Common Questions from Parents


The team at Children's Dental of Waltham in Waltham, MA, is happy to answer common questions from parents regarding pediatric dentistry, our services, and how we can work together to build and maintain your child's healthy smile.

A man and a young girl smile and take a selfie

When Does Teething Start?

Teething starts when your child's first teeth or 'milk teeth' emerge. The age at which they erupt can vary from three to 12 months.

When Should My Child Have His or Her First Dental Visit?

Children should visit the dentist shortly after the first tooth erupts or before they have their first birthday. 

What Happens at the First Visit?

We typically take x-rays and perform fluoride treatments and cleanings during your child's first dental appointment. We also give your child an age-appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste and instruct him or her about at-home care.

How Often Should My Child Visit the Dentist?

The American Dental Association recommends that children visit a pediatric dentist at least twice each year for regular professional teeth cleanings and examinations. Our dentists can determine if your child needs to come into the office more frequently after thoroughly assessing your child's oral health.

What Are Some Common Pediatric Treatments?

We offer both preventive and restorative treatments to our young patients. We also offer the option of nitrous oxide sedation to make the treatment process comfortable.

Preventive Dentistry

  • Dental Cleanings
  • X-rays
  • Fluoride Treatments

Restorative Dentistry

  • Cavity Treatment 
  • Tooth-Colored Fillings
  • Teeth Extractions
  • Root Planing and Scaling
  • Mouth Guards
  • Root Canals and Prostheses
  • Stainless Steel Crowns
  • Space Maintainers

When Should I Start Brushing My Child's Teeth, and How Much Toothpaste Should I Use?

Your baby's dental care should start before the first teeth emerge. We recommend that the child's gums be cleaned with a soft, damp washcloth or gauze pad after feeding, and to start using a toothbrush when the first tooth appears. The toothbrush should have soft bristles and a small head that fits comfortably into your child's mouth.

You should start using a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste after your infant's first tooth appears, and ensure that he or she does not swallow the toothpaste. The amount should increase to a pea-sized dollop once the child is three years of age.

Parents play a very important role in safeguarding the health of their child's smile.

What Can I Do to Help My Child with Preventive Dentistry?

Parents play a very important role in safeguarding the health of their child's smile. Parents should encourage at-home oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice and flossing once daily, as well as ensure a healthy diet that limits sugary foods and drinks. Taking your child to the dentist twice a year for cleanings and examinations is a major step in pediatric preventive dentistry. The dentists at Children's Dental of Waltham can also recommend a fluoride treatment if your child requires it.

What Are Dental Sealants and Does My Child Need Them?

Dental sealants, made with plastic resin, form a protective barrier against bacterial deposits and plaque formation and are especially useful for shielding the premolars and molars from decay. Your dentist may recommend dental sealants for your child to help prevent cavity formation.

Is It Safe for My Child to Receive X-Rays?

Dental x-rays pose minimal risks to children and are an essential diagnostic tool for pediatric dentists to identify hidden oral health problems such as cysts, abscesses, or developing orthodontic issues that cannot be detected during a visual examination. Early diagnosis allows for preventive action that is both more comfortable for your child and less expensive for parents. Our office takes the standard precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of your child is protected.

When Should Children Stop Using Their Pacifier?

Though pacifiers help soothe your infant, it is recommended that you begin limiting or stopping pacifier use between the age of 6 and 12 months. The extra pressure exerted during sucking can cause dental misalignment (known as an open bite).

Does My Child Need Braces?

Children between the ages of eight and 14 often receive orthodontic treatment in the form of braces to straighten malpositioned or crowded teeth. The dentists at Children's Dental of Waltham can recommend an appropriate treatment according to your child's unique needs.

Schedule Your Child's Appointment

If you have any questions about our services or you would like to schedule an appointment for your child, please call our office at (781) 899-7070 or contact us online. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.