Dental FAQs

What Is A Pediatric Dentist?
In layman’s terms, a pediatric dentist is one who is specially trained to treat children. He or she will try to make their office kid-friendly, inviting, and fun! At McKinney Pediatric Dentistry our number one goal is to give your kids a positive dental experience.

For a more formal definition, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) describes pediatric dentistry this way: “Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only.”

“Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.”

Are Dr. Schaack and Dr. Freeze Pediatric Dentists?
Yes! Dr. Jon Schaack completed both his dental school training and pediatric dental residency training at Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, TX. Baylor College of Dentistry is widely known as one of the nation’s top training programs both in dentistry and in pediatric dentistry. Dr. Michelle Freeze completed both her dental school training and pediatric dental residency training at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry.

Furthermore, after completing a pediatric dental residency program, both Dr. Schaack and Dr. Freeze successfully completed a series of optional and further examinations in order to become “Board-Certified Pediatric Dentists”.

When Should I Bring My Child To The Dentist?
At McKinney Pediatric Dentistry, we also strive to help you, as a parent, see the importance of good dental care for your children. There are many preventive steps that should be taken to assure your child’s optimal oral health. We would love for you to be educated on these points.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child’s first visit to a pediatric dentist and the establishment of a “dental home” be no later than 12 months of age!
The AAPD defines a dental home as “the ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient” which provides comprehensive oral health care.

Here, your child will receive preventive care, restorative treatment, evaluation of growth and development, coordination with other specialty care (orthodontics, etc) and also emergency treatment when needed.

Choosing McKinney Pediatric Dentistry as your child’s dental home will help assure his/her optimal oral health and we know there is plenty of fun to be had along the way!

How Often Should My Child Visit The Dentist?
The most common interval of examination is 6 months. Certain patients, however, may require examination with preventive services at more frequent intervals, based upon specific risk factors (medical conditions which affect teeth, clinical and radiographic findings, etc).

Of course, if there is ever an emergency or special concern, your child may be seen at any time! Please don’t wait until a 6 month check-up appointment if your child is in pain or if there is any major trauma or injury to the teeth.

Dr. Schaack even takes calls on his cell phone after business hours for anyone with urgent questions!

Are Baby Teeth Really That Important?
It is important to care for the baby teeth in order to assure that permanent teeth are not adversely affected! We all know that untreated cavities in baby teeth can cause pain and discomfort to your child.

But untreated cavities also can cause undesired space loss in the dental arch, which can contribute to future crowding and incorrect positioning of permanent teeth. Space maintenance for permanent teeth is one of the most important functions of baby teeth, and keeping them healthy is important!

Baby teeth also allow proper chewing and eating, assist in the normal development of the jawbones and muscles, affect the development of speech, and contribute to the child’s attractive appearance.

Baby teeth usually begin to fall out at age 6, and your child should continue to lose his/her teeth over the next 6 years. By age 12, kids have usually lost most of their baby teeth.

How Do I Care For My Child’s Teeth?
You should begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they come in! Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and be sure to brush well around the gum-lines. While it is common for very young children to cry or not want to brush, it is best to stay consistent with twice daily brushing. Eventually they will learn that this is important and something that will be done regularly.

Despite young kids’ normal phases of crying when brushing, try to make it as fun as you can for your child! Sing the ABCs or their favorite song while brushing. And remember this about brushing teeth: you only have to brush the teeth you want to keep!

What Else Should I Know About Brushing?
When you bring your child into McKinney Pediatric Dentistry for a dental visit, we will spend time showing you the best ways to brush your child’s teeth. We suggest angling the soft bristles towards the gum line at a 45* angle and moving the brush in a circular pattern.

Brush each area for a good 10 seconds or more before moving on to another area of the mouth. This will help the gums to remain in good health and assure improved plaque removal.

Never scrub the teeth and gums with great force. Always use gentle pressure in a circular pattern. If you notice that the gums bleed a bit during brushing, it usually means that more time should be spent in these areas.

Don’t give up if your child cries when brushing. This only means that you can relate to every other parent out there who experiences the same thing from time to time. Children normally go through phases of resistance to brushing, so staying positive and consistent is important!

What Kind of Toothpaste Should My Child Use?
Many parents start off using the clear training toothpaste that has no fluoride. However, the AAPD actually states that the best practice for children includes “twice-daily use of a fluoridated toothpaste.”
How Much Toothpaste Should My Child Use?
To avoid the risk of swallowing too much fluoride, the AAPD specifies how much toothpaste to use when brushing. “A ‘smear’ of fluoridated toothpaste for children less than 2 years of age” (about the size of a grain of rice), and “a ‘pea-sized’ amount of toothpaste is appropriate for children aged 2 through 5 years.”

Once they are 5 years old, most children are better able to spit and the amount is less critical.
Parents should dispense the toothpaste and perform or assist with tooth brushing of young children. To maximize the beneficial effect of fluoride in the toothpaste, rinsing after brushing should be kept to a minimum or eliminated altogether.