Small Smiles

FAQs

FAQs

Question:

WHEN SHOULD I TAKE MY CHILD TO THE DENTIST FOR THE FIRST CHECK-UP?

Anwser :

In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a dentist when his/her first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday. At FORBA associated dental centers, we see children from first tooth to age twenty.

Question:

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TAKE CARE OF MY CHILD’S BABY TEETH – AND WHY WILL THE DENTIST TREAT THEM?

Anwser :

Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow.

Question:

HOW OFTEN DOES MY CHILD NEED TO SEE A DENTIST?

Anwser :

A check-up every six months is recommended in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, you should discuss the care of your child’s teeth with a dentist. Your child’s dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.

Question:

TOOTHPASTE: WHEN SHOULD WE BEGIN USING IT AND HOW MUCH SHOULD WE USE?

Anwser :

Fluoridated toothpaste should be introduced when a child is 2-3 years of age. Prior to that, parents should clean the child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. When toothpaste is used, parents should supervise brushing and make sure the child uses no more than a pea-sized amount on the brush. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.

Question:

HOW DO I MAKE MY CHILD’S DIET SAFE FOR HIS/HER TEETH?

Anwser :

Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, as well as meat & fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child’s teeth from decay. You can also ask your pediatric dentist to help you select foods that protect your children’s teeth.

Question:

HOW CAN PARENTS HELP PREVENT TOOTH DECAY?

Anwser :

Parents play an important role in their child’s dental health. Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with their first tooth. Parents and the child’s dentist can develop an at-home program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help develop a lifetime of healthy habits.

Question:

WHAT IS A DENTAL SEALANT AND WHY ARE THEY USED?

Anwser :

Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This protective layer shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years. Yet, for all of their success at preventing decay, especially on children’s molars, it is estimated that fewer than 25% of children receive this effective treatment.

Question:

HOW SAFE ARE DENTAL X-RAYS?

Anwser :

There is very little risk in receiving a dental X-ray, but protective measures are taken at all FORBA-associated dental centers to assure the safety of children and clinicians. Dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation. If you have additional concerns about X-rays, we welcome you to discuss them with your child’s dentist.

Question:

HOW LONG WILL MY CHILD’S APPOINTMENT TO LAST?

Anwser :

Each child’s dental appointment is different. Some children have excellent dental health and their appointments require little care. Other children, some of whom may not have had access to adequate care and treatment over the years, require longer, more complex treatment regimens. At FORBA-associated dental centers, we work to ensure that each child receives the care he or she needs in a comfortable environment. For this reason, we limit the length of appointments to one hour. If a child needs additional treatment, we will work with the child’s parent to schedule a follow-up visit. Limiting the length of appointment and the number of procedures in one sitting allows us to provide focused, high-quality care while keeping children comfortable during treatment.

Question:

MY CHILD DOES NOT ENJOY VISITING THE DENTIST. HOW CAN I HELP MAKE MY CHILD MORE COMFORTABLE DURING HIS OR HER TREATMENT?

Anwser :

At FORBA-associated dental centers, dentists work to help make your dental visit a positive experience. Caregivers will make every effort to ensure your child’s comfort while managing his or her behavior in a way that allows the treatment they need to occur. Caregivers employ means to communicate with your child such as positive reinforcement and “tell-show-do” – a method where the child learns about procedures to be performed before they happen.

Additionally, it is helpful for parents to prepare their children for what to expect before coming to the dentist. FORBA-associated dental centers welcome children and parents to visit the dental center before their appointment. We encourage parents who are interested in touring a facility to call the dental center prior to their appointment.

Question:

WILL I BE PERMITTED TO BE WITH MY CHILD DURING HIS OR HER TREATMENT?

Anwser :

Yes. At FORBA-associated dental centers,parents are welcome to accompany their children during treatment.

Question:

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF MY CHILD IS UNCOOPERATIVE TO THE POINT WHERE TREATMENT MAY NOT OCCUR?

