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Frequently Asked Dental Questions

Why should my child see a pediatric dentist instead of my regular dentist?

Like pediatricians, the pediatric dentist is best qualified to meet the needs of the young patient. We specialize in the oral health of infants through adolescents. More importantly, we are trained in guiding a child’s behavior so that the dental experience is a positive one and instills healthy practices that will continue into adulthood.

Why are Baby Teeth Important?

Your child’s baby teeth will “fall out,” but only after performing vital functions for the health and well being of your child.

  • Without baby teeth, your child could not eat and maintain proper nutrition.
  • Baby teeth are needed for speech formation and talking.
  • Baby teeth hold necessary space open while the permanent teeth develop and come in as your child grows.

Proper care for baby teeth:

  • Check and clean your baby’s teeth with a clean, soft cloth after each feeding.
  • Protect your baby’s teeth with fluoride.
  • Prevent baby bottle tooth decay; do not put your baby to bed with a bottle.
  • Find a dental home by the age of 1.

Why do I need to worry about cavities on baby teeth that fall out?

The health of baby teeth has implications long after those teeth have fallen out. One way cavities are formed is by acid producing bacteria that eat away at the enamel. Such bacteria can be passed onto adult teeth causing further cavities. Baby teeth also provide the architectural framework for the eruption of adult teeth. If baby molars are lost prematurely due to cavities, the adult six-year molar can tip forward and trap the premolars under the gums. In fact, some baby teeth exfoliate as late as 10-11 years of age.

What type of dental materials do you use? Do I need to worry about toxicity?

Safety is a subject of utmost importance to the doctors at Wenatchee Valley Dental Village. We have hand-selected all of our materials because they are safe, mercury free, bisphenol A free (as told to us by the manufacturer), biocompatible, latex free, and non-toxic. We also seek out products that taste and smell good. We respect that every parent has his or her own philosophy about their child’s health, and we’re committed to helping you achieve your goals through alternate solutions, as desired.

How do I know your sterilization techniques are adequate?

Our dental office takes pride in providing the cleanest environment. Our Sterilization Center uses the most advanced machines to assure 100% sterility. All instruments are pre-washed, packaged, and sterilized using the latest equipment on the market. We strictly adhere to the guidelines and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and firmly believe in the mission of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Through routine monitoring, we are confident that our office sets the standard in quality control. We welcome all parents to tour our Sterilization Center.

How Much Soda Pop Do you Drink?

Soft drinks are no longer an occasional treat. They’ve become a daily habit for kids, teens, and young adults. A steady diet of soft drinks is a leading cause of tooth decay.

Did you know?

  • Sugar in pop combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid.
  • Acid in soft drinks, whether they contain sugar or not, is the primary cause of weakening tooth enamel.
  • Diet or “sugar free” pop is high in acid.
  • The acid attacks your teeth. Each acid attack lasts about 20 minutes.
  • The acid attack starts over again with every sip.
  • Ongoing acid attacks weaken your tooth enamel.
  • Bacteria in your mouth cause cavities when tooth enamel is damaged.
  • If you have a receding gum line, acid does more damage below the gum line than above it. This is particularly a concern for adults.

What should you do?

  • Eliminate all soda from the diet through the age of 18.
  • Drink water instead of pop. It has no sugar, no acid, and no calories.
  • Get regular checkups and cleanings to remove bacteria buildup (plaque).
  • Use fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth. Brush and floss daily.

Do you accept my insurance? What will my out of pocket expenses be?

Our doctors believe the doors to WV Dental Village should be open to all children. We participate with as many insurance companies as possible. Our staff is available to answer your insurance questions, help you better understand your policy, and notify you of out of pocket expenses (unfortunately, insurance does not cover 100% of all procedures). If we don’t take your insurance, please do not be discouraged. Our team understands the financial burdens on the modern family and is available to explore various financial options.

What is the list of insurance companies the office accepts?

