Sporting Smiles
A Great Dentist

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Adolescent/Teen Dental Care

How can we help you?

When it comes to your child's health, being engaged matters. We are here to answer your questions and help you feel confident in the decisions you make. 

We've collected some of the questions we hear most often here at Sporting Smiles. If your question isn't on this list or you need more information, please don't hesitate to call our office. 

Adolescent/Teen Dental Care

  • When it comes to infants, avoid putting them to bed with a bottle. It’s also beneficial to try to keep shared utensils or toys away from them, so they don’t get additional germs in their mouth.
  • It is important to establish a healthy oral hygiene routine as early as infants have their first tooth come in. Parents can begin brushing at least once a day at bedtime and as children become old enough to brush, parents can create a routine and make it fun!
  • Children and adults should brush their teeth at least twice per day and for at least two minutes each time. Do not forget to brush your tongue as well. In addition to brushing you also need to floss at least once per day.
  • Visit to your dentist’s office at least every 6 months for a check up and cleaning. This will help ensure a healthy mouth, as your dentist will be able to discover any issues that may arise.
  • See an orthodontist as recommended by your dentist or if you feel you have issues that may warrant a consultation with one. Such issues as bite misalignment, braces, and teeth straightening are best handled by an orthodontist, who is a trained specialist in these areas.
  • Always use a mouth guard when playing sports. This simple little device, which can be picked up at a sporting good’s store, can save you a great deal of pain and money later!
  • Replace your toothbrush regularly, which is every two to three months or as the bristles become frayed.
  • Keep drinks in check! Sugar drinks should be avoided or kept to a minimum, as well as highly acidic drinks (e.g., citrus sodas and sports drinks, etc.), which can eat away at and erode the tooth enamel.

The chewing surfaces of your teeth, particularly the ones in the back, have a number of deep grooves. These grooves have a tendency to trap food particles, which makes them prone to cavities.

We apply sealants to fill in these grooves, a fast, comfortable, and effective preventive treatment that protects the teeth for several years. Sealants are a thin plastic coating that we paint onto the surfaces of the teeth and then cure to harden into place. Because they are tooth-colored and usually placed on the back teeth, they are mostly unnoticeable and don't interfere with your child's dental development or ability to speak and chew foods. Your child's safety is important to us, so at Sporting Smiles, we provide sealants that are 100% BPA free.

We typically recommend sealants on all permanent molars with deep grooves once they are fully erupted. If a child is at very high risk for developing cavities, we may also recommend sealing baby teeth.

Each child’s individual needs are taken into account when deciding on a plan for treatment. Call our Gainesville pediatric dental office today to schedule a visit. We'll discuss your child's needs with you and determine the best way to protect their teeth throughout their childhood.

Mouth guards can be used to protect a child’s teeth, lips, cheeks, and gums from sport-related injuries. While ‘boil and bite’ mouthguards are effective, a custom-fitted mouthguard developed by a pediatric dentist will ideally protect your child from injuries to the teeth and face and even provide protection from severe injuries to the head, including concussions.

Baby bottle tooth decay (also called early childhood caries and nursing caries) takes place when a baby’s first teeth are frequently in contact with sugar. This sugar often comes from sweet drinks like fruit juice, milk, flavored water, and formula.  

As the bacteria in your baby's mouth break down the sugars, they produce acid, which eats away at the teeth, causing tooth decay. If left untreated, decayed teeth are quite painful, and your baby may try to avoid chewing and eating.

If baby teeth are decayed, become infected, or are lost early, they can prevent the permanent teeth from erupting into their proper positions. When baby teeth are badly decayed, they can become severely infected with the possibility of that infection spreading elsewhere.

Children should not be permitted to take a bottle to bed. Ideally, children should be weaned from the bottle by 12 months of age. Additionally, a "sippy cup" should only be used to transition your child from the bottle to a regular cup.

Scheduling your child’s first dental visit at Sporting Smiles by their first birthday is a great opportunity to learn how to keep your child happy, healthy, and cavity free. We are your partners i health and will work with you closely to keep your child's smile in great shape!

At Sporting Smiles, we stress the importance of starting healthy habits early.

From the moment you bring your baby home, start cleaning your baby’s mouth before he or she even develops those first few teeth. Your baby's gums and tongue can be effectively cleaned with moistened gauze, a soft cloth, or a silicone fingertip brush while you are giving your baby a bath. Developing this habit early makes it easier for both you – and your child – to stick with it.

When your child’s first tooth erupts, you can make the switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head. These are available for infants, and we are happy to provide a product recommendation if you'd like. Use this brush at least twice a day, and particularly at bedtime, to remove the bacteria build-up that leads to decay.

Children often do not have the manual dexterity needed to effectively clean their teeth. For this reason, we recommend brushing for your child until they are 8 years of age and flossing for them until they are 10 years of age.

To learn more about fluoridated toothpaste and other recommended products, please call our Gainesville, VA dental office today. A diligent approach to home care now will help your child maintain optimal oral health. 


Active patients at Sporting Smiles Pediatric Dentistry & Family Orthodontics can request to have a custom form-fitting mouthguard for a fee. Our staff will take an impression to create a custom mouthguard and will make adjustments to ensure the best fit.

Our doctors may also recommend off-the-shelf mouthguards that can be purchased at local sporting goods stores.

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