1. My child is 7 years old and hasn’t lost a tooth yet. All of his friends in school have lost teeth already. What’s wrong?
Generally, there is nothing wrong. It is not unusual for a seven-year-old not to have lost any teeth yet. A seven-year-old child is just on the outer edge of the tooth loss chart for normal tooth loss. He will probably be losing the tooth soon. If you are really concerned, you can request that X-rays be performed to investigate further.
2. There is fluoride in our water, will fluoride hurt my child?
No, fluoride has done more to prevent tooth decay in children than any other public health measure and has been shown to be perfectly safe at the correct dosage. Fluoride hardens the tooth enamel making it more impervious to decay. Many children go through life without ever having a cavity because of fluoride. If you have well water at home, you should have the well water tested to see if there is fluoride in the water. If there is not fluoride in the water, the child should probably be taking a fluoride supplement. Consult your dentist or pediatrician. The right amount is essential. Too little fluoride might put your child at risk for tooth decay or too much could be toxic.
3. My dentist recommended a sealant for my child, is this really necessary?
Yes they are. Sealants reduce the incidents of cavities of the deep pits and fissures of the biting surfaces of the permanent teeth. Sealants are performed by bonding a plastic coating into the pits and fissures so that decay cannot start in those pits and fissures and they are proven to be very effective.
4. My dentist says my child has a cavity in a baby tooth. Why do I need to get it filled if the child is going to be losing the tooth anyway?
Depending on the ages of the child, the primary teeth are going to remain in the mouth for quite some time -- 6-9 years. If there is a cavity in these teeth the cavity can get large enough to effect the nerve of the tooth and cause pain. Thus, the cavities do need to be fixed in these teeth.
These primary teeth also maintain the space for the permanent teeth to erupt. If the teeth are lost prematurely crowding in the permanent could occur.
Bear in mind, most cavities can be easily fixed safely, comfortably and without an injection using the Waterlase iPlus laser. Unlike days gone by, both the child and parent have nothing to fear!
5. My child fell and knocked a permanent front tooth out, what should I do?
- Check your child to make sure the child is ok and there is no other damage or injury.
- The dentist should be called, and the physician if necessary, depending on what happened.
- The tooth should be picked up and gently rinsed off with warm water to rinse away any dirt or other foreign matter.
- Wrap the tooth in a clean, moistened cloth.
- DO NOT LET THE TOOTH DRY OUT!
- Do not put it in an envelope.
- The dentist can re-implant the tooth and in most instances the tooth will "retake".
- A root canal, more than likely, will be need to be performed shortly thereafter. The tooth should retake and be fine after that.
- The longer you wait, the less chance there will be to keep the tooth.