FAQ

WHAT MAKES A PEDIATRIC DENTAL OFFICE SPECIAL?
Pediatric dentists complete an additional 2 to 3 years of advanced residency programs in pediatric dental care after 4 years of dental school. This ensures that pediatric dentists have unique training in treating oral health care needs of children. Children have different facial structures than adults, and therefore different needs. Like many pediatric dentists, Dr. Connell has affiliations with area hospitals and pediatricians to work together as a team of health professionals that is devoted to your child’s overall well being.

WHEN DOES MY CHILD NEED TO HAVE HIS OR HER FIRST DENTAL APPOINTMENT?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children make their first visit to the dentist by around age one or about six months after the first tooth erupts. Early education and preventive dental care are the most important factors in establishing a lifelong healthy smile.

The AAPD states that tooth decay is the most common childhood disease. It is also one of the number one reasons that children miss school. Decay can start well before a child’s first birthday and advance rapidly if it goes undiagnosed. When left untreated, early tooth decay can cause significant damage to the developing permanent teeth before they erupt.

WHAT PROCEDURES DOES A PEDIATRIC DENTIST PERFORM?
Pediatric dental offices see only children, and are always prepared for whatever dental needs they may have and at Children’s Dentistry of Bucktown & Wicker Park, our practice is limited to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. Because we limit our practice, it allows us to provide the highest quality of pediatric dental care. Dr. Connell and her team have the highest comfort level with children that allows them to provide unique and consistent care, whether it’s preventive care like a cleaning, sports guards, sealants and x-rays, or therapeutic care like fillings, nerve therapy and crowns.

SHOULD YOU SEE A PEDIATRIC DENTIST WHEN YOUR CHILD’S FIRST TOOTH ERUPTS?
The AAP and AAPD both recommend that children see a dentist around their first birthday or 6 months after their first tooth erupts. When your child establishes an early rapport with their dental provider it helps make the experience a more positive one and promotes better oral health.

WHAT WILL BE DONE AT MY CHILD’S FIRST VISIT?
Dr. Connell’s highly-trained team members will provide an oral exam, fluoride treatment, and teach parents the proper way to brush and floss. They will also discuss healthy nutritional choices with you and your child, and your child may have his or her teeth cleaned. Dr. Connell will examine your child’s teeth as well as review their medical history as they discuss any concerns you have that may affect your child’s oral health.

WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD FIRST BEGIN USING TOOTHPASTE?
Young children who are unable to rinse and expectorate on their own can brush with a fluoride-free training toothpaste or just tap water. As your child develops more oral coordination and control, they can use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste twice each day. Beyond that, our team counsels parents on recommendations regarding fluoridated toothpaste as your child gets older and develops more oral coordination and control.

DO I NEED TO FLOSS MY CHILD’S TEETH?
YES. It’s always important to clean between teeth, as this is an area where dental diseases frequently develop. On young children, hand-held flossers are adequate to clean between their teeth where a toothbrush does not reach.

IF MY CHILD GETS DECAY IN A BABY TOOTH, WON’T IT JUST FALL OUT?
Yes and no. All baby teeth eventually fall out, but premature loss of a baby tooth can disrupt the proper eruption and tooth alignment of the developing permanent teeth below. Decay can also spread through the primary tooth and infect surrounding teeth, including the permanent teeth. Dental decay should be treated as early as possible.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CHILD HAS TRAUMA TO THEIR TEETH OR MOUTH?
If your child has an accident, take the broken tooth and gently rinse it and place it into a cup of milk or water. Do not attempt to clean the tooth as this can damage delicate attachment fibers. Call our office immediately.

ARE DENTAL X-RAYS SAFE?
Yes. Our state of the art dental x-rays use the minimum amounts of radiation possible. In fact, you’ll get more radiation from the sun on a day at the beach than you will if you have routine dental radiographs taken. With the advancement of digital x-rays, radiation is significantly lowered compared to traditional x-ray machines.

DO YOU SEE SPECIAL NEEDS PATIENTS?
Yes. Dr. Connell and her highly trained staff provide pediatric dental care to patients no matter what their personal needs are. We also have partnerships with area hospitals to provide different types of treatment environments if needed.