New Patients

Your First Visit

When you arrive for your first visit, please be prepared to complete all insurance and health information forms that will allow us to begin your dental treatment. We will ask you to fill out several forms that will get you acquainted with our office.

Your child’s initial exam will last approx. one hour. Oral hygiene instructions will be given with suggestions to assist with the care of your child’s teeth. We will provide an evaluation that will outline your child’s existing dental problems and proposed treatment.

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FAQ

What type of toothbrush should I use?

The brand of the toothbrush is not as critical as the type of bristle and the size of the head. A soft toothbrush with a small head is recommended because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums, and a small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. It’s unnecessary to “scrub” the teeth as long as you are brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings.
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Is one toothpaste better than others?

Generally, no. However, it’s advisable to use a fluoride containing toothpaste to decrease the incidence of dental decay. We recommend our patients use what tastes good to them as long as it contains fluoride.
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How often should I floss?

Flossing of the teeth once per day helps to prevent cavities from forming between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy.
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Should my baby see a dentist?

Absolutely! It can be confusing to figure out when it is time to take your baby for their first trip to the dentist. Baby teeth may ultimately be destined for the tooth fairy’s collection, but proper care is still an essential part of your baby’s health. Without a full set of baby teeth, your child’s face and jaws will not be able to properly grow and develop. Generally the best time for a baby’s first visit is no later than six months after the first tooth erupts. A pediatric dentist had additional training to manage the young age. If you wait for your family dentist to see them at age 3-5, your child could already have numerous cavities. We believe preventing cavities is the best start to a lifetime of healthy smiles.
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Do baby teeth really need to be fixed; they are going to fall out anyway?

Although it may not seem logical to fix something that could be considered temporary; baby teeth are important for proper growth and development. Healthy baby teeth provide your child with the ability to eat well, speak well, grow symmetrically and have a beautiful smile for better psycho-social acceptance. Children will lose eight teeth around age six and then the remaining twelve teeth will fall out sequentially between ages nine and fourteen. The first fourteen years of a child’s life are the most important in their growth and development. Healthy teeth provide a healthy foundation for the rest of the body.
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What age should I take my child to the dentist?

It can be confusing to figure out when it is time to take your baby for their first trip to the dentist. Baby teeth may ultimately be destined for the tooth fairy’s collection, but proper care is still an essential part of your baby’s health. Without a full set of baby teeth, your child’s face and jaws will not be able to properly grow and develop. Generally the best time for a child first visit is no later than six months after the first tooth erupts, this is usually after age one. A pediatric dentist had additional training to manage the young age. If you wait for your family dentist to see them at age 3-5, your child could already have numerous cavities. We believe preventing cavities is the best start to a lifetime of healthy smiles.
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How will I know when my baby starts teething?

Here are some signs that your child is getting a new tooth:

  • Your baby may become very fussy
  • He or she may have trouble falling asleep
  • He or she might not want to eat
  • Your baby might start to drool more than usual
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How can I make my baby more comfortable while teething?

Fussiness. Sleeplessness. Refusing to eat. These behaviors can result from sore and tender gums. Try soothing the gums by rubbing them gently with a clean finger; a moist gauze; or a small, cool spoon. Letting your child chew on a clean teething ring also may relieve some of the discomfort he or she is feeling.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning about the use of numbing gels. Several teething gels are available for purchase without a prescription. Many of these gels rely on benzocaine to numb the gums (check the product label), which the FDA warms against using. Unless a health care professional is overseeing the use of these gels, the FDA recommends that parents of children younger than two years of age not use medications that contain benzocaine. The FDA has received reports of a “rare but serious- and sometimes fatal- condition called methemoglobinemia, a disorder in which the amount of oxygen carried through the bloodstream is greatly reduced. If you suspect your child is suffering from methemoglobinemia, take him or her to the nearest hospital emergency department immediately.

Symptoms of methemoglobinemia can occur within minutes to hours after the use of benzocaine and include the following:

  • Pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips and nail beds
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rapid heart rate

In 2014, the FDA also warned parents and caregivers not to use oral viscous lidocaine, a prescription medication, to treat teething pain. An overdose of viscous lidocaine can result in seizures, severe brain injury and problems with the heart.
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More Questions? Call Our Athens Area Pediatric Practice Today!

Whether you have questions about becoming a patient with us, or are a current patient who needs guidance on dental care for your child, feel free to give us a call today! Our friendly pediatric dental staff will be glad to help you.

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