As a parent, it is natural to have questions about your child’s oral health. As a trusted provider for pediatric dentistry in Lehi, Utah, Dr. Troy Hardy and his team are dedicated to helping your child develop a strong and healthy smile. We have provided you answers to some of our most commonly asked questions:

How does a pediatric dentist differ from a general dentist?

All dentists attend dental school to gain the necessary skills and knowledge about patient care. Pediatric dentists, however, complete an additional two or three years of training that focuses specifically on pediatric dentistry. We specialize in providing high-quality dental care for children ranging from infancy to adolescence.

When should my child start seeing a dentist?

You should schedule your child’s first appointment to Hardy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry no later than 12 months of age, or when their first tooth comes in. Even though your child will not have all of their teeth, there are still important steps to take to prevent oral disease and to help your child get familiar with the dentist.

How often should my child see a dentist?

It is suggested that children visit the dentist as often as an adult, which should be about every six months. Although this is the recommendation, you are welcome to bring your child to Hardy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry more often if your child needs additional treatments or emergency care. Dr. Troy Hardy will help you determine how often your child needs to visit our office.

Do baby teeth really matter?

Although baby teeth won’t last for long, they still play an important role in your child’s overall oral health. Baby teeth act as placeholders for permanent teeth, making sure that your child’s permanent teeth emerge in the correct place. If baby teeth are lost prematurely, the rest of the teeth may shift and cause the permanent teeth to be misaligned or impacted. Baby teeth also assist in proper chewing skills and speech development.

When should I start caring for my child’s teeth?

As soon as your child’s teeth appear, they are susceptible to decay and damage. By introducing basic dental hygiene habits, you can care for your child’s smile. Begin by brushing their teeth with a soft toothbrush and mild fluoride toothpaste. Brush in a circular motion with the brush angled towards the gums, and focus on each area for about 10 seconds. Once your child has two or more teeth in a row, you can begin flossing. Although some child may fight against brushing and flossing, be patient and persistent, and they will begin to develop healthy dental habits.

How can I reduce my child’s risk of cavities?

Most cavities come from a child’s eating habits, particularly when they eat large amounts of sugary or snacking foods. Food such as these can increase the amount of acid that is inside your child’s mouth, which is harmful to tooth enamel. By limiting your child to smaller snacks and more water between meals, you can greatly reduce their risk of cavities. Healthy snacks, such as fruits, vegetables, and cheese, are less likely to cause harm to your child’s teeth. Encourage your child to develop good dental habits, including brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. Dr. Troy Hardy can also provide additional advice or treatments such as sealants to help protect your child’s teeth.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses safe sedatives to help reduce or eliminate dental anxiety. Patients who receive sedatives find it easier to relax while in the dental chair. It is normal for your child to be nervous about going to the dentist. If your child is anxious about the dentist, please talk to Dr. Troy Hardy to see if your child could benefit from a mild sedative. Children can also become accustomed to the dentist by coming for their regular checkups.

Should my child see an orthodontist?

By bringing your child to Hardy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we can monitor you child’s oral growth and diagnose and potential problems. If your child’s teeth show signs of needing braces or other orthodontic treatments, our pediatric dentist can recommend a trustworthy orthodontist for your child.

Thank you for taking the time to read our dental FAQs! If you have further questions about your child’s pediatric dental care, we invite you to call or visit Hardy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. We are always happy to help!