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9 Tips to Prevent Childhood Tooth Decay

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Frequently asked questions

When to use local anesthesia for children?

The best choice of dental sedation or anesthesia for kids depends on several factors including the child’s age, temperament, and the amount of treatment required. Local anesthetics like lidocaine can be applied topically or injected into the gums to numb an area of the mouth.

Under the influence of local anesthetic, the area of the mouth anesthetized will not experience any sensation of pain. With use of local anesthetics, the patient is fully conscious and although, the child should not feel pain, they may still experience an element of anxiety associated with the operative 

Learn more about the full spectrum of dental sedation for children

What dental care is covered by Medicaid?

Medicaid generally covers all needed preventive and operative dental care for children from six months to 20 years of age.

This includes twice annual dental cleanings, exams and x-rays plus fluoride treatments and sealants, fillings, crowns, spacers and other treatment that may be required to maintain or restore dental health.

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?

Your child should visit the dentist in the time frame between the eruption of their first tooth (around six months of age), and their first birthday (12 months of age). 

Learn more:

Your child's dental health timeline
Preventing childhood tooth decay
 

 

What should I use to clean my baby's gums and prepare for teeth?

You can clean your baby’s teeth with a small, soft bristle toothbrush, scrubbing each tooth surface gently and thoroughly. If the teeth have not yet erupted, use a clean, soft cloth to wipe your child’s gums after each feeding. 

Learn more about caring for your child's teeth:

Dental health timeline
9 tips to prevent tooth decay
Regular dental cleanings and exams

Why is my child being recommended for general anesthesia?

General anesthesia for dentistry is necessary when a child will not be able to cooperate for an extensive dental procedures. General anesthesia is a controlled state of unconsciousness that permits a child to have all of their dental treatment completed in one visit with no recollection of the procedure. Select practices offer general anesthesia performed on location by a licensed anesthesiologist.

We are committed to helping families establish lifelong dental health, and we want children to have positive experiences with the dentist at early ages so kids can have optimal dental health as they grow into adulthood. That is why our dentists work with parents to find the dental sedation options that will best meet their child’s dental and developmental needs.

Learn more about dental sedation options for children

How safe are dental X-rays?

Dental x-rays are among the safest medical x-rays to receive. In fact, children are exposed to more radiation just walking outside in the sun than from an x-ray administered in a dentist’s office. Advances in dental x-ray technology have made the beams from x-rays extremely focused, limiting nearly all scatter radiation. In our practice, we use state of the art equipment designed for the safety of all of our patients. Talk to your dentist about any concerns you may have. 

Learn more about dental x-rays for children