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(760) 480-6700

Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions are meant to be a resource for people with questions about pediatric dentistry. If you have additional questions, please contact our office at 760-480-6700 or fill out our contact form.

What do I do if my child has a dental related accident?

Please call our office as soon as possible if your child has been in a dental related injury. We will see your child immediately. If you call after hours, our answering service will relay the message to Dr. Rasheti right away.

Keep in mind, the first thirty minutes following dental injuries are the most critical. For PERMANENT teeth that have been knocked out, gently rinse the tooth, but do not scrub it under water. If it appears clean, try to reimplant it back into the socket as best as you can. If this is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and come to our office immediately. For fractured teeth, please bring any pieces you can find. DO NOT REIMPLANT PRIMARY (BABY) TEETH.

EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION:
Office: 760-480-6700.
If you cannot reach us, please contact your nearest emergency center.

What is a pediatric dentist?

To be a pediatric dentist, you must have two to three years of specialized training following dental school. Pediatric dentists only treat children from infancy through the teenager years.

What are SmileBuilders office policies?

Like any other appointment, scheduled appointments are specifically for your child. If you need to cancel, please call at least 24 hours in advance so we may give your appointment to another patient. Please arrive 15 minutes or more prior to the start of your child's appointment to fill out any additional paperwork. This ensures we can see your child on time. You can also print and fill out our patient forms before your child's appointment, so save yourself and our staff time. Arriving 15-20 minutes late to your scheduled time may result in you being asked to reschedule for the next available time. A parent or legal guardian (with official documentation) must be present with the child at the time of an initial examination.

How does my dental insurance work?

Our staff will go over your treatment plan and the associated costs once Dr. Rashedi has examined your child. Although most insurances are accepted by our office, insurance may not cover 100% of the cost of treatment. When services are rendered, fees are due and payable. We accept a variety of payment options including: cash, check, VISA, Discover, and MasterCard. Our staff can also assist in helping you obtain third party financing through CareCredit®. This offers no upfront costs, no prepayment penalties, no annual fees, and convenient monthly payment options.

Can I come back into the office with my child?

Absolutely! We encourage parents to be involved with their child's dental experiences. Having you in the office during your child's examination gives us the chance to give you and your child the personal attention you deserve. It also gives you the opportunity to voice your concerns and hear recommendations that are discussed in detail. We want you to leave our office well-informed about your child's dental health. Plus, having Mom or Dad nearby helps some children feel more confident and secure in the dental chair. Most importantly, we want our patients and their parents to feel comfortable about their experience at our office.

When should a child have their first dental check-up?

Children should see a pediatric dentist when their first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday.

When should I start cleaning my baby's teeth?

Before your baby's first tooth erupts, you can gently clean their gums with a soft, clean cloth or an infant toothbrush and water. After the first tooth erupts, brush their teeth at least once a day at bedtime. It is your responsibility to make sure they have effective oral hygiene until about age 8.

If baby teeth are just going to fall out, why are they so important?

Baby teeth are important for a variety of reasons. Maintaining the health of primary teeth helps prevent cavities that can (and frequently do) lead to problems that affect developing permanent teeth. Space loss, unnecessary pain and/or infection can result in untreated cavities in baby teeth.

Additionally, baby teeth are important for:

  • Providing space for permanent teeth, guiding them into correct position
  • Proper chewing and eating
  • Permitting normal development of facial muscles and jaw bones.

Primary teeth affect the speech development and appearance. While the front four bottom and top teeth last until a child is 6 or 7 years of age, the back teeth (molars and cuspids) are not replaced until ages 10 to 13.

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are professionally-applied plastic materials that are put on the chewing surface of molars and cuspids (back teeth). They help to prevent cavities by creating a physical barrier that cavity-causing bacteria cannot invade. This prevents the bacteria from invading the fissures and pits on the chewing surfaces of teeth.

Why do you take x-rays?

