3720 Gosford Road, #C
Bakersfield, CA 93309

9901 Hageman Road #900
Bakersfield, CA 93312

3720 Gosford Road, #C
Bakersfield, CA 93309
9901 Hageman Road #900
Bakersfield, CA 93312

Pediatric Dental FAQs

When should I first bring my child to the dentist?
Schedule a visit when your baby cuts his first tooth. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, parents should bring their babies to the dentist by their first birthday or six months after a tooth is cut, whatever happens first.

What makes a pediatric dentist different from a general dentist?
Every dental professional finishes dental school and then enters training in a specific area. This includes oral surgeons, pediatric dentists, and orthodontists. Since a pediatric dentist received widespread training with infant, child, and teen patients, he is better equipped to handle child patients than an endodontist or an oral pathologist. We cater to our younger clients, and we use our knowledge of childhood development to make each visit a happy, successful one. Our staff makes children feel at ease with the dental procedures, and our office décor reflects our childlike wonder. We want our environment to be inviting, comfy, and cozy for your child.

What happens on his first visit?
We like our initial visits to be quick and easy. Normally, we’ll learn about your child, and we’ll relay some fundamental tips for optimum oral health. The doctor looks at your child’s teeth, paying specific attention to teeth location and health. He will also inspect your child’s gums and jaw. Sometimes we’ll clean your child’s teeth, but only if it’s required. Then we’ll focus on any questions you want answered about dental health, so you can be prepared to guide your child at home.

How can I get my child ready for his first dental appointment?
Stay upbeat and optimistic about your child’s first dental appointment. The positive energy will shine through. Children are very perceptive, and any negative or hesitant remarks will likely be noticed, possibly planting a seed of worry about the visit. Look at pictures of our staff with your child, and talk about the necessity of clean teeth and gums. Explain the dentist’s job – to keep your child’s mouth clean and healthy. Keep in mind that our doctors have lots of experience easing children’s nerves. Our staff prides themselves on how effectively they can relax our younger patients.

How often should I bring my child to the dentist?
We normally suggest visits at each six-month interval. If we’ve identified oral problems, we may want to see your child more often.

Why do baby teeth need care if they aren’t permanent?
Baby teeth don’t stay with your child forever, but they have significant functions. To talk clearly, your child needs healthy teeth. Baby teeth are also essential to smiling as well as chewing food well. Your child’s baby teeth are reserving spaces for permanent teeth, and if a tooth is lost prematurely, adjacent teeth could crowd that empty space, causing problems for your child down the road. Lastly, our overall health is dependent on our oral health, so keeping your child’s gums and teeth healthy is vital.

How do I clean my baby’s teeth?
After you feed your baby, wipe the gums with smooth, wet cloth – even if you haven’t spotted his first tooth. Once you see a tooth, you can use a small, soft bristle toothbrush to clean his teeth. Look for infant toothbrushes for a small enough head to fit inside your baby’s mouth.

How early should I use toothpaste to clean my child’s teeth?
After a few teeth have erupted, it’s safe to top your toothbrush off with a tiny bit of toothpaste. Remember that fluoride is harmful to children under two years old, so choose your toothpaste carefully. Prompt your child to rinse out his mouth and spit thoroughly after brushing his teeth. Hopefully, these good oral habits will stick with him all his life. The rinsing and spitting is especially important once your child starts using toothpaste with fluoride, as ingesting fluoride can stain his teeth. Most children don’t have the dexterity or the will to brush their teeth independently until they’re six or seven. Until that time, brush your kid’s teeth thoroughly and consistently.

What causes cavities?
The combination of sugar sticking to our teeth and the presence of bacteria in our mouths creates acids. Our teeth are coated with enamel, and the acids assault that enamel. If the acids keep invading our enamel, then our teeth are riddled with holes. These holes are cavities.

How can my child avoid cavities?
Make sure your child flosses his teeth every day, as flossing attacks crevices between teeth that brushing doesn’t reach. Your child should also brush his teeth two times each day with a toothpaste containing fluoride. Don’t let your child eat too much sugar – in food as well as drinks – and practice a healthy diet in your home. Ask your pediatric dentist if your child could benefit from a fluoride supplement. These supplements strengthen your child’s tooth enamel, fortifying his teeth against decay and deterioration. Also, a visit to our office every six months will allow us to properly clean your child’s teeth and monitor his mouth for potential problems.

Does my child need sealants?
Subtle grooves and crevices in teeth can make brushing more challenging. When food remnants are stuck in hard-to-reach places, teeth can be vulnerable to tooth decay. A sealant is an easy and noninvasive procedure that will protect your child’s teeth against the threat of cavities, as it smooths the tooth’s surface and facilitates brushing.

How can I protect my child’s teeth while he plays sports?
If your child plays sports, we suggest a tailored mouth guard to protect him from flying balls and flying elbows.

What should I do if my child sucks his thumb?
As babies, most children suck their thumbs. The majority of the thumb-suckers stop on their own by four years old. If your child has permanent teeth coming in and is still sucking his thumb, we can evaluate his mouth for potential problems resulting from this behavior.

Does my child need dental X-rays?
It’s customary and safe to have dental X-rays for your child when he’s two or three. This will introduce your child to the X-ray method. If your child’s back primary teeth are touching, then we believe in giving annual X-rays from this point on. When your child is six, we expect to see the eruption of permanent teeth. Consistent X-rays will let us confirm that your child’s jaw is correctly positioned and that his teeth are strong. If we see a need for more frequent X-rays or X-rays starting at a younger age, we’ll talk with you about the potential risks to your child’s dental health.