Odessa Kids Dental Pediatric Dentist Dr McCarver

FAQs

When should my child first see a dentist?

"First visit by first birthday" sums it up. Your child should visit our dentist when the first tooth comes in, usually between six and twelve months of age. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child's smile now and in the future.

Why so early? What dental problems could a baby have?

The most important reason is to begin a thorough prevention program. Dental problems can begin early. A big concern is Early Childhood Caries (also know as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries). Your child risks severe decay from using a bottle during naps or at night or when they nurse continuously from the breast.

The earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental problems. Children with healthy teeth chew food easily, learn to speak clearly, and smile with confidence. Start your child now on a lifetime of good dental habits.

When should I start cleaning my baby's teeth?

The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child's gums with a soft infant toothbrush and water. Remember that most small children do not have the dexterity to brush their teeth effectively. Unless it is advised by your child's pediatric dentist, do not use fluoridated toothpaste until age 2-3.

Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use?

Fluoridated toothpaste should be introduced when a child is 2-3 years of age. Prior to that, parents should clean the child's teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. When toothpaste is used after age 2-3, parents should supervise brushing and make sure the child uses no more than a pea-sized amount on the brush. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.

How often should a child see the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a dental check-up at least twice a year for most children. Some children need more frequent dental visits because of increased risk of tooth decay, unusual growth patterns or poor oral hygiene. Dr. McCarver will let you know the best appointment schedule for your child.

Why visit the dentist twice a year when my child has never had a cavity?

Regular dental visits help your child stay cavity-free. Teeth cleanings remove debris that build up on the teeth, irritate the gums and cause decay. Fluoride treatments renew the fluoride content in the enamel, strengthening teeth and preventing cavities. Hygiene instructions improve your child's brushing and flossing, leading to cleaner teeth and healthier gums.
Tooth decay isn't the only reason for a dental visit. Dr. McCarver provides an ongoing assessment of changes in your child's oral health. For example, your child may need additional fluoride, dietary changes, or sealants for ideal dental health. Dr. McCarver may identify orthodontic problems and suggest treatment to guide the teeth as they emerge in the mouth.

What happens in a dental check-up?

Dr. McCarver will review your child's medical and dental history. He or she will gently examine your child's teeth, oral tissues, and jaws. The teeth will be cleaned and polished, followed by the application of a fluoride solution.

Your pediatric dentist won't talk just to you about dental health, he or she will talk to your child with easily understandable words, pictures, and ideas. Your child will be motivated to take responsibility for healthy smile.

Will X-rays be taken at every appointment?

No. The Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend X-rays only when necessary to protect your child's dental health. For example, X-rays maybe needed to diagnose tooth decay or abnormalities. Or, they may be required for orthodontic treatment. Dr. McCarver will discuss the need for X-rays with you before any are taken.

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.

How can I help my child enjoy good dental health?

The following steps will help your child be part of the cavity-free generation:
  • Beware of frequent snacking
  • Brush effectively twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss once a day
  • Have sealants applied when appropriate
  • Seek regular dental check-ups
  • Assure proper fluoride through drinking water, fluoride products or fluoride supplements

  • What are sealants?

    Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, especially the chewing surfaces of back teeth where most cavities in children are found. Made of clear or shaded plastic, sealants are applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free.

    How do sealants work?

    Even if your child brushes and flosses carefully, it is difficult - sometimes impossible -to clean the tiny grooves and pits on certain teeth. Food and bacteria build up in these crevices, placing your child in danger of tooth decay. Sealants "seal out" food and plaque, thus reducing the risk of decay.

    How do I make my child's diet safe for their teeth?

    Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child's teeth from decay. You can also ask your pediatric dentist to help you select foods that protect your children's teeth.

    Does Kid's Dental Odessa offer payment plans?

    Yes! We have a variety of payment plans and even have an in-office savings plan.