We specialize in pediatric dentistry/Pedodontics, which means our focus is on treating infants, children, and adolescents. Below are the most common questions asked by parents and our answers about the best way to care for your child's teeth.

  • When should I schedule the first visit to the pediatric dentist for my child?
  • Why is a pediatric dentist/Pedodontist different from other dentists?
  • What happens during my child's first visit to the dentist?
  • How do I prepare my child for his first dental appointment?
  • How often should my child visit the pediatric dentist?
  • Why do baby teeth need special care since they are not permanent?
  • How do I clean my baby's teeth?
  • At what age can I start to use toothpaste to clean my child's teeth?
  • What is the cause of cavities?
  • How can I prevent cavities?
  • What are dental sealants?
  • How can I protect my child's teeth if he/she plays sports?
  • What should I do if my child sucks his thumb?
  • At what age should my child have dental x-rays taken?

 

When should I schedule the first visit to the pediatric dentist for my child?

We recommend that you make an appointment to see our pediatric dentist as soon as your child gets his first tooth. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child is seen by 1 year old or by 6 months after his first tooth erupts. For appointments you may contact us or visit our clinic in Sodeco (Beirut, Lebanon).

 

Why is a pediatric dentist/Pedodontist different from other dentists?

All dental specialists (pediatric dentists, pedodontists , orthodontists, oral surgeons, and others) begin by completing dental school, and then continue their education with several years of additional specialized training. During training in pediatric dentistry, the doctor gained extensive knowledge and experience in treating infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatric dentists/Pedodontists enjoy working with children and bring to each patient their expertise in  behavior management. Because our office is geared as well toward younger patients, you'll find that our staff, as well as our office design, decorations and activities, all work together to provide an especially friendly and comfortable environment for children.

 

What happens during my child's first visit to the dentist?

The first visit is usually short and simple. In most cases, we focus on getting to know your child and giving you some basic information about dental care. The pediatric dentist will check your child's teeth and look for any potential problems with the gums and jaw. We will also answer any questions you have about how to care for your child's teeth as they develop and provide you with aids containing helpful tips that you can refer to at home.

 

How do I prepare my child for his first dental appointment?

The best preparation for your child's first visit to our office is maintaining a positive attitude. Children pick up on the apprehensions of their parents and if you make negative comments about trips to the dentist, you can be sure that your child will fear an unpleasant experience and act accordingly. Show your child the pictures of the office and staff on the website. Let your child know that it's important to keep his teeth and gums healthy, and that the doctor will help him do that. Remember that your pediatric dentist/Pedodontist is specially trained to handle fears and anxiety, and our staff excels at putting children at ease during treatment.

 

 How often should my child visit the pediatric dentist?

We recommend scheduling check-ups every six months. Sometimes, we may recommend more frequent visits based on the oral health of your child. 

 

Why do baby teeth need special care since they are not permanent?

Although they don't last as long as permanent teeth, your child's first teeth play an important role in his development. While they're in place, these primary teeth help your little one speak, smile and chew properly. They also hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth. If a child loses a tooth too early – due to damage or decay – nearby teeth may encroach on that space, which can result in crooked or misplaced permanent teeth. Also, your child's general health is affected by the oral health of the teeth and gums.

 

How do I clean my baby's teeth?

Even before your baby's first tooth appears, we recommend you clean his gums after feedings with a damp, soft washcloth. As soon as his first tooth appears, you can start using a toothbrush. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head that easily fits in your baby's mouth. 

 

At what age can I start to use toothpaste to clean my child's teeth?

Once your child has a few teeth, you can start using toothpaste on the brush. Use a very tiny amount for each cleaning and be sure to choose toothpaste without fluoride for children under two. Always have your child rinse and spit out toothpaste after brushing. Children naturally want to swallow toothpaste after brushing, and swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste can cause teeth to stain. You should brush your child's teeth for him until he is ready to take on that responsibility himself, which usually happens by age six or seven.

 

 What is the cause of caries?

Certain types of bacteria live in our mouths. When these bacteria come in contact with foods containing sugar left behind on your child's teeth after eating, acids are produced. These acids attack the enamel on the outside layer of the teeth and eventually eat through the enamel surface and create holes in the teeth, which we commonly call caries or cavities.

 

How can I prevent cavities?

Be sure that your child brushes his teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Flossing daily is also important, as flossing can reach spots between the teeth that brushing can't. Check with your pediatric dentist/Pedodontist about a fluoride supplement which helps tooth enamel be harder and more resistant to decay. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, limit snacking, and maintain a healthy diet. And finally, make regular appointments so that we can check the health of your child's teeth and provide professional cleanings.

 

What are dental sealants?

Sealants cover the deep pits and fissures in teeth that are hard to reach and are therefore susceptible to cavities and caries. We recommend sealants as a simple and safe way to prevent caries and help your child avoid cavities, especially in molars, which are the hardest to reach with the toothbrush.  

 

How can I protect my child's teeth if he/she plays sports?

When children's sports involve contact, we recommend mouthguards. If your child plays basketballl, football, or other sports, ask us about having a custom made mouthguard made to protect his teeth, gums, cheeks, and lips.  

  

 What should I do if my child sucks his thumb?

The large majority of children suck their thumbs or fingers as infants, and most grow out of it by the age of four, without causing any permanent damage to their teeth. If your child continues sucking his thumb/finger after the permanent teeth erupt, or sucks aggressively, please let us know to see if any problems may arise from this habit.

 

At what age should my child have dental x-rays taken?

Usually, we recommend taking x-rays around the age of two or three. The first set of radiographs consists of simple pictures of the front upper and lower teeth. Once the baby teeth in the back of the mouth are touching each other, regular x-rays are recommended every year. Permanent teeth start coming in around age six, and radiographs help us make sure your child's teeth and jaw are healthy and aligned correctly.