Answering All of Your Questions About Growing Smiles

Young girl with her backpack and lunchbox in front yard with her mother

As a parent, nobody gives you how-to books on helping your child internalize good habits that will keep their smile healthy for a lifetime. That’s why we’re here! Dr. Peng and our knowledgeable team at Little Penguin Pediatric Dentistry are always happy to answer any questions or concerns you have about your little one’s dental health and hygiene. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common ones we receive, along with our answers. If you still don’t see the information you’re looking for, feel free to call our office directly.

When should I bring my child to their first dental appointment?

The American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and Dr. Peng all advise bringing your child in for their first appointment by the time they turn one year old or whenever their first tooth erupts. These early visits will be crucial in building a positive association with the dental office, and once they get comfortable, we can begin conducting thorough dental cleanings to prevent cavities and other oral health problems.

What should I do if my child’s complaining about tooth pain?

If your child’s complaining of persistent tooth pain, we recommend calling our office. In cases where it’s preventing them from going to sleep or distracting them from their schoolwork, we’ll likely recommend a same-day emergency appointment. Our team will work quickly to help ease their discomfort and treat the problem at-hand.

Do you accept dental insurance?

Yes! We’re proud to accept all PPO dental insurance plans, allowing you to get the most out of your benefits and save from high out-of-pocket expenses.

Is sedation dentistry safe for children?

At Little Penguin Pediatric Dentistry, we take the safety and health of our patients very seriously, which is why we’ll never complete any treatments or procedures that we don’t feel comfortable or qualified to do. Dr. Julia Peng is a highly experienced specialist who has completed a pediatric dental residency after earning her dental degree. She gained experience and knowledge providing safe dental sedation to children to help them have more pleasant, positive experiences at the dental office. If you have any questions or concerns specific to dental sedation, please don’t hesitate to ask!

What’s the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

Dentists who have obtained their DDS or DMD degrees without completing any additional, specialized education can call themselves “family” or “general” dentists, as these aren’t actually specialties within the dental field. This just means that they’ve completed the baseline education that any and every practicing dentist needs to. However, pediatric dentists have completed a specialized two or three-year residency program where they specifically only treated growing smiles, which includes infants, children, teens, and those with special needs.

During training, pediatric dentists learned the ins-and-outs of kid-specific treatments, ranging from pulp therapy to how to help an anxious child feel calmer and more comfortable in the treatment chair. They also learn about developmental issues that can arise as a child’s smile is growing, and how to prevent and treat them.

At the end of the day, pediatric dentists are the best specialists to bring your child to, as they’re clinically trained to treat and care for developing smiles.

Do you see patients with special needs?

Yes! At Little Penguin Pediatric Dentistry, we’re happy to provide attentive, high-quality care for patients with special needs. If we begin seeing your child at a young age and they grow to feel most comfortable at our practice, we’re happy to continue seeing them, even into adulthood.