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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions we encounter with families. We invite you to read through this page prior to your appointment.

How is a pediatric dentist different from a regular dentist?

A pediatric dentist works exclusively with patients under the age of 18. This includes patients as young as toddlers as their teeth first come in. Being a pediatric dentist requires having an additional certification beyond the base doctorate of dentistry that allows them to specialize in the unique aspects of oral development specific to kids versus adult patients.

What happens if adult teeth start coming in behind baby teeth?

This might seem alarming but is actually fairly common. Usually this happens when the adult tooth decides it’s time to come in but the baby tooth hasn’t gotten loose enough to fall out on its own. Typically baby teeth fall out in about 2 months of wiggling, but if it lasts longer than that and the adult tooth is trying to come in, we can remove the baby tooth for your child to prevent alignment issues.

When will my baby start getting teeth?

Most of the time a baby will start getting their first set of teeth at 6-8 months of age. By the time your child is 3 years old, he or she will probably have 20 primary teeth. Adult (permanent) teeth can start coming in as early as age 6 and progress to age 21.

Does my child need a filling on a baby tooth?

Usually the answer to this depends on the child’s age. If they’re at a point where that tooth is likely to fall out soon and be replaced by the adult tooth in that spot, it can be simpler to let that happen (or to remove the baby tooth). If the child is young enough that leaving it alone could lead to infection, or that extracting the tooth could leave an empty spot for a long time before the adult tooth takes its place, we may opt to fill the cavity. If you suspect your child has a cavity on a baby tooth, call one of our offices to schedule a visit to plan the best next steps.

What things can damage a filling or cause it to fall out?

Sticky food is one of the most common culprits of damaged fillings. Chewing these feeds can pull on the filling and cause it to become loose over time. Eventually that can cause it to fall out. Though fillings are meant to restore the chewing surface of the tooth and prevent further decay, the filling material isn’t as strong as the tooth’s original enamel.