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When should I bring my child in for their first visit?

Our doctors at Growing Smiles recommend that parents should schedule an initial appointment within six months of the eruption of your child’s first baby tooth erupts from the gums or when they have their first birthday – whichever comes first.

How should I clean my baby’s first teeth?

It’s never too early to start helping your child enjoy better oral health! Even before their first tooth has emerged from the gums, use a mildly wet, clean washcloth to gently clean their gum tissue after each feeding. Once that initial tooth has arrived, switch over to a small toothbrush that has soft bristles. In fact, many stores carry toothbrushes that are designed specifically for infant mouths. Our doctors will be happy to explain these tips to you in greater detail and many more when you bring your baby in for their very first check-up.

Are “baby” teeth really that important?

They certainly are! While baby teeth may not last forever, the back molars are present on average until the age of 10-12 years older, often later. Baby teeth are critical in aiding the development of your child’s adult teeth. They allow your child to speak, smile, and chew while also creating a placeholder in the jaw – if a baby tooth is lost too early, it can result in other teeth growing into the space that was originally preserved for an adult tooth. Please let our team know right away if this happens to your child. We’re here to help!

Why is it important to see a pediatric dentist instead of a general dentist?

Every dentist undergoes the same initial educational process, but those looking to become specialists in certain fields (such as orthodontics, periodontics, oral surgery, or, of course, pediatric care) must then enter into additional years of advanced training so that they’re fully prepared to provide their patients with the best care possible. Here in Chicago, parents can rest assured that our doctors know how to handle the unique challenges that come with treating children and ensure healthy, happy results that last for years to come – in fact, all four are certified by the Illinois State Board and are Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Better yet, because our office is geared towards young patients, our fun atmosphere and amenities will be sure to make your child smile!

My child sucks their thumb. Will it affect their oral health?

Many children suck their thumb (or other fingers) as babies, and at this stage, it’s a relatively harmless habit. However, if your son or daughter is continuing to suck after they’ve passed the age of four and permanent teeth have begun erupting (or if they’re sucking in an overly aggressive fashion), let our doctors know so that we can inspect their smile and determine whether or not any damage is occurring.   We have various methods to assist them in discontinuing their habit with ease and excitement.

My child loves playing sports. How can I make sure they don’t injure their teeth?

Virtually every sport involves the possibility of contact with other players or hard surfaces. Thankfully, our doctors can design the perfect oral sportsguard to keep your loved one’s smile safe while they play their heart out on the field or court. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

My child is experiencing a dental emergency! Can you help?

Yes! Our team will do everything we can to see your son or daughter as soon as possible and provide treatment to relieve any discomfort. If the incident occurs after-hours, please contact our office and follow the prompts to our emergency number.  If you’re unable to reach our office right away, check out the helpful tips on our emergency dentistry page to see how you can help stabilize and improve your child’s condition during the most common emergency situations.