FAQ | Great Grins Children's Dentistry | Pediatric Dentist | Tucson, AZ


Children’s Dentistry in Tucson

Q. What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

A. Great Grins is a children’s dentistry in Tucson. So, what makes a pediatric dentist different? Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialty training following dental school and limits their practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are the primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

Q. When should I take my child to the pediatric dentist for the first check-up?

A. Your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears or no later than your child’s first birthday.

Q. Why so early?

A. Regular and early dental visits allow your child to begin a thorough prevention program. Dental problems can begin early but most dental problems can be prevented or corrected with early intervention. The main concern for the pediatric dentist is Early Childhood Caries (nursing bottle caries). A child risks severe decay from using a bottle or sippy cup during naps, at night, when continuously breast-feeding or when using the sippy cup. The earlier the dental visit the better the chance of preventing dental problems. Your child’s primary teeth serve many important functions including allowing for proper speech and mastication (chewing), and holding space for permanent teeth.

Q. When should we begin to use toothpaste and how much?

A. The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use a smear of fluoride toothpaste (or an amount about the size of a grain of rice) for children less than 2 years of age. For 2-5 year olds, dispense a “pea-size” amount of toothpaste and perform or assist with your child’s tooth brushing. Young children DO NOT have the ability to brush their teeth effectively. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.

Q. How often should a child have dental x-rays?

A. Since every child is unique, the need for dental x-rays varies from child to child. In this office, dental x-rays are only taken after a review of your child’s medical and dental health history, and only when it is felt that dental x-rays are likely to yield information that a visual examination cannot. In general, children require x-rays more often than adults. Their mouths grow and change rapidly. Children are more susceptible to decay than adults. A child with higher rate of decay may need x-rays every six months. Children with a lower risk for decay require x-rays less frequently.

Q. How safe are dental x-rays?

A. We make every attempt to reduce the radiation exposure incurred by your child. We use digital (computer generated) x-rays which reduce the radiation exposure and lead aprons shields to protect your child. Using digital x-rays along with contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental x-ray examination is extremely
small. The risk is negligible. In fact, dental x-rays represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem. Learn more about your children’s dentistry in Tucson by calling (520)325-4746.

Q. What are dental sealants?

A. Sealants “seal out” or fill up the deep grooves and pits of these teeth and prevent food and bacteria from becoming lodged in those areas, thus preventing or reducing the development of cavities. They protect the surfaces of teeth having grooves and pits, primary the chewing services of back teeth. Sealants do not work between the teeth so flossing remains important to protect those areas from decay.

Q. What should I do in a dental emergency?

A. Please remain calm. Great Grins Children’s Dentistry offers 24-hour emergency care for our patients. If an emergency should occur after hours, please call our office (520) 325-4756 (GRIN) and follow the prompts to reach our doctors. Speak clearly and leave your contact information and a doctor will return your call.

Q. What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?

A. Remain calm and find the tooth. Hold it by the crown and try to reinsert it in the socket. If there is debris present, you can rinse it gently in cool water but do not scrub it. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and contact Great Grins immediately at (520) 325-4756 (GRIN). The tooth has a better chance of being saved if you act immediately.

Q. Why are mouth guards important in preventing dental injuries?

A. Mouth guards protect not just the teeth, but the lips, cheek and tongue. They help protect from such head and neck injuries as concussions and jaw fractures. Increasingly, organized sports are requiring mouth guards to prevent injury to their athletes. Research shows that most oral injuries occur when athletes are not wearing mouth protection.

Q. How can I help my child enjoy good oral health?

The following steps will help your child be part of the cavity-free generation:
1. Beware of frequent snacking especially with foods that are sticky and chewy
2. Brush at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
3. Floss once a day at bedtime
4. Have sealants applied when appropriate
5. Seek regular dental check-ups twice a year
6. Assure proper fluoride through drinking water, fluoride products or supplements

*Some information courtesy of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

  • Our Address

    Great Grins Children's Dentistry
    3953 E. Paradise Falls Drive, Suite 110
    Tucson, AZ 85712
    Phone: (520) 325-4746
    Fax: (520) 319-1031
    Legal Notices
  • Our Hours

    M - F 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM
    Alternating Mondays and Fridays
    Click here to view our schedule
  • Meet the Tooth Fairy

  • Get Social With Us