Our Bridgeport, Shelton & Westport, CT Pediatric Dentists Answer Your Most Common Questions
Thank you for choosing us for your child’s dental care. No matter your child’s age, we know that children’s dentistry is often a confusing and daunting topic for parents. From instilling good oral hygiene habits to financing dental visits, many questions can arise.
Our pediatric dentists, along with their skilled team, want you to feel as confident and comfortable as possible when you and your child are with us. Here are some questions and answers most often asked by parents. If you have any additional questions, we will be happy to answer them for you. Please email us or call our Shelton, Westport or Bridgeport offices for more information.
At what age should my child have his/her first dental visit?
“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 six and 12 months of age, certainly no later than his/her first birthday.
How may I best prepare my child if this is his/her first visit?
You can play a large part in preparing your youngster for the first visit to our office. View detailed info on our First Smiles program here. Try to act relaxed and at ease. Any anxiety on your part will probably be sensed by your child. Tell your child that we will “count” and “take pictures” of his/her teeth. Do not use any fear-provoking words such as “hurt,” “pull,” “drill,” and “needle.” Avoid statements like, “The doctor will not hurt you.” If someone says to you, “Don't think of a banana,” what is the first thing you think of? A banana, of course! It's the same with the word "hurt."
We will thoroughly explain each of our procedures to your child, in terms that he/she can understand, before we do it. We welcome parents into our patient-care areas so that we may review your child's history, diagnosis or problems, but request your cooperation in allowing our hygienist to develop a one-on-one relationship of trust and cooperation with your child.
What happens at my child’s first dental visit?
At the first visit, the hygienist will clean your child's teeth, administer a fluoride treatment, and check for decay. She will emphasize oral hygiene techniques to be practiced by both you and your child. The doctor will review your child's history, diagnosis, or specific problems. A full examination will be done of the teeth and supporting structures. Occlusion (bite) will be evaluated. Radiographs (X-rays) will be taken as necessary to ensure a thorough and comprehensive examination.
Subsequent appointments for restorations and sealants may be scheduled as needed. We will answer any questions you may have. When treatment has been completed, we will schedule a six-month re-care visit for your child.
What is your philosophy of treatment?
Our emphasis is on prevention both in the office and at home. We recommend regular periodic exams and cleanings, as well as thorough home care. Home care includes:
- Limited sweets
- Brushing at least two times a day and after meals
- Flossing at least once a day, preferably before bedtime.
Sometimes supplemental fluoride pills, rinses, or gels are indicated as part of the home preventive program. Because the primary teeth form the basis for adult dentition, we will do everything possible to preserve the integrity of your child's dentition while fostering a healthy and relaxed attitude toward dental care.
Our Bridgeport, Shelton and Westport, CT pediatric dentists offer a full range of dental services for children, adolescents and the special needs child, including restorative, preventive dental care, and interceptive orthodontics.
When will the condition of my child's teeth and supporting structures be discussed with me? Who will explain what work is needed and how much it will cost?
At the conclusion of your child's exam, the doctor will meet with you to explain what was found and what treatment is recommended. Before you leave the office, our patient records coordinator will discuss fees and options for payment.
If my child has cavities, how do you fill his/her teeth?
For small cavities, we are able to restore the teeth without the need for a local anesthetic. For larger cavities, your child will receive a local anesthetic after first having the area numbed with a numbing agent applied with a q-tip.
This may be the first time your child has received a local anesthetic. It will feel like a pinprick and should not be uncomfortable. In addition to blocking sensation from the teeth, the anesthetic “numbs” the lips, cheeks, and tongue in the area of treatment. This may be a puzzling or curious sensation for your child, but you must be careful that your child does not bite, suck, or chew his/her lips or tongue or laceration of the tissues could occur. While this is not serious, it is uncomfortable. Therefore, please watch your child closely for approximately one hour and avoid eating until the anesthetic has worn off.
How should I clean my baby's teeth?
A toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head, especially one designed for infants, is the best choice for infants. Brushing with water at least once a day, at bedtime, will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Do not use fluoridated toothpaste until age three.
What forms must I fill out?
From this website, you may complete and submit a Patient Registration Form online or you may choose to download and complete a Patient Registration Form at your convenience and bring it with you to your first appointment. By doing this in advance, you will be able to fully enjoy our unique office with your child.
What are my financial options?
If you have dental insurance, please complete the employee portion of your form and bring it with you as well. After your dental benefits have been determined, you will be required to pay only the unpaid portion of your fee at the time of service. Other financial options will be explained to you at your first appointment.
Do you have a cancellation policy?
We recognize the value of your time. Except in emergency situations we try to be on time for you. If for some reason you cannot keep your appointment, we ask that you notify us at least 24 hours in advance to avoid a cancellation fee. In the event of dental emergencies, you may reach us by calling our office anytime.
Your aim as a parent and our aim as your child's dentist are the same: to keep your child's teeth and mouth in good health and to make the process of doing so a pleasant one for all. If, at any time, you have any questions regarding any treatment, fee or service, please discuss them with us promptly and openly. We will make every effort to promote a long-term, mutually satisfying relationship.
Commerce Park Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics serves families in Bridgeport, Shelton, Westport, and the greater Fairfield and New Haven county areas. We have helped thousands of local children start their journey toward a lifetime of healthy smiles. Please contact our Shelton, Westport or Bridgeport office today for more information about our services or to schedule an appointment for your child!
We look forward to greeting you and your child!
Lawrence Dinkes, DDS
Andrew Spadinger, DDS
Mary E. Ritter, DMD
Paula Cerqueira, DMD
Commerce Park Children's Dentistry and Orthodontics Team