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Many parents have questions and concerns about their child’s oral health and dental treatments. Dr. Christa Spates, Dr. Evelyn Perez and our team have compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we hear. If you have further questions, or to schedule an appointment with our caring dentists in Peoria and Washington, Illinois, please call us today.

How should I clean my baby’s teeth?

You can clean your child’s gums with a clean, damp cloth before their teeth erupt. After the teeth appear, use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head to gently brush their teeth. We recommend using a toothbrush designed specifically for infants. Brush your child’s teeth for them until about age 7, when they are old enough to do so themselves. Our dentists can provide you with any additional information you may need.

When should I take my child to the dentist for their first checkup?

You should bring your child to meet with a pediatric dentist within six months after the eruption of their first tooth, or no later than their first birthday.

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists are dental specialists who have received two to three years of additional training in order to care for children. They are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants, children and adolescents, as well as for individuals with special health needs.

Are baby teeth important?

Yes! Baby, or primary, teeth are incredibly important. They help your child to chew and develop proper speaking patterns, and they hold the space for the permanent teeth. Taking good care of your child’s primary teeth is key to ensuring that your child remains in good oral health in the future.

How often should my child see a pediatric dentist?

Your child should visit a pediatric dentist every six months, or twice a year. These routine visits help us monitor your child’s oral growth and development and quickly provide any treatments that may be necessary. We may recommend more frequent visits if needed.

How can I help prevent tooth decay?

There are several things that you can do to help keep your child from developing cavities. First, take them to the dentist regularly. Dentists can recommend specific programs of brushing, flossing and preventive care to implement at home. When combined with regular dental care and a balanced diet, these oral hygiene routines can help your child learn all the good oral habits they need to enjoy a lifetime of smiles. We also encourage you to ask our dentists about sealants, fluoride and other professional preventive treatments.

Do special needs children have special dental needs?

In many cases, yes. Individuals with special needs are often more susceptible to tooth decay, oral trauma, gum disease and other dental conditions. They may also have difficulty maintaining good dental habits at home. Our dentists and team have received the training necessary to provide children with special needs with the care they need to keep their smiles healthy, and they will work with you to design a preventive care plan that meets your child’s unique needs.

How can I prevent dental problems in my special child’s mouth?

Begin by visiting our dentists for regular dental appointments. When you bring your child to our office for the first time, we will take a full medical history, perform a thorough examination of your child’s entire mouth and develop a customized treatment plan that will help keep your child’s smile healthy. This plan will include a home care routine that you should help your child follow.

Will preventive dentistry benefit my child?

Absolutely! Effective brushing and flossing, moderate snacking and regular preventive care (including fluoride treatment and dental sealants) are an important part of your child’s dental and overall health. Preventive dentistry is incredibly beneficial both immediately and in the long-term, as it works to prevent damage to your child’s teeth and gums.

Are pediatric dentists prepared to care for special needs children?

Yes. Pediatric dentists receive two to three years of specialized training after dental school, which includes training on how to care for children with special needs. Additionally, pediatric dental offices are designed to be physically accessible for patients with special needs.

Will my child require additional care when receiving dental treatment?

That depends entirely on your child’s dental needs. Some children need more support, such as mild sedation, in order to feel comfortable and safe in the dental office. Our dentists and team have extensive education in behavior management and conscious sedation, and they will develop a treatment plan that includes one or more techniques for helping your child remain comfortable based on their specific health needs. We will discuss all options, benefits, limitations and risks with you prior to providing treatment.

What do I do if I don’t have dental insurance?

Just Kidz Dentistry offers several financial options, including an in-house dental plan. Please contact our office or visit our Financial Options page for more information.