At what age should my child first see a pediatric dentist? Why?
We support the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s recommendation that a child should see the dentist when their first tooth arrives, but no later than 12 months of age. This allows the child to begin to feel comfortable in the dental setting, as well as giving the parents an opportunity to ask questions and become educated about their child’s dental health. Our specialists and team are uniquely trained to provide the highest level of dental care to the youngest of children.
Learn more about Pediatric Dentistry.
My child has special emotional and physical needs. Do you have experience working with children with special needs?
Yes. We see many children with a wide range of emotional, physical, and/or developmental needs at Frederick Pediatric Dentistry. Our specialists have years of additional training working with children with special needs, and we respect and understand that you know your child better than anyone.
Learn more on our Special Needs Care page.
My child is so young. They won't sit still for the exam! Is that OK?
Of course. Very young children are not usually ready to sit in the dental chair alone. Our entire team at Frederick Pediatric Dentistry is uniquely trained to provide the youngest of patients with comfortable, soothing care. Some children feel more comfortable on their parent’s lap for an exam, and we encourage this. We have successfully evaluated children as young as 2 days old in this manner!
Do you offer Orthodontic services for adults?
Absolutely! Our Orthodontic services are not just for children and teenagers but also for adults. We can help you with expanders, retainers, Invisalign and more. Dr. Choi will first do a initial complimentary orthodontic exam to provide you with a customized orthodontic treatment plan.
Will I be allowed to come back to the room with my child while they receive treatment?
Yes. At Frederick Pediatric Dentistry, parents are always invited back to the treatment room while their children receive care.
Will you need to restrain my child for dental care?
No. Frederick Pediatric Dentistry takes a unique, gentle approach to caring for all children. We find that Papoose Boards or other restraint devices are not necessary in our practice. Our team strongly believes that a lifetime of comfortable dental care starts with pleasant first appointments. If your child is not as relaxed as they can be with treatment in the office, we will talk with you about other treatment options.
My child was born with Cleft Lip and Palate. Are you trained to work with these types of conditions?
Yes. The specialists at Frederick Pediatric Dentistry have a great deal of experience treating children who have been treated for cleft lip and/or palate. These conditions are often addressed using a team approach. Our practice is proud to work with the Johns Hopkins Craniofacial Team. Dr. Joseph Camacho is currently on the Hopkins team.
Do you do sedation in your office? Is it safe?
Yes. Frederick Pediatric Dentistry takes the safe sedation of children for dental care very seriously. Our office is one of only a select group of pediatric practices in the State of Maryland to have applied for, been inspected, and received a Class 1 Sedation Permit. This permit is an assurance to families that our office is specially equipped for the safe sedation of children. If it is recommended for your child’s comfort, our Doctors may offer a mild-to moderate oral sedation appointment for your child. They perform sedations in the manner recommended and approved by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. The type of sedation that we provide in our office does not put your child “to sleep.” If your child would benefit from having their dental treatment completed in one visit while they sleep, our Doctors have privileges at various surgical centers and hospitals in our area.
Can my child be put to sleep for treatment?
Yes. Our specialists and staff will talk with you to determine if General Anesthesia is appropriate for your child.
What are sealants and how do they work? I heard something on the news about BPA and sealants that concerns me.
A sealant is a protective coating that is applied to the chewing surface of posterior (back) teeth. Sealants cover the naturally-occurring deep grooves and pits in the surface of a tooth. This prevents bacteria and food from becoming lodged within the tooth and possibly causing a cavity. The sealants used at Frederick Pediatric Dentistry do not contain BPA.
I've heard some things in the news about fluoride treatments possibly harming my child. Should I be concerned?