We are aware that raising a child in today’s economy can be challenging, therefore, our office participates with several insurance companies. Please feel free to call us and inquire about your specific insurance plan. We understand that insurance policies can be confusing, so please allow our insurance coordinator do the research for you. Our office will be more than happy to review your dental insurance benefits with you and inform you of any out-of-pocket expenses. Please be advised that dental insurance companies, in most cases, do not cover 100% of services rendered, but every effort will be made to avoid any surprise bills. In the event that we do not participate with your insurance company, we will be happy to submit the insurance claims on your behalf so that you have one less item to take care of. We would like your experience at Wenatchee Valley Dental Village to be a pleasant one. Please take a look at the list of insurance companies our office participates with below (In-Network as the insurance people call it) and call us with your questions. We accept all Dental Insurances. We are in-network with:

  • All Delta Dental Plans
  • Washington Dental (Delta Dental Of Washington)
  • United Concordia
  • Aetna
  • Premera Blue Cross
  • L & I
  • Washington State Medicaid (ProviderOne)
  • Indian Health Services
  • Oregon Dental Sevices

Infant/Toddler Related Questions

Is Breast-feeding Better than Bottle-feeding in Preventing Early Childhood Cavities?

Many experts recommend breast-feeding over bottle-feeding for the overall health of your child. However, breast-feeding can lead to Early Childhood Cavities in the same way that bottle-feeding can. To prevent Early Childhood Cavities:

  • Avoid overnight feeding, such as bringing baby to bed with you and allowing him/her to nurse at will. Milk can “pool” in the child’s mouth and cause acid to form continuously throughout the night. This acid leads to decay.
  • Avoid letting baby walk around with a bottle.
  • The American Dental Association recommends that you encourage your child to drink from a cup by his or her first birthday.

Is it Okay if My Child sucks his or her Thumb?

Thumbsucking is normal for infants; most stop on their own by age 2.

  • If your child sucks his or her thumb beyond age 2, try to discourage it by age 4.
  • Thumbsucking beyond age 4 can lead to crooked, crowded teeth and/or bite problems.

Is it Okay For My Baby to Use a Pacifier?

Yes, but don’t dip it in sugar, honey, or sweetened liquid. In addition:

  • Try to have your child give up the pacifier by age 2.
  • Keep in mind that while a pacifier and thumbsucking create no health difference for the child, a pacifier may be a better choice because it can be easier to wean your child from a pacifier than from thumbsucking.

What is the Best Way to brush a Toddler's Teeth?

Use a small, soft-bristled brush. Use a circular or wiggling motion on all tooth surfaces, especially where the tooth meets the gumline. Once your toddler is able to spit out, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste on the brush. Families should ask their dentist to demonstrate proper toothbrushing during the child’s dental visit.

Can I Transmit Harmful Bacteria That May Affect My Baby's Teeth?

Yes. Cavity-causing germs can be transmitted through contact – like when baby puts hands in your mouth, and then in his or her own mouth. That’s why it’s so important to keep your own teeth and gums healthy. In addition, research has shown that since a pregnant woman shares blood with her unborn baby, any infection of the mouth – such as a cavity or gum (periodontal) disease – can affect the baby. According to the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health, oral disease/infection has also been linked to such conditions as preterm, low birth weight babies.

X-Ray Related Questions

Does my child have to take dental X-rays as part of his or her first visit?

While radiographs (X-rays) allow us to see in between teeth, we do not encourage the taking of them unless it is deemed necessary. Children’s facial and jaw bones grow rapidly — these cells are more susceptible to radiation damage. Our doctors follow the recommendations set forth by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. When the situation arises, we will discuss it with you, providing the details you need to make an informed decision for your child.

How safe are dental X-rays?

Dentists are particularly careful to minimize the exposure of child patients to radiation. With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. In fact, dental X-rays represent a far smaller risk than undetected and untreated dental problems.

How often should a child have dental X-rays films?

Since every child is unique, the need for dental X-ray films varies from child to child.

In general, children need X-rays more often than adults. Their mouths grow and change rapidly. They are more susceptible than adults to tooth decay. For children with a high risk of tooth decay, they American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend X-ray examinations every six (6) months to detect cavities developing between the teeth.

Why should X-ray films be taken if my child has never had a cavity?

X-ray films detect much more then cavities. For example, X-ray may be needed to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment. X-rays allow dentists to diagnose and treat conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable and affordable.

What safeguards are used to protect my child from X-ray Exposure?

Lead body aprons and shields help protect your child. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary X-ray and restricts the X-ray beam to the area of interest. High-speed film, digital X-rays, and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure.

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