Our Stuart, FL Children’s Dentists Answer Your Most Commonly Asked Questions

At Children’s Dentistry of Stuart, we provide quality, individualized pediatric dental care to kids in the Stuart, Palm City, and Port St. Lucie, FL areas. Our dentists and staff are committed to creating a fun, friendly, and relaxing office environment so our young patients feel safe and confident while spending time with our pediatric dentists. Whether you’re in need of sedation dentistry for your child or are looking for a local children’s dentist to care for your children’s oral health, we welcome you and your child to our Stuart, FL practice where we love working with kids! We also love to inform patients’ families about pediatric dental care. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from parents, along with our answers.

Why should my child see a pediatric dentist and not a regular dentist?


A children’s dentist or pediatric dentist focuses on the oral health of young people. Following the successful completion of dental school, a pediatric dentist has two or three years of additional specialty training focused on the unique needs of infants, children, and adolescents, including those with special health needs.

How old should my child be when setting up his or her first dental visit?

The general rule of thumb is: “First visit by first birthday.” To help your child avoid common dental problems, he or she should see a children’s dentist when the first tooth appears, which is typically between the ages of 6 and 12 months, and no later than the first birthday.

What is the correct way to clean my baby’s teeth?

Use a toothbrush specially designed for infants that has a small head and soft bristles. Gently brush your baby’s teeth at least once per day, preferably at bedtime to remove plaque that can lead to decay.

What is baby bottle tooth decay and how can I protect against it?

Baby bottle tooth decay is rapid dental decay associated with prolonged nursing. It occurs when a child goes to sleep while breast or bottle feeding. When your child is asleep, there is less saliva being produced which naturally self-cleans the mouth. Avoid putting anything other than water in your child’s bedtime bottle and don’t allow your child to fall asleep while nursing. 

How can I help my child with teething discomfort?

It is normal for the gums to be tender and irritated when new teeth begin to push through the gums. You can ease any discomfort your child feels when teething by giving him or her a frozen teething ring or frozen, slushy applesauce. You can also give your child Tylenol to help him/her sleep through the night and to alleviate the discomfort.

Is thumb sucking harmful to my child’s teeth?

Prolonged thumb or pacifier sucking can create crooked or crowded teeth or a misaligned bite. If your child is still sucking his or her thumb when their permanent teeth come in, your pediatric dentist can recommend a special mouth appliance. However, most kids stop these habits on their own.

When is it OK to allow my young child to use toothpaste?

If your child is under 3 years of age, you can use a small smear of fluoridated toothpaste to clean his or her teeth with a soft-bristled brush. After the age of 3, you should supervise brushing and have your child use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste. Make sure your child does not swallow the excess toothpaste - it should be spit out instead.

What should I do if my child gets a toothache?

Have your child rinse out his or her mouth with a warm salt water solution and apply a cold compress on your child’s face if it’s swollen. Never put heat or aspirin on the sore area. You may give your child acetaminophen for pain. Call us right away to schedule an appointment for your child.

How can I help my child protect his/her teeth while playing sports?

Provide your child with a protective mouthguard that should always be worn when playing sports or partaking in any activity that poses a risk of injury to the face, mouth, or teeth. A good quality mouth guard will fit snugly over the teeth, be comfortable to wear, and will allow for easy breathing and speaking. The best type of mouthguard is one that’s custom-made by your child’s dentist as it offers a high level of protection against sports-related injuries with a proper fit.

If my child develops a cavity in a baby tooth, should it still be filled even though this tooth will eventually be replaced with a permanent tooth?

You should schedule an appointment to visit one of our children’s dentist office right away for an evaluation. Your child’s primary teeth are important for speaking, chewing, and forming a pathway for the permanent teeth to follow when they are ready to erupt. When primary teeth are neglected, it puts your child at risk for decay, pain, and infection of the gums and jaws. Neglecting primary teeth can also lead to the premature loss of these teeth, which can cause the permanent teeth to come in crooked.

What action should I take if my child knocks out a permanent tooth?

Try to remain calm and find the tooth (if possible) and hold it only by the crown or top and not by the root. Gently place the tooth back in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a washcloth. If you cannot put the tooth back in the socket, place it in a clean container with milk or water and take your child and the tooth to your pediatric dentist. The faster you act, the better chances are for saving the tooth.

Contact Your Stuart, FL Children’s Dentist

If you have any questions about your child’s teeth or overall oral health, please don’t hesitate to contact us as we’re always happy to speak with you! If it’s time for your child to see the dentist, please complete our appointment request form. Our practice is proud to offer a wide range of quality pediatric dentistry services to children living in and around Stuart, Palm City and the Port St. Lucie, Florida areas. We look forward to hearing from you soon and helping your child achieve his or her best possible smile!