Parent FAQs

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. Specialists require an additional 2-3 years of training after dental school to focus on the unique aspects of oral health care of infants, children and adolescents. They have the knowledge and the patience to make sure your child  is well cared for.

Most children (up to 80%) develop crowding in the permanent dentition. Many parents become concerned about the possibility of crowding and need for braces around ages 5-7. The great news is that we can help. We monitor tooth eruption and potential for crowding or spacing and will make recommendations to allow permanent teeth to erupt with minimal esthetic issues. Allowing permanent teeth to erupt in the proper sequence and in a near normal position will minimize the time in braces. When the time comes to visit an orthodontist, we have a great one right here in our office! Your child’s care will be seamlessly coordinated between Dr. Farmer and the orthodontist.

By age 1! Along with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) we recommend that a child’s first dental visit be scheduled within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth, and no later than their first birthday. By learning about and decreasing risk factors that can eventually lead to cavities, we can stay on the preventive side of oral health. First visits help establish the dental office as a fun and positive experience, and allows children to get to know the doctor and staff. This is also an excellent opportunity for parental education and reinforcement of positive habits that will reduce cavity risk.

At Scuba Smiles, we are trained to see children very early, to identify risk factors, and to educate parents in preventive techniques. We do not expect that your baby will be able to sit alone and cooperate yet. We have tried and true techniques that will make this a smooth experience for you both. All combined we provide anticipatory guidance to ensure the brightest smile for your child’s future,

Unfortunately, cavities are the most common chronic infection in childhood, and up to 80% of children experience cavities prior to graduating from high school. Even with fluoride toothpaste, and fluoride in the municipal water supply, cavity rates in young children have increased in recent years. Why?

The answer is complex, but involves age at first dental visit, dietary habits, hygiene habits (brushing and flossing), family dental history, dental IQ, and genetics.

There are definite risk factors for cavities that can be seen long before cavities occur. These risk factors can be identified and cavities prevented, but only if your child is seen early!

If your child has moderate to high risk factors, cavities are in their future… just takes time. It is very important to take the advice of your child’s dental team in order to lower the known risk factors. This is the key to preventing cavities.

At Scuba Smiles, we are trained to see children very early, to identify risk factors, and to educate parents in preventive techniques. All combined we provide anticipatory guidance to ensure the brightest smile for your child’s future!

There are many children’s books on first dental visits that may be helpful.

Parents are encouraged not to “make a big deal” out of the visit. Most children suspect something is up if huge rewards and promises are made before the appointment. Also, parents are encouraged to refrain from using words that could cause unnecessary fear or anxiety such as pain, blood, shot, drill, yank, pull, or needle. We are experienced in dealing with childhood anxiety and can explain treatment in a simple and non-threatening manner. For young children anxiety and fear of the unknown is quite normal. Most warm up with repeated appointments and a gentle approach.

Parents, if you have concerns or want all the details, or if you personally have a fear of dentistry, it is best to ask to speak with one of our staff in private.

At Scuba Smiles, we follow guidelines for x-ray exposure developed by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, which recommend exposure intervals based on cavity risk and are adjusted as the risk changes.

New technology dramatically decreases the amount of radiation that a child is exposed to during routine dental radiographs. In addition, the dental x-rays unit has a tube head that prevents much of the scatter by aligning the rays in a column, thus providing a very localized target area. And lastly, a lead apron is draped over the child to prevent scatter. While the risk is minimal, the benefits are great, as radiographs are invaluable for diagnosis in hidden areas between teeth, and under the gums.