Anwser :

We understand that children may have anxieties when visiting the dentist. Dentists and hygienists understand these apprehensions and use a variety of techniques to help patients feel more comfortable. Some of these techniques include “tell-show-do”, a technique that teaches patients the important aspects of their dental visit and familiarizes them with what they should expect. Additionally, our dentists and hygienists work on positive reinforcement with patients both during and after treatment. In some instances, treatment may be discontinued and an appointment may be scheduled to attempt treatment again at a later date.

Question:

WILL MY CHILD BE RESTRAINED DURING TREATMENT?

Anwser :

In some situations, children arrive at a dental center with severe tooth decay and in a great deal of pain. We work to make children in these situations as comfortable as possible. In some rare instances, where a lack of treatment may endanger the child, children may be placed in a protective stabilization device – a type of gentle restraint — in order for treatment to proceed. The need for the use of a protective stabilization device is rare, requires a parent’s written consent, and is used only to protect the health and safety of the child. FORBA-associated dental centers use these types of devices in strict accordance with the treatment guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Question:

WHY DO FORBA-ASSOCIATED DENTAL CENTERS ACCEPT MEDICAID CHILDREN?

Anwser :

Our mission at FORBA-associated dental centers is to provide the highest quality dental care to low-income children in the Medicaid and SCHIP populations. While some dental centers accept other forms of payment, our primary goal is to provide care for low-income and underserved populations. As part of the Medicaid program, every child is entitled to comprehensive dental care services as part of the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment Program. But, in 1996, the Inspector General indicated that only 18% of eligible Medicaid children received a single preventative service. The Association of Maternal and Children’s Health Programs attributes this disparity to the lack of dentists that participate in the Medicaid program as well as underfunding in the Medicaid program.

Question:

I HAVE TO DRIVE LONG DISTANCES TO TAKE MY CHILD TO THE DENTIST. WHY AREN’T THERE MORE DENTISTS WHO ACCEPT MEDICAID?

Anwser :

Fewer than 25% of dentists nationwide accept Medicaid. FORBA has invested millions of dollars to open new clinics nationwide specifically for families who receive Medicaid and SCHIP assistance, and we are committed to expanding access to quality dental care for underserved children.

Question:

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE CONCERNS REGARDING THE TREATMENT MY CHILD RECEIVED AT THE DENTIST’S OFFICE?

Anwser :

Parents are encouraged to speak directly with their child’s dentist and other caregivers at their dental center. Parents may also complete the survey provided by the dental center, and/or call our parent hotline at 1-877-302-KIDS.

Question:

IN WHAT WAYS ARE DENTISTS AND CAREGIVERS AT FORBA-ASSOCIATED DENTAL CENTERS QUALIFIED AND EDUCATED TO TREAT CHILDREN?

Anwser :

Dentists at FORBA-associated centers must hold degrees from accredited dental schools and are licensed in the states where they practice. Other caregivers, such as dental hygienists, X-ray technicians and dental assistants, must also be trained and certified according to the laws and regulations of the states where they work. In addition, FORBA provides continuing education and training materials through partnerships with dental schools and other programs led by our Chief Dental Officer, Dr. Steven Adair, a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Question:

HOW DO DENTISTS AT FORBA-ASSOCIATED DENTAL CENTERS ENSURE THAT TAXPAYER RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN’S HEALTH ARE BEING USED WISELY?

Anwser :

Caregivers and other employees at the dental centers are held to the highest standards of accountability in terms of ethics and compliance. We work closely with the appropriate state agencies and other third parties to ensure that issues such as billing and records reflect our commitment to the proper stewardship of public resources.

Question:

WHO OWNS THE LOCAL DENTAL CENTER WHERE MY CHILD RECEIVES CARE?

Anwser :

Each dental center is owned by a dentist in the state where care is provided. The owner is often the lead dentist at the center, whose name is clearly displayed on entrance door.

Question:

HOW DO I SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT FOR MY CHILD?

Anwser :

Visit our website to find a dental center in your area. Use the phone number listed to contact the dental center directly to schedule an appointment for your child. We look forward to seeing you and your child soon!