Pediatric Dentistry FAQs

a young boy wearing glasses and a denim jacket and large glasses, posing for a picture with a blue background

When should I schedule my child’s first visit to the dentist?

It is a good idea to make a dental appointment as soon as your child gets his first tooth, or at six months of age. Let us know of any special medical needs that your child has. We use standards from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry to determine what’s best for treating pediatric patients.

What will you do on the first visit?

The first visit is introductory: we focus on getting to know your child, and on giving you basic information about what to expect with pediatric dental care.

During the first visit, Dr. Kim will check out your child’s teeth, looking for any potential problems or special dental needs. We’ll get you started out with some home care materials and resources so that you can monitor your child’s dental health and follow up accordingly.

After the first visit, if you have any questions, call us!

What is the difference between family dentist and pediatric dentist?

A family dentist treats patients of all ages, from infancy to adulthood. When you go to a family dentist, you can bring the whole family! The dentist and staff will apply the treatments and philosophies that are right for each patient on the basis of his or her age.

A pediatric dentist, on the other hand, only treats patients from birth up until the age of 18.

As a family dentist, Dr. Sonny Kim is experienced in treating dental patients of all ages, with a set of specializations that provide treatment through the entire dental life cycle.

How often should my child visit the dentist?

It’s a good idea to get your child dental checkups every six months. We view the child’s first teeth as critically important in his/her early development. The primary teeth help with key tasks including speaking, chewing food properly, and making faces. They also hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth. The health of the teeth and gums is also important to your child’s general health.

What’s the best way to clean my baby’s teeth?

Clean a baby’s teeth after feedings with a damp, soft washcloth. You may choose to start with a tooth brush after the eruption of the first tooth. Pediatric tooth brush styles are made with soft bristles for little mouths. Start out with relatively gently home care until you can get more in-depth advice from the dentist on-site.

How can I help my child avoid cavities?

After the age of two, your child can brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Ask Dr. Kim about fluoride in pediatric toothpaste. Help your child to avoid sugary foods and drinks. It’s also important to make regular appointments to allow for good dental evaluation.

How do I create dental care habits for kids?

To get kids interested in dental care and set them up for good dental health later on, get into a routine of caring for the teeth. Have appropriate tooth brushes and tooth paste available, and get kids to initiate. Show them a timer so that they can see how long a two-minute brush is. And of course, take them to the dentist for regular checkups!

When does my child need dental sealants?

We recommend sealants, especially for molars, at an appropriate time after the teeth have sufficiently developed.

When should my child have dental X-rays taken?

We recommend taking X-rays around the age of two or three. Annual x-rays may be performed when the baby teeth in back are touching one another, and are especially important after permanent teeth start coming in around age six.

Saves me valuable time

I went to Dr. Kim last week to have a root canal. My current dentist only did cleaning and recommended that I go to a specialist to get a root canal. This was an inconvenience since I had to search for a specialist and take time off work for another appointment. The professional office staff scheduled me within a week and also got me started on the antibiotics – which helped me with my tooth pain and infections. I also liked the fact that Dr. Kim performed all facets of dentistry – from routine cleaning to root canal – one stop shop. I was nervous about the pain but I must say that after Dr, Kim explained to me the procedure, I felt I could trust his skills and judgement. I trusted him to the point that I actually fell asleep during the procedure (totally embarrassing). Except for the novocaine, I did not feel pain during and after the root canal. Even after the day of the procedure, I felt normal (gone was the throbbing pain I had felt for about a month). I also liked the high tech office equipments, professionalism of the office staff and their personal touch of the phone call the next day to make sure I was fine. I would highly recommend Dr, Kim to all patients looking to get any dental work. No more need to go to multiple specialists – that saves me valuable time!!

Candace G.