You Asked. We’re Answering.
Here are the top 10 most frequently asked questions:
1. What age should I start bringing my child to the dentist?
This one always seem to shock most parents, because the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) actually recommends that your child see a dentist at the age 1. This helps the child get used to seeing the dentist, and gets them acclimated to routine visits. The child will be better prepared when it’s time for their first actual cleaning.
2. How often should I replace toothbrushes?
Toothbrushes should all be replaced every 3 months. This includes electric brushes and spin brushes. Spin brushes do not have a replaceable head so you will need to throw the whole thing away and replace it with a new one. We sell electric brushes in our practice for $25-80. You should also replace all toothbrushes if there has been an illness in the home that is contagious.
3. Why should I fix their teeth at this age—they are just baby teeth?
There are numerous reasons why cavities on baby teeth need to be treated. Healthy baby teeth and primary teeth are vital to the health of the permanent teeth. Untreated cavities on baby teeth can cause pain and infection, as well as affect the health of the underlying permanent teeth. Children need their baby teeth to help guide-in their permanent teeth correctly. When children lose teeth early to infection or injury, this can cause space loss and overcrowding.
4. When should my child be seen for an orthodontic evaluation?
The AAO recommends that your child be seen at about age 7. Here are the reasons why:
- Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
- While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.
- The check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine. Or, the orthodontist may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring the child’s growth and development, and then if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time
for the child. In other cases, the orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.
- Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.
- In some cases, the orthodontist will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
Early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to:
- guide jaw growth
- lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- correct harmful oral habits
- guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
- improve the way lips meet
Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you’ll be giving your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile.
Because patients differ in both physiological development and treatment needs, the orthodontist’s goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.
5. How can I prepare my anxious child for dental visits?
We know there can be different types of anxiety among humans and especially children. You are the parent and you know what will work best for your child. We recommend that you keep explanations to a minimum. Sometimes, too much information is enough to make them more nervous. Over the last 14 years of working in this clinic, I have talked to several parents and told them to not even tell their child they are going to the dentist. Just show up. This may not work for everyone and we understand this.
You can help ease fears by using stuffed animals and other playful examples. Overall we want their experience to be fun and encouraging. One thing we do feel very strongly about is that they should not be disciplined for having a “bad appointment” at the dentist. We promise as a practice that we are here to make every child comfortable, and we will do whatever it takes to get them to that point. We are pediatric for a reason, and that is because we want to help children through this anxious time. We want them to love coming to the dentist so that, as young adults, they will continue to carry through with their 6 month checkup even when their parents are not making the appointments.
6. Do you take my insurance?
Our practice will file ALL insurances. We use electronic claims filing so your claims are filed the same day you are in the office. It makes for faster turn around on payments so that you won’t be invoiced. There are two basic categories for insurance from the consumers stand point:
In-Network or Out of Network
• In Network means:
We have a contract with that company that may or may not allow a small discount on your “out of pocket “expenses. We are given a fee schedule by that insurance company that we must abide by at all times.
• Out of Network means:
We do NOT have a contract with the company. We will still file this for you, but we are under no obligation to discount your “out of pocket” expenses. In some cases, these companies will actually pay us 100% of the total due. Out of Network is not always a negative connotation.
Insurance providers we currently accept:
• MOST Delta Dental plans
• MOST Blue Cross Blue Shield plans
• MOST Cigna plans
• We are proud to also accept ARKIDS, Delta Dental Smiles, and MCNA.
Please note: we do not let any child’s insurance effect our treatment recommendations.
7. What ages do you see for new patients?
We accept ages 0-15. We can always refer older patients to a dentist in the area.
8. What do I do if my child has an emergency?
CALL US. We have an “after hours” line available for nights and weekends. If you are in doubt, you can go to the ER. We can usually address small injuries, falls, and signs of infection over the phone. We want you to understand as parents that it is OK to reach out to us should anything occur, but the ONE true emergency with dental is if the child’s permanent tooth has come completely out of their mouth. You need to call us immediately!
9. Why do my child’s permanent teeth appear to be darker than their baby teeth? Is this normal?
Yes, it is normal. The enamel on the permanent teeth forms differently. The reason there is such a contrast is because you can see both sets at the same time. When they are in the process of losing their baby teeth and permanent ones are coming in, the side by side comparison can be very stark. Once all the baby teeth are gone, then the teeth are usually shown to be a normal shade.
10. How can I make an appointment?
We have two locations:
• Fayetteville—open Monday – Thursday, 7am-7pm for appointments. We also try to see some patients every other Friday.
• Bentonville—open Monday – Thursday 8am-5pm. This location is expecting to open some Fridays soon.
You may request an appointment on our website by visiting www.smilesarewild.com or you may call our office at 479-582-0600. This number will allow you to schedule at either location.