When you visit West Valley Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Bailey and Dr. Cayla will do their best to answer any questions you may have about your child’s dental care. However, you recognize that you may have additional questions after you leave our office. On this page, we have provided a list of common questions as an easy resource for you. You are also welcome to contact us for further information or additional questions. We are always happy to help! Thank you for choosing us as your source for pediatric dentistry in Taylorsville, Utah!

At what age should I start bringing my child to the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child have their first dental appointment by the age of 1. During this initial appointment, our pediatric dentists will teach both parents and children about proper care for baby teeth, especially to help your child develop proper chewing functionality, speech development, and preparation for permanent teeth.

Why do I need to worry about my child’s baby teeth if they are just going to fall out?

Baby teeth will fall out, but they still play an important role in your child’s overall and future oral health for many reasons, including:

  • Helping your child feel confident about themselves
  • Maintaining proper chewing and eating functionality
  • Assisting in proper speech development
  • Promoting healthy jaw and muscle growth
  • Directing correct placement of permanent teeth

Baby teeth are more susceptible to decay when they first erupt, and should your child’s teeth become damaged, they can prevent your child from eating or speaking correctly. If left untreated, damaged teeth can also cause tooth loss or greater infection, which may require emergency treatments. To help your child avoid future problems, take your child to the dentist when their first teeth come in, and encourage good dental hygiene at home.

What causes cavities?

All people have natural bacteria in their mouths. This bacteria is okay in normal amounts, but sugary and acidic foods provide a food source and cause it to grow. If you do not brush or floss your teeth regularly, the bacteria will continue to grow and begin to eat away at your tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.

Cavities are areas of the tooth where the enamel has been removed and can often lead to having the tooth roots exposed. This causes great pain and discomfort for most people, but even if you don’t feel pain, the decay will continue unless it is treated by a dentist.

Besides brushing and flossing, what can I do to prevent cavities?

There are many things you can do to help protect your child’s teeth and prevent tooth decay, including:

  • Eat starches as part of a meal instead of a snack. This will increase your saliva flow and help wash away sugar that will feed harmful bacteria.
  • Avoid sharing cups, utensils, and other objects that come in contact with your mouth. Adults can pass harmful germs when sharing with children.
  • Do not give your child a bottle of juice, milk, formula, or soda when they are going to bed, or as a common snack; this can lead to quick tooth decay. Water is the best thing for your child to drink.
  • Bring your child to the dentist when they receive their first tooth, or before their first birthday.

Can children have their teeth whitened?

If your child wants to bleach their teeth, it is best to wait until they have all of their permanent teeth, usually around age 12. Otherwise, incoming adult teeth will not match the color of their bleached baby teeth. To whiten permanent teeth, OTC strips are a good option for children. They can also use overnight trays or come to the dentist for in-office treatments; however, these treatments are often more expensive and insurances usually don’t cover them. Whatever treatment your child receives, be sure to have your child brush their teeth with desensitizing toothpaste for a couple of weeks to minimize the sensitive side effects of teeth whitening.

Do you accept my insurance?

In short, it is most likely that we do. Our office accepts most dental insurances, including Medicaid and CHIP. You can always contact us prior to your visit to verify that we do accept your insurance.