Frequently Asked Questions
When should I bring my child in for their first dental appointment?
Dr. Neda Etessam recommends that parents schedule a first appointment when one of the following two conditions occurs (whichever comes first):
- When the child’s first baby tooth appears.
- When the child reaches their first birthday.
This may seem early, but this visit allows our team to gauge the development of your son or daughter’s smile and to provide instructions on how to properly care for their teeth. If any potential problems emerge, our goal is to treat them as early as possible.
How do I keep my baby’s teeth clean?
After each feeding, our team recommends taking a damp washcloth and gently cleaning your baby’s gums, even if they do not have any teeth just yet. Once that first little tooth erupts, it is safe to switch over to a toothbrush (preferably an infant-sized one) with very soft bristles. Dr. Etessam will be happy to review the steps of a good oral hygiene routine at your child’s first check-up.
Is your team equipped to handle children who have special needs?
Yes. Dr. Etessam is a pediatric dentist and was even named as one of “America’s Top Pediatric Dentists” by the Consumer Research Council of America; which means that she has the training and experience to capably manage the unique needs that come with treating children, even those with significant developmental, mental, behavioral, or medical conditions. Our team will work hard to personalize your loved one’s care as necessary and help them feel comfortable with us. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns!
Why is it important to maintain baby teeth?
While primary (baby) teeth will eventually be lost, that does not mean they are not crucial to the development of our young patients’ smiles. Their presence helps your child chew their food, speak clearly, and smile with confidence. Their position in the jaw provides space for the permanent teeth developing just under the surface of their gums. In fact, if baby teeth are lost prematurely, their space needs to be maintained in order to prevent problems with the eruption of the permanent teeth.
My child loves playing sports. How can I keep their smile safe?
Talk to our staff about having a custom made mouthguard fabricated! Our personalized design will ensure that the appliance fits your child’s mouth comfortably; allowing them to breathe and move their jaw easily, and providing a stable and sturdy protection.
Can I bring my child in if they have a dental emergency?
Of course! At McLean Children’s Dentistry, we encourage parents to contact us right away if their child is experiencing severe dental pain or a significant oral injury. Dr. Etessam will do everything in her power to provide treatment on the same day as your initial call.
How can I help my child avoid dental emergencies?
While dental emergencies are sometimes not preventable , there are certain steps parents can take to help reduce the risk for their child. These include:
- Limiting your son or daughter’s exposure to overly sugary foods or food items that are tough or sticky.
- Not allowing your child to chew ice.
- Making sure that your child wears a protective mouthguard when participating in sporting events where physical contact is possible.
- Always making sure to schedule regular six-month check-ups for your child at McLean Children’s Dentistry!