Family Dentistry FAQ

What is Family Dentistry?

Family Dentistry addresses and treats oral health at every stage of life. It is a specialty just like oral surgeons and periodontists. From infants to grown adults, a family dentist is there through every stage ensuring that your smile is healthy and beautiful. Typically, most family dentists will offer regular cleanings, fluoride treatments, cavity treatments, orthodontics, and treatments for gum disease. Not all family dentists will provide these treatments, but the above treatments are typically what you can expect. A family dentist will keep your smile healthy and glowing through every phase of life.


What is the difference between a Family Dentist and a General Dentist?

The main difference between the two is that a General Dentist restricts the ages of the patients they see. For example, a General Dentist may not see patients under twelve and a Family Dentist will see patients as early as six months. Family Dentists focus heavily on oral health education to help establish good habits early on.


How old should my child be for their first visit?

It’s typically recommended that your bring your child in for their initial visit within six months of their first visible tooth or their first birthday (whichever happens first). At this stage, your dentist will be able to identify any potential problems and schedule treatment for the future.


How often should you visit your family dentist?

Typically, we recommend you see your family dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning and exam. At these appointments, your dentist will check for cavities and other problems like gum disease. Your dentist may suggest an appointment every three months for certain health concerns.


What happens at my baby’s first dental appointment?

At your baby’s first appointment, the dentist will examine the health of your baby’s teeth- no matter how few there are! They will also discuss topics such as pacifier and finger sucking habits along with mouth cleaning and teething.


Do Family Dentist’s offer services such as teeth whitening?

They can! A dentist will never be a “one-size-fits-all” situation. It’s best to write down your goals for your new dentist to better understand what’s most important to you. Visit a few and ask a lot of questions before making the decision on your new Family Dentist!


What age will my Family Dentist stop seeing me?

Until they retire! A Family Dentist will see patients at any and all ages from six months to one-hundred+ years old.


How can I improve my family’s oral health?

The most important way to improve your family’s oral health is to ensure that they are brushing and flossing twice daily. Diet is also a major factor in oral health. Avoiding acidic foods and beverages like lemons, coffee, and pop and hard, sugary candies are key to having a healthy and happy mouth.


What is baby bottle tooth decay?

Baby bottle tooth decay happens when sugary liquids sit on a child’s tooth/teeth for long periods of time. We suggest avoiding coating pacifiers in sugar or syrup or giving your child a sugary drink at nighttime. When possible, avoid added sugars and when you do give your child a sugary drink like juice, brush their teeth or have them swish with water afterwards.


Is there anything I need to discuss with my pediatrician?

If a specific dental problem arises from a health problem, your dentist will talk with your pediatrician directly.