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What are your pediatric dental questions?

At Dr. Pike Dentistry for Children in Portland, we answer all of your questions on pediatric dentistry and what to expect at our practice. Below are common questions and our answers about the best way to care for children’s teeth. Do you have a question that isn’t answered here? Request an appointment online for your child or call our office today!

Ideally, you should bring your child in for their first appointment around their first birthday. These appointments are essential for establishing a good relationship with your dentist and will be important for getting your child comfortable with the dentist chair.

Most babies will sprout their first tooth between four and seven months of age. However, early developers may get their first tooth as soon as three months, while late bloomers may not have teeth until after their first birthday.

Go through the basics of teeth brushing with your children, including how to hold the brush at a 45 degree angle, using short and round strokes for the fronts and backs of teeth, and using sweeping strokes to clean the chewing surfaces. You should also highlight the importance of flossing, and be sure to change your child’s toothbrush 3-4 times per year.

The best way to help your child prevent tooth decay is to begin teaching good oral hygiene habits from a young age. Additionally, regular trips to our office for cleanings and checkups can help to remove plaque and spot problem areas before tooth decay develops.

At Dr. Pike Dentistry for Children, we have been treating children for more than 40 years. In that time period, we’ve seen thousands of children and look forward to treating your kids.

After checking in, Dr. Pike will greet you and your child before showing you around the office. Then, we will discuss any concerns you may have while providing instructions on how to teeth keep clean, and if any work is needed, we will practice with your child to make sure he is comfortable with the process.

Average dental appointments at our clinic last between 30 and 60 minutes.

It depends on your coverage. We are only in-network for Delta Dental Premier. However, most insurances have out-of-network coverage. Our front office will verify your coverage before your appointment, and can give you an estimate. Alternatively, you can call your insurance company and ask about your out-of-network coverage. 

Our wonderful and experience staff is trained to make all of our patients comfortable, and we offer video games, pet gerbils, toys, and movies on the iPad to help your children to feel more relaxed. We understand that children are often nervous when coming to our office, so we can also offer nitrous oxide in order to help relieve their anxiety.

Note: Due to precautions against COVID-19, the video games and toys are off-limits. We still have the gerbils. In order to remain low-contact, see Debbi and she can feed a treat to the gerbils for you!

A check-up once every six months is generally recommended to prevent cavities and other possible dental problems. However, your child’s personal oral health may require more frequent visits to our office.

Baby or primary teeth are important for a variety of reasons, so they should be cared for similarly to permanent teeth. The baby teeth will help your child to chew naturally and speak clearly, and they also work to form a path that your child’s permanent teeth will follow when they eventually erupt.

A toothbrush is the best way to remove plaque bacteria that could cause tooth decay. Choose a soft-bristled brush with a small head, and if possible, find an option that has been created specifically for infants.

You should start brushing your child’s teeth with fluoridated toothpaste as soon as the teeth emerge. For children under the age of two, use a “smear” of toothpaste, and then graduate to a pea-sized amount after their second birthday.

Dental sealants are a thin, plastic coating that can help protect your child’s teeth against cavities. The sealant will act as a physical barrier that will prevent cavity-causing bacteria from developing on the teeth.

Note: Due to COVID-19 we are currently avoiding procedures which produce aerosols, including sealants. 

A mouth guard is the best way to protect your child’s teeth while he is playing sports. While a store-bought mouth guard will provide better coverage than nothing, you’ll provide the best protection by having a mouth guard custom-made at your dental office.

Thumb sucking habits will typically only become a problem if they continue for an extended period of time. Your child will likely stop this habit on his own, but if he continues to suck his thumb past his third birthday, we may recommend a mouth appliance to protect the teeth.

Usually, children will have had their first dental x-ray taken by the age of 6, around the time they begin to get their adult teeth. Dental x-rays are an important tool that can allow a dentist to see how the adult teeth are developing in the jaw while detecting potential bite problems.