Category Archives: Pediatric Dentistry

Does my son need a mouth guard if he still has his primary teeth?

My 6 year old is in a junior soccer league. He doesn’t have his permanent teeth yet so I am wondering if a mouth guard is necessary. Thanks a lot. Nora

Nora – From a dentist’s perspective, a mouth guard is a must. Mouth guards protect the gums and teeth, and they absorb the impact to the face or mouth.

Although your son still has primary teeth, they need to be preserved. Primary teeth hold the position for permanent teeth and help guide them in place. When a primary tooth is missing, the other teeth will begin to drift toward the missing space. This can impact the growth of permanent teeth.

Trauma to the gums can be serious. A gash or cut in the gums can be a painful experience. If it’s serious, stitches may be needed. A mouth guard can help prevent or lessen the seriousness of such trauma. In addition to protect the teeth and gums, a mouth guard can protect the lips, jawbone, tongue, and cheeks.

The small investment for your son’s safety is less costly than an actual injury. Speak with your son’s dentist about your options for protecting his teeth during sports activities.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Does my child really need a root canal?

My daughter is 7 years old and she has had a horrible toothache for about 2 weeks. It hasn’t been horrible from the beginning, it just got progressively worse. I took her to our pediatric dentist, and she recommended a root canal for my daughter. She called it a pulpotamie (spelling?) but it’s basically the same thing. I am wondering if this is necessary if my daughter is going to lose the tooth anyway. Or why can’t the tooth just be extracted? I am just a little suspicious and for more reasons that this one incident. Thanks. Amy

Amy – If your daughter has an increasingly painful toothache, it’s a sign of an infection, which will continue to spread until it is removed.

A pulpotomy will remove the infection. A dental crown will be placed over the tooth to protect it. One of the advantages to keeping the tooth is that it will prevent the adjacent teeth from moving into an empty space if the tooth is extracted. Additionally, primary teeth help guide permanent teeth into the correct position.

You can consider visiting another pediatric dentist or family dentist to examine, and likely x-ray, your daughter’s tooth and provide you with a second opinion.


This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Dentist question for my son

I need to schedule my son’s first dental appointment. He will be 5 yrs old in October. I know I should have taken him sooner. I think my fear of the dentist has made me delay his first appointment. How do I prepare him for the appointment? – Melissa

Melissa – If you have already chosen the dentist for your son’s appointment, you can take your son to see the office and meet the staff. If your dentist is a family dentist who also treats children, take your son with you to your dental appointment so he can see your successful appointment. Don’t mention your fear of the dentist to your son. If you don’t have an appointment scheduled before your son will need his visit, stop by your dentist’s office to introduce your son to the staff.

Explain to your son that he is going to get his teeth checked and cleaned just as adults do. He will have healthy teeth and a nice smile.

If you are still deciding upon a dentist for your son and your own dentist treats children, both you and your son may be more comfortable there. If you haven’t made a decision on where your child where be treated, visit a few dental offices with your son to ensure you are both comfortable with the office environment and the staff.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Should I bring my three year old to a pediatric dentist or our family dentist?

Should I bring my three year old to a pediatric dentist or our family dentist? What’s the difference? – Jan

Jan – You first need to verify with your family dentist if there are age requirements for the children they treat. Many general dentists accept children as young as 2 ½ years old. Family dentists are able to care for the basic dental needs of children.

Parents and children are often more comfortable with having one dentist for the entire family.

A pediatric dentist is specialist with two years of post-graduate training specific to dentistry for children. Generally, a specialist is not required to help your child maintain good oral health.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Does my child really need extensive dental work?

Our dentist is recommending some pretty heavy treatment for our 5 year old daughter. I’m not so sure that a child needs crowns or a root canal treatment. These are primary teeth that she is going to lose, so why put all of that time and money into them? And why should we put our daughter through all of the dental appointments required to get the work done? I appreciate your input. Tia

Tia – The condition and position of children’s primary teeth can affect the growth of permanent teeth. Primary front teeth loosen and erupt between ages 6 and 7. But the eruption of most premolar and molar teeth occurs between ages 10 and 13, depending on the particular tooth in question.

Cavities spread quickly in primary teeth. If you daughter’s primary teeth need to be protected or saved, it’s to ensure the proper development of her permanent teeth. If endodontic treatment (pulpotomy is the term for pediatric root canal treatment) is not performed, the infected tooth could be lost.

Teeth that are infected or decaying can cause discomfort and pain, and they are unhealthy for the remaining teeth. Your dentist is considering your daughter’s long-term oral health.

Parents can help preserve their children’s teeth by avoiding or limiting sugary drinks and snacks, which promote tooth decay. Children’s teeth should be brushed and flossed when they appear. As your child grows and is able to handle a toothbrush and floss, teach him or her to practice good oral hygiene. Many dentists examine children’s teeth as early as age 2 or 2½.

If you are uncomfortable with your pediatric dentist’s recommendations, consider getting a second opinion.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.