FAQ

First Visit

Q:  When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?

A: The American Academy of Pediatric DentistryAmerican Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatrics all agree that children should begin to visit the pediatric dentist no later than their first birthday or upon the eruption of their first tooth.  Establishing a dental home at this early age allows us to implement appropriate cavity prevention plans, make dietary recommendations, discuss fluoride use, toothbrushing techniques, pacifier/thumb use, and much more.

 

Emergency Care

For our patients of record, we offer 24 hour emergency care should your child experience dental trauma and/or is experiencing dental pain.  Please keep our office number available: 503.625.5437(KIDS).

If your child loses consciousness, is experiencing nausea, and or feeling dizzy, go immediately to the emergency room of the local hospital.

Q:  What should I do if my child knocks out a permanent tooth?

A: Contact our office immediately.  Find the tooth and rinse it gently and briefly under running tap water.  Be sure to handle the tooth by the crown of the tooth (not the root). After rinsing the tooth, the absolute best thing to do is re-insert the tooth into the socket and have your child hold it in place with a clean washcloth or gauze.  If you are unable to hold the tooth in the socket, place the tooth in a container of the child’s saliva, cold milk or water (saliva and milk are far better options than water).

 

Q:  What should I do if my child chips/fractures a tooth?

A: Contact our office immediately.  Dr. Bittner will help you determine if it needs to be evaluated immediately or not.  Larger fractures need to be addressed in timely manner to help prevent infection and possibly reduce the need for more extensive dental treatment.  Cold compresses can be used to reduce swelling.  If you can find the broken tooth fragment, bring it with you to the office as it can often be used in fixing the broken tooth.

 

Q:  What should I do if my child has a toothache/swelling?

A: Contact our office as soon as possible.  To comfort you child, rinse the mouth with water.  A cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth can help relieve some discomfort. DO NOT put heat or aspirin on the area.  If your child is experiencing swelling around a tooth, your child may need antibiotics.

 

Q:  What should I do if my child experiences a severe blow to the head or jaw fracture?

A: Go immediately to the nearest emergency room.  The types of injuries can be very serious or life threatening.

 

Pediatric Dentistry

Q: What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family/general dentist?

A: Pediatric Dentists are specialists that focus on the unique needs of children, much like a pediatrician in the medical field.  After completing four years of dental school, a pediatric dentist completes an additional two years of specialty training.  This additional training provides pediatric dentists with the necessary knowledge to meet the unique needs of infants, children, adolescents and patients with special health care needs.

Dr. Bittner has achieved an additional certification with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, which represents the highest possible credentials within the field of pediatric dentistry.  This is attained by successfully completing an oral board examination post specialty training.  Fewer than 38% of all pediatric specialists within the United States have attained this accomplishment.

 

Caring for Your Baby’s Teeth

Q:  When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?

A: The American Academy of Pediatric DentistryAmerican Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatricsall agree that children should begin to visit the pediatric dentist no later than their first birthday or upon the eruption of their first tooth.  Establishing a dental home at this early age allows us to implement appropriate cavity prevention plans, make dietary recommendations, discuss fluoride use, toothbrushing techniques, pacifier/thumb use, and much more.

 

Q:  When should I start cleaning my baby’s teeth?

A: It is never too early to start washing your baby’s gums.  You can use a wet baby washcloth or a soft-bristled infant toothbrush.  Be creative, use games, music and fun  songs.  It is important to start this habit at an early age.  A good cleaning prior to bed is very important to do each day.

 

Q:  What should I do when my child starts teething?

A: Children often times experience sore gums/teething between the ages of 6 months and 3 years old.  Massaging their gums with a cold wet washcloth, a clean finger or a teething toy can help with their discomfort.

 

Q:  When should my child stop using a bottle?

A: Children should transition from using a bottle to drinking from a cup when they are 12 months old. NEVER put your child to bed with anything other than water.

 

Thumbs, Fingers and Pacifier Habits

Q:  Is it bad for my child to suck on his/her thumb, finger(s) and pacifier?

A: It is considered to be developmentally appropriate for babies and young children to suck on these objects.  These behaviors provide security for young babies, allows them to make contact and learn about the world around them.

 

Q:  Can sucking habits cause damage to the teeth and jaws?

A: Most children stop these habits by 24 to 36 months of age.  Some children may not stop the behavior, and sucking on objects over longer periods of time can contribute bite and jaw problems.  Dr. Bittner will help you come up with many creative, fun ways to help your child stop these habits.

 

Fluoride

Q:  How does fluoride work?

A: Fluoride helps to harden tooth enamel to resist the effects of acids and it encourages remineralization (strengthening of weakened areas on the teeth).  Fluoride can occur naturally in water and is in many foods/beverages as well as dental products.

 

Q:  Does my child need fluoride supplements?

A: Children between the ages of six months and 12 years MAY need a fluoride supplement.  Dr. Bittner considers many different factors before recommending a fluoride  supplement, including your child’s age, their risk for developing cavities, their water source, dietary habits, etc…

 

Q:  What is fluorides?

A: Fluorosis is a health condition caused by a child receiving too much fluoride during tooth development.  In it’s mildest form, which is the most common, fluorosis appears                    as tiny white/brown streaks or specks on the permanent teeth.  The critical period of exposure is between 1 and 4 years.

 

X-Ray Use and Safety

Q:  How safe are dental X-rays?

A: Dr. Bittner is very careful to minimize the exposure of your children to radiation.  X-rays will not be taken routinely.  The frequency they are taken is determined by each child’s individual needs.  When they are taken, lead body aprons and shields are used to protect your child.  At Bittner Dentistry for Kids, we use digital X-ray equipment     which only uses a fraction of the radiation energy used with traditional films.

 

Sealants

Q:  What are sealants?

A: Sealants are a BPA free protective coating that are primarily applied to the grooves and pits of either permanent or baby molars.

 

Q:  How do sealants work?

A: Even the best brushers can have a difficult time cleaning the little pits and grooves on certain teeth.  Bacteria and food can build up in these crevices, placing these teeth at  greater risk for developing cavities.  Sealants will “seal out” plaque and food, reducing the chances of your child developing tooth decay.

 

Q:  Do sealants last forever?

A: Sealants can last many years when properly cared for.  Good oral hygiene can help sealants last longer.  Dr. Bittner and his team will check sealants during routine visits and will reapply or repair sealants as needed.

 

Mouthguards

Q:  When should my child wear a mouthguard?

A: It is a good idea to wear a mouthguard anytime your child takes part in an activity that poses risk for falls and/or head contact with players or equipment (balls, sticks, bats, etc…).  A well fitted mouthguard acts to reduce the likelihood and severity of head, facial and dental injuries.  Just because a sport doesn’t require a mouthguard, doesn’t     mean it isn’t a good idea.  Please inquire about options and fitting tips for your child’s protection.

 

Anxious Children

Q:  How does a pediatric dentist help with dental anxiety?

A: Pediatric dentists have special training in helping anxious children feel safe and secure during dental treatment.  Bittner Dentistry for Kids is a very child friendly office and the atmosphere alone helps children relax.  It is very common for us to have a very anxious child walk into the office, but leave with a smile and a new excitement about going to the dentist.  This is our goal for every child that comes to Bittner Dentistry for Kids.

As a specialist, Dr. Bittner has many behavioral and medicinal approaches available for your child, when necessary.  Dr. Bittner and his staff are committed to giving every child a positive experience, and assure each child will be treated like their own.