We unfortunately do not have x-ray vision, so we have to use x-rays to help diagnose, identify, and prevent cavities, cysts, tumors, and infections that are not visible to the naked eye. X-rays are a necessary component of a thorough dental examination for people of all ages. If x-ray technology is not used, the progression of oral diseases can be severe and go beyond the point of fixing. Treating dental problems in the early stages saves time, discomfort, and money. In some cases, early diagnostic x-rays may save your child's life if a hidden tumor is found.

How does my child's diet affect dental health?

Limiting sugar, starches, and juices (especially after brushing teeth at night) will help keep your child's mouth healthy and protect it from decay. We also recommend limiting candy and juices high in sugar, as well as soft drinks.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride can be used to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. It is a naturally occurring substance; there are two main ways to benefit oral health.

Systemic fluoride is ingested through drinking fluoridated water or fluoride supplements prescribed by a pediatric dentist or physician. The correct amount will help developing teeth become stronger by incorporating itself into the enamel. Too much fluoride may cause fluorosis.

Topical fluoride is applied to erupted teeth. It is found in most toothpastes, prescribed gels, and many rinses. This type of fluoride strengthens teeth.

What is enamel fluorosis?

If a child gets too much fluoride during the years of tooth development, enamel fluorosis can develop. This condition results in defects in tooth enamel and shows up as brown or yellow splotches, lines or streaks.

Why is enamel fluorosis a concern?

In mild cases of fluorosis, streaks or tiny white flecks are noticeable. In severe cases, teeth can be discolored or have brown markings. This can leave the enamel rough, pitted, and hard to clean, which increases the risk for cavities.

How does enamel fluorosis develop?

If a child swallows too much fluoride for their weight and size during tooth development years, enamel fluorosis can develop. This can happen in a number of ways. A child may take more of their fluoride supplement than they need or may not need to be on a supplement if there is enough fluoride in their drinking water. Using too much fluoridated toothpaste and swallowing it instead of spitting it out is also another cause.

How can it be prevented?

Our doctors will determine the right fluoride supplementation, if any, for your child. We will discuss the issue with you and decide if a supplement is needed for your child.

Next, you will need to monitor your child's use of fluoridated toothpaste. A pea-sized amount is plenty for the right amount of protection. Teaching your child to NOT swallow and to SPIT it out is important! Unless otherwise advised, do not use fluoridated toothpaste until your child is two or three years of age.

Should I avoid fluorides for my child?

NO! Using fluoride prevents tooth decay and helps your child begin a lifetime of health smiles. Using the right amount (but not too much!) fluoride can easily be accomplished with the help of our doctors.

Can enamel fluorosis be treated?

Unfortunately, once fluoride is part of the tooth enamel, it cannot be reversed. The appearance, however, can be improved through a variety of treatments.

Are finger, thumb, & pacifier habits bad for jaws and teeth?

When children suck their thumbs, fingers, or pacifiers, usually no harm is done to the teeth or jaws. Most children will give up their habit between the ages of two and three. Some children, however, repeatedly suck on pacifiers, fingers, or other objects for long periods of time. In these instances, the upper front teeth may come in improperly because they are tipped toward the lip.

What can I do to stop my child's habit?

Most children will stop their habit on their own, but some patients need the help of their parents. Together with our team, parents can develop a plan to help their child stop their sucking habit. The possible results of the habit will be discussed with the child if they are old enough to understand, and the child will be encouraged to stop. With monthly visits to our office, your child can learn about what can happen to their teeth, which coupled with support from parents helps most children quit. Sometimes an appliance may be necessary to help a child stop their habit.

Are pacifiers a safer habit than thumbs or fingers?

Finger, thumb, and pacifier sucking all affect teeth in essentially the same way. A pacifier habit, however, is often easier.

When will my child need braces?

By age 7, the American Academy of Orthodontics recommends every child receive a consultation. There are exceptions to this guideline, since every child develops differently. We will carefully monitor your child's developing dentition (the shape and orientation of their teeth) and regular appointments and may refer your child to an orthodontist earlier.

For additional information and resources please visit the American Dental Association website or the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry's website.