The American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all support the controlled use of fluoride. Frederick Pediatric Dentistry agrees with this recommendation. Fluoride comes in many forms, but the body uses fluoride differently depending on what form it is in. For example, community water sources in this area of the United States are often fluoridated. If the water is not fluoridated, but is tested and found to be low in fluoride, tablets or drops are prescribed. Fluoride drops or tablets work on a systemic, or whole-body level, incorporating itself into the developing teeth. Recently, studies have shown that it works even more on a topical, or localized, level, directly strengthening tooth enamel. A topical effect also comes from the fluoride found in toothpaste and the varnish that is professionally applied. Both systemic and topical forms of fluoride are beneficial to the teeth that are currently present as well as the teeth that are still developing. Fluoride should be used at least through the age of 16. Your child’s pediatric dentist and hygienist have the specialized skills and training to recommend the type(s) of fluoride that will be most beneficial to your child. Some families express concerns about the use of fluoride. If you have any reservations regarding the use of fluoride for your child, please do not hesitate to speak with your child’s pediatric dentist or hygienist, who will answer your questions thoughtfully and courteously.
My child plays sports. Should they be using a mouth guard?
Probably. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), 10-39% of all dental injuries in children are due to sports-related accidents. Children between the ages of 7-11 are the most likely to sustain these types of injuries, but they may happen at any age. It is also suggested that the cost of all injuries, including those to the mouth and face, are estimated to exceed 1.8 billion dollars annually for young athletes. In 2005, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimated that the overall cost to treat an avulsed (“knocked out”) permanent tooth ranges from $5,000 to $20,000 over a lifetime. The National Federation of State High School Associations mandate mouth guards for only four sports, but fortunately, some states have added to this list. Children who participate in baseball, softball, basketball, football (including flag or touch), soccer, field hockey, ice hockey, boxing, martial arts, and lacrosse should most definitely wear a mouth guard during the sport. However, children who wrestle, skateboard, inline skate, bike, play volleyball, and even do gymnastics should also be wearing mouth protection. In addition to protecting the teeth, properly-fitting mouth guards also aid to protect the jaws from severe injuries and the brain from concussions because they absorb much of the impact of a hard force. Mouth guards made under the direction of a dentist are usually more protective than those purchased in a retail store.
Are dental x-rays safe for my child?
Yes, when used appropriately under the guidelines of the American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. The x-rays used at Frederick Pediatric Dentistry take advantage of newer digital technology. Digital x-rays, or radiographs, expose your child to less than ¼ of the radiation of conventional dental radiographs. Imaging software has increased our ability of us to much more accurately diagnose, treat, and sometimes refer children to other professionals, such as an orthodontist or oral surgeon, for comprehensive care. Our team uses applications much like we use for digital home photography to examine your child’s radiographs. Software tools such as Zoom, Color Inversion, and Contrast help us examine various aspects of the same radiograph in much more detail, instead of exposing your child to additional x-rays of that area. Rest assured that your child will still be covered with a lead shield during the x-ray procedure.
My child is 8 and still sucks his thumb. How can I help him stop?
There are many ways to help an older child stop sucking their thumb. We have found that positive reinforcement (as opposed to punishment) works best. Reward systems, star charts, etc. are excellent ways to start reducing a thumb habit. If these are ineffective, reminder therapy such as a clean sock taped to the hand (during bedtime, for example) and special thumb guards are available. Gentle orthodontic appliances are also available if other options are not effective in stopping the habit.
When should my child stop using a pacifier? Can you suggest any ways that I can help?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests pacifier use until an infant is 12 months old because it may help to prevent SIDS. Beyond the age of 12 months, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that pacifiers (and thumb sucking as well) are stopped by the age of 36 months. Habits that persist past this time may cause changes to a child's teeth that may require future treatment. There are several ways to help your child stop using a pacifier. As with thumbsucking, we discourage punishment. Instead, we have learned several creative ways to help. One way is to simply "lose" the pacifier on vacation, at an amusement park, or at home. Another way is to tie the pacifier to a helium balloon and allow it to fly away while you explain to your child how special they are to be growing up and won't need their pacifier any longer. One mother suggested that they took her child's pacifier to the beach with them, and she told her daughter that all the baby fish need her pacifier. Together, they threw it into the ocean, and then talked about how "big" of a girl she was for sharing her pacifier with the fish. Of course, these methods are sometimes easier said than done. The younger a child is when they stop using the pacifier, the easier it is. We find that parents who discontinue the pacifier over a weekend have more success than during the week.