FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We know you may have lots of questions about your child’s teeth and oral health, and we’re here to answer those questions. We’ve divided the most frequently asked questions into sections for each stage of your child’s growth. Click on the categories below to learn more about how to care for your child’s teeth.

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT

We are always available for pediatric dental emergencies.

To speak to the doctor on call:

  • Call either 303.799.1872 (Centennial) or 303.758.6057 (Denver).
  • Leave a message with your name, your child’s name, and your phone number.
  • Push the numbers 91 on your touch-tone phone before you hang up.
  • Please be sure to remove any blocks you have on incoming calls.
  • The doctor on call will be paged and will return your call.

First aid for most common oral and dental trauma:

Oral Lacerations (cuts in the mouth)

Cuts in the mouth can be alarming because they bleed quite easily. A small amount of bleeding, mixed with a lot of saliva, always looks worse than it is. If your child has a cut in the mouth, rinse your child’s mouth with water several times. The good news is that oral lacerations heal quite well and rarely require stitches. Even lacerations of the tongue heal well quickly.

Primary Teeth

Chipped Primary Tooth
It’s common for infants and young children to fall and hit their mouths. When a baby tooth is chipped, your child generally doesn’t need to be seen by the doctor immediately. Often the chipped portion of the tooth will need to be smoothed as a matter of comfort for your child. Call our office to schedule an appointment at your convenience.

Primary Tooth Knocked Out
If a primary tooth is knocked completely out of your child’s mouth, apply gentle pressure with a clean, wet washcloth to the socket to help stop the bleeding. We don’t recommend trying to re-implant the tooth as this carries a high chance of infection and damage to the developing permanent tooth. Call our office to schedule an appointment with a doctor for evaluation.

Permanent Teeth

Permanent Tooth Chipped
Trauma to permanent front teeth often causes fractures of various sizes. These frequently cause sensitivity to cold and heat, and make eating uncomfortable. If there is an exposure of the nerve, there will be a red dot in the open part of the fractured area. If the nerve is exposed, call our office immediately to schedule an emergency appointment. If there is a chip or fracture where the nerve isn’t exposed, we should see your child to evaluate the tooth for possible treatment as soon as office hours allow.

Permanent Tooth Knocked Out
If your child has one or more permanent teeth knocked out, please follow these directions:

  • Hold the tooth by the crown—not the root—and rinse it off with water (cover the drain first).
  • Gently replace the tooth in the socket. Time is of the essence and the most important factor is to get the tooth back into the socket as quickly as possible. However, if you feel you cannot securely place your child’s tooth in the socket and there is a possibility that your child may swallow the tooth, we recommend that you place the tooth in milk for transportation to our office.
  • Call our office immediately for an emergency appointment. If it is after normal business hours, call one of our office numbers (303.799.1872 for Centennial or 303.758.6057 for Denver), leave a verbal message including your name, your child’s name, and your phone number then push the numbers 91 on your touch-tone phone before you hang up. This will page the on-call doctor to call you back.

Yes. Sports drinks can cause as many cavities as regular soda pop. During hot, strenuous activities, sports drinks may be helpful, but for the most part, children need to hydrate with water.

The decision as of if or when to remove the wisdom teeth is made on a patient-by-patient basis. Generally it is best to remove wisdom teeth shortly before they would have naturally erupted. Typically this is between the ages of 14-18.

Yes. We have a range of cosmetic bleaching options. It’s more efficient to wait until orthodontic treatment is completed before considering teeth whitening. If you are interested in whitening your teenager’s teeth and they do have braces, please consult with our doctors shortly before their braces are removed.

If your child has one or more permanent teeth knocked out, please follow these directions:

  • Hold the tooth by the crown—not the root—and rinse it off with water (cover the drain first)
  • Gently replace the tooth in the socket. Time is of the essence and the most important factor is to get the tooth back into the socket as quickly as possible. However, if you feel you cannot securely place your child’s tooth in the socket and there is a possibility that your child may swallow the tooth, we recommend that you place the tooth in milk for transportation to our office.
  • Call our office immediately for an emergency appointment. If it is after normal business hours, call one of our office numbers (303-799-1872 or 303-758-6057). Leave a verbal message including your name, your child’s name, and your phone number then push the numbers 91 on your touch-tone phone before you hang up. This will page the on-call doctor to call you back. Please be sure to remove any blocks you have on incoming calls.

Four things are necessary for cavities to form—a tooth, bacteria, sugars or other carbohydrates, and time. Dental plaque is a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone’s teeth. When you eat, the carbohydrates or sugars in your food cause the bacteria in plaque to produce acids that attack the tooth enamel. With time and repeated acid attacks, the enamel breaks down and a cavity forms.

120: Periodic oral evaluation $66.00

150: Comprehensive oral evaluation $98.00

220: Intraoral – periapical first radiographic image $36.00

240: Intraoral – occlusal radiographic image $50.00

272: Bitewing – two radiographic image $60.00

274: Bitewing – four radiographic image $85.00

330: Panoramic radiographic image $130.00

1110: Prophylaxis – Adult $101.00

1120: Prophylaxis – Child $78.00

1206: Topical fluoride varnish $47.00

1351: Sealant – per tooth $71.00

2391: Resin composite – surface 1, posterior $213.00

2392: Resin composite – surface 2, posterior $283.00

2930: Prefabricated stainless steal crown – primary $329.00

7140: Extraction, erupt tooth or exposed root $191.00

Yes! Primary or “baby” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also hold space that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt. Some of them are necessary until a child is 12 years old or older. Pain, infection of the gums and jaws, impairment of general health and premature loss of teeth are just a few problems that can happen when baby teeth are neglected. Also, because children who have decay on baby teeth have a higher risk of having decay on permanent teeth. Proper care of baby teeth is instrumental in enhancing the health of your child.

To comfort your child, rinse his/her mouth with warm salt water. You can also use ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain, but do not put heat on the sore area or give them aspirin. If your child’s face is swollen, call our office as soon as possible.

Sealants are clear or shaded plastic applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free. Sealants fill in the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth that are hard to clean and also shut out food particles that could get caught, causing cavities. Fast and comfortable to apply, sealants can effectively protect teeth for many years.

When your child’s primary teeth begin to erupt, it’s normal for them to have sore gums. The discomfort can be eased for some children by using a teething biscuit, a piece of toast, or a frozen teething ring. You can also use ibuprofen or acetaminophen for discomfort. Please follow instructions on the label for proper dosage.

Baby teeth, on the average, begin to erupt at 6-7 months. The two lower front teeth (central incisors) will usually erupt first, followed shortly by the two upper central incisors. The remainder of the baby teeth appear during the next 18 to 24 months but not necessarily in an orderly sequence from front to back. At 2 to 3 years, all of your child’s 20 primary teeth should be present.

Children may start using fluoride toothpaste when the baby teeth erupt, but only under direct supervision by a parent. Use only a very small amount of toothpaste (about half the size of a pea) and wipe off the tooth and gums with a washcloth afterwards.

Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing. It happens when a child goes to sleep while breast-feeding or bottle-feeding. During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural self-cleansing action of the mouth is diminished. Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle. Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. He/she should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age.

First visit by first birthday is the general rule. To prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, usually between 6 and 12 months of age and certainly no later than his/her first birthday.

A toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head is the best choice for infants. Brushing twice a day, especially at bedtime, will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay.

Pediatric dentistry is a dental specialty that focuses on the oral health of young people. Following dental school, a pediatric dentist spends two to three years in additional specialty training in the unique needs of infants, children, and adolescents, including those with special needs.