Phone:513.979.6998 Fax:513.979.6990

Frequently Asked Questions

Please take some time to find out more about how you can influence your child’s dental health below. Each link has answers to some of the more frequently asked questions that we encounter every day at Hyde Park Pediatric Dentistry


Regular Dental Visits

Q: How often should a child see the dentist?

A: 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. Your pediatric dentist will let you know the best appointment schedule for your child.

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

A: 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. Your pediatric dentist 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. The pediatric dentist may identify orthodontic problems and suggest treatment to guide the teeth as they emerge in the mouth.

Q: What happens in a dental check-up?

A: The pediatric dentist 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.

Q: Will X-rays be taken at every appointment?

A: No. Pediatric dentists, acting in accord with 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. Your pediatric dentist will discuss the need for X-rays with you before any are taken.

Q: How can I help my child enjoy good dental health?

A: The following steps will help your child be part of the cavity-free generation:

1.     Beware of frequent snacking

2.     Brush effectively twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste

3.     Floss once a day

4.     Have sealants applied when appropriate

5.     Seek regular dental check-ups

6.     Assure proper fluoride through drinking water, fluoride products or fluoride supplements

Proper Nutrition and Diet

The teeth, bones, and soft tissue of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups helps minimize (and avoid) cavities and other dental problems. Most snacks that children eat cause cavities, so children should only receive healthy foods like vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, which promote strong teeth.

Common consequences of an unhealthy diet are weight gain, low energy, and weak bones, but what about teeth? Snack-happy Americans are notorious for eating all the wrong things at the wrong times, loading the body with sugars that pass through the teeth before moving on to negatively impact overall health. A cola or sweet beverage can contain up to 11 teaspoons of sugar per serving, creating a perfect environment for plaque to throw a party in your mouth.

Encourage your child to drink plenty of water and choose nutritious snacks like raw fruits and veggies, nuts, cheese, plain yogurts, and boiled eggs. With consistency, evidence shows that a healthy diet will not only help prevent tooth decay, but also revitalize the metabolism, reduce body fat, and improve physical endurance, mental alertness, and well being.

Fluoride Treatment

Most US tap water contains fluoride today. However, most bottled water doesn’t. Many people have fluoride deficiency, which puts teeth at a greater risk for getting cavities. In some cases, parents think that they are protecting their babies by using bottled water to mix formula, but actually, tap water is better in this case. Many adults pack bottled water in their child’s school lunches and toss a bottled water in the car instead of filling up a reusable water bottle with tap water.

Fluoride is an interesting mineral because it attracts other minerals and strengthens tooth enamel. At your child’s checkup, we can determine whether his or her teeth would benefit from a fluoride supplement. If we find that your child’s teeth could use a boost, we’ll recommend a simple solution.

Fluoride mouth rinse in many flavors is available at our office. One quick rinse, and your child’s teeth will have a better chance of staying healthy. Oftentimes, our hygienist will recommend additional ways to keep your fluoride levels up between dental visits. These may include switching to tap water or using a fluoride-rich mouthwash at home. The only caution we give is to watch your child carefully when he or she brushes with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride ingestion during tooth development can leave white spots on the teeth (fluorosis).

Dental Sealants

Children with deep pits and grooves on back teeth or those with poor brushing habits may develop decay on hard-to-reach molars. For situations like these, dental sealants offer a means of protecting molar and premolar chewing surfaces from decay. Recognized by the American Dental Association as a key means of cavity prevention, dental sealants are simply a thin plastic film that can be applied to teeth.

First, we identify and fill any spots of decay, then prepare your child’s teeth with a cleaning and etching solution. After about 15 seconds, we thoroughly rinse the solution, dry the surface, coat the teeth with the sealant, and harden it with a curing light. The entire procedure is fast, easy, and comfortable. It takes about 10 to 45 minutes, depending on the number of teeth to seal.

Dental sealants create an impenetrable physical barrier for small food particles and cavity-causing bacteria, making them highly effective in preventing tooth surface decay and the resulting cavities. Sealants can last up to ten years. Most insurance companies only cover sealant procedures at a minimal level, but the good news is that insurance companies seem to be recognizing this technique’s value as a preventive measure that will help reduce future dental costs and more aggressive treatments.

Athletic Mouthguards

If you’re the parent of an avid athlete, you know the importance of proper protective gear. But did you know that up to 40 percent of all sports injuries involve the face? Protect your child’s smile with a comfortable, custom-molded mouthguard to dramatically reduce the risk of sports-related oral injury.

What is a Mouthguard?

A mouthguard is a comfortable piece of athletic gear that fits over the teeth and can help protect your child’s smile, as well as his or her lips, tongue, face, and jaw. New research indicates that mouthguards can even reduce the severity of concussions.

While hockey, boxing, and rugby players would obviously benefit from mouthguards, others, like skateboarders and gymnasts, made the ADA’s list of athletes who need mouthguards. This may sound excessive, but studies show that 13 to 39 percent of all dental injuries are sports related. Because the face is an important part of your child’s image and self confidence it’s better to be safe than…toothless!

Custom-Made Mouthguards

Custom-made mouthguards are comfortable, practical, and protective. A dentist or lab technician creates the custom-made mouthguard after taking impressions of your child’s teeth.

ADA & ASD Advice

The American Dental Association and the Academy of Sports Dentistry recommend mouthguards for athletes who participate in:

Acrobatics Field Hockey Racquetball Squash
Bandy Football Rugby Surfing
Baseball Gymnastics Shot Put Volleyball
Basketball Handball Skateboarding Water Polo
Bicycling Ice Hockey Skiing Weightlifting
Boxing Inline Skating Skydiving Wrestling
Equestrian Events Lacrosse Soccer
Field Events Martial Arts Softball