Pediatric Dentistry FAQs

Why should my child see a pediatric dentist?

In addition to 4 years of a graduate school program, pediatric dentists complete an extra 2 years of schooling to specialize in working with children. Our resident dentists have been provided preparation and education on how to work with younger children and how to make their dental experience a pleasant one.  Training included specialization in nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and general anesthesia. A pediatric dentist is also trained in understanding growth and development of teeth, and can offer advice on early treatment of crooked or misaligned teeth.

Central Park Dentistry’s philosophy is if you take your child to a pediatrician, then you should also take your child to a pediatric dentist.

When should my child first see a dentist?

Your child should first see a dentist at the sign of his or her first tooth, or by 1 years of age. Childrens’ teeth normally start erupting around 5 to 6 months of age. At the age of 1, our pediatric dentists will evaluate the existing teeth, as well as the rest of the head and neck area to make sure everything is healthy and well-timed. They will be able to share expert knowledge on diet and oral healthcare and answer any questions you may have regarding your child’s health, wellness, and development.

Central Park Dentistry’s philosophy is if you find a problem early on, it’s better than dealing with it later on.

When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?

You should begin brushing your child’s teeth when his or her first tooth comes in. In areas where teeth have not come in yet, use a piece of gauze with water to clean and remove any food that may be present.

A “smear” of toothpaste that contains fluoride can be used when teeth begin to erupt. The amount of fluoride in a smear is very low and will not affect your child if they were to accidentally ingest it.

When your child turns 3, they may begin using a “pea” size amount of toothpaste with fluoride.


Smear VS Pea Size


When can my child begin brushing his/her own teeth?

At a young age, children are very excited to be independent and brush their own teeth. Unfortunately, they do not have the motor skills or knowledge to adequately clean all the areas of their mouth until about 6 to 7 years of age.

Let your child have the satisfaction of brushing his or her own teeth, but make sure you monitor, guide, and follow up to give their teeth an extra scrub.

How do I prevent my child from being scared of the dentist?

The first step is to bring your child to the dentist as early as the age of 1. The earlier your child becomes acclimated to a dental environment, the more comfortable he or she will be. Remember, the earlier you bring your child in, the more preventative care we can provide. By bringing your child in every 6 months for a routine cleaning, they will become more comfortable, create consistent habits, and have a better experience each time.

Also, parents tend to inadvertently project their own fears of the dentist upon their child. It’s your job to realize your child is not aware of your experiences, therefore you should try to create a positive and fun adventure for him or her. Our pediatric dentists concentrates on reducing fears, customization of each visit, and makes each child feel at ease.

Finally, never use the dentist as a scare tactic. If your child is uncooperative, allow us to talk to him or her and give them support and positive reinforcement. With proper management, even the most difficult procedure can turn into an easy task.

Why would my child need a crown?

A dental crown is needed if a cavity is too large, or close to a nerve. Our doctors will try their best to save the tooth with a “white” filling, however, with a larger cavity, a crown is the best method to restore the tooth.

Baby root canals (pulpotomies) are done when the decay is close to the nerve. By removing the superficial nerve, the bacteria will have less of a chance of infecting the tooth and can extend the life of the tooth.

How do I know my child has a cavity?

Cavities come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. As a result, coming every 6 months is crucial as your dentist can recognize a smaller cavity and fixing it before it becomes enlarged.

X-rays, are they safe?

Starting at the age of 4, your child should receive four x-rays to check for cavities in between the teeth, as well as pathology that might be present in the bone.

At Central Park Dentistry, we use a state of the art digital sensor that produces less radiation than traditional, ensuring your child gets the safest and best treatment possible.

When monitoring cavities, it is possible that certain x-rays may have to be taken every 6 months to 1 year to track progression.

My child grinds his or her teeth, what should I do?

Tooth grinding amongst children is very common and should not be worried about. However, if your child starts having jaw pain or pain in his or her teeth, due to the grinding, then we recommend bringing he or she in to Central Park Dentistry for an evaluation.