, survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment. Without them, certain dental conditions can and will be missed. They are taken only periodically, and only if we might change our treatment due to the findings.

Pediatric Dentist - Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)

Dental x-rays are among the lowest emitting dosages of radiation compared to other types of x-rays. Radiation from 2 bitewing x-rays is the equivalent of 1/2 day of everyday ambient radiation, or the exposure from ~45 minutes on a plane ride. We use the highest speed film and collimated x-ray tubes to minimize exposures even further.

Thumb Sucking

Pediatric Dentist - Thumb SuckingSucking is a natural reflex, and infants and young children may use thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects on which to suck. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of the permanent teeth can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and tooth alignment. If you have questions about your child's non-nutritive sucking habit, we are more than happy to discuss its effects in our office and can provide a wide range of recommendations.


What Is Pulp Therapy?

Dental caries (cavities) and traumatic injury are the main reasons for a tooth to require pulp therapy, aka "nerve treatment" or a "baby root canal." We are able to save baby teeth that require pulpal therapy that aren't yet due to fall out for some time.

What Is The Best Time For Orthodontic Treatment?

Pediatric Dentist - Orthodontic TreatmentDeveloping malocclusions, or bad bites, can be recognized as early as 2-3 years of age. Often, early steps can be taken to reduce the need for major orthodontic treatment at a later age.

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends all children receive their first consultation by age 7 to assess a possible need for early intervention, which in certain cases can eliminate the need for future orthodontic/orthopedic treatment. Whether or not your child is in need of early treatment, our orthodontist Dr. Thomas can provide you with as much information as he can during your consultation so that you can make the most informed decision regarding your child's braces. He can also place your child on a recall schedule to monitor how his or her dentition is developing if he or she is not yet ready to receive treatment.


Adult Teeth Coming in Behind Baby Teeth

Baby Teeth - Pediatric DentistThis is a very common occurrence with children, usually the result of a lower, primary (baby) tooth not falling out when the permanent tooth is coming in. Usually the adult tooth will push out the baby tooth on its own. However in certain circumstances we may plan to extract the baby tooth. Call us with any questions about this.

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Early Infant Oral Care

Perinatal & Infant Oral Health

Pediatric Dentist - Perinatal & Infant Oral HealthThe American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that all pregnant women receive oral healthcare and counseling during pregnancy. Research has shown evidence that periodontal disease can increase the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight. Talk to your doctor or dentist about ways you can prevent periodontal disease during pregnancy. Additionally, mothers with poor oral health may be at a greater risk of passing the bacteria which causes cavities to their young children. Mother's should follow these simple steps to decrease the risk of spreading cavity-causing bacteria:

  • Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Brush and floss on a daily basis to reduce bacterial plaque.
  • Proper diet, with the reduction of beverages and foods high in sugar & starch.
  • Use a fluoridated toothpaste recommended by the ADA and rinse every night with an alocohol-free, over-the-counter mouth rinse with .05 % sodium fluoride in order to reduce plaque levels.
  • Don't share utensils, cups or food which can cause the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria to your children.
  • Use of xylitol chewing gum (4 pieces per day by the mother) can decrease a child's caries rate.

Your Child's First Dental Visit-Establishing A "Dental Home"

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all recommend establishing a "Dental Home" for your child by one year of age. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care. The Dental Home is intended to provide a place other than the Emergency Room for parents. You can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. If old enough, your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and their staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less to-do concerning the visit, the better.

It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as needle, pull, drill or hurt. Pediatric dental offices make a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.


Prevention

Sealants

A sealant is a protective coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where four out of five cavities in children are found. Depending on individual caries risk, we recommend that most children receive the benefits of this treatment. Our sealants are BPA-free, and can be placed easily during a quick appointment.

Sealant-BeforeBefore Sealant Applied

Sealant-AfterAfter Sealant Applied

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