Specialists in Pediatric & Adolescent Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions

We've compiled a list of the common questions we hear from parents. Click on the question below to read the answer.

What is the difference between a pediatric and general dentist?

Dr. André Lewis is a certified pediatric dental specialist. This means that after receiving a degree in dentistry, she completed a 2 year residency program to earn a specialty certification. Her practice is limited to the treatment of patients from age 0-18, including patients with special needs.

When should I schedule the first visit?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see the dentist by their first birthday.

How often will my child need check-ups?

Children should be seen every 6 months unless they have dental concerns that require more frequent visits.

Does my child's diet affect their dental health?

A balanced diet is crucial for the proper development of your child's teeth, as well as the health of the surrounding tissues.   A healthy diet includes dairy, protein, fruit, vegetables and whole grains. It is important to avoid frequent use of starchy, sticky or sugary foods as well as sugary beverages.

What can I do to prevent "baby bottle decay?"

Decay occurs when sugars or starches sit on the teeth and cause bacteria to wear away at the tooth's protective coating called the enamel. The best way to prevent any decay is to limit sugary foods and drinks and to always brush after eating.  Parents should avoid giving their child a bottle or sippy cut with milk at bedtime, as the sugars in the milk will then sit on their teeth. Sugared beverages including juice should be avoided all together. Instead, use water for bottles or sippy cups given before bedtime.

How can I prevent cavities?

  • Brush and floss twice daily.
  • Limit sugary drinks, especially between meals.
  • Get a dental check up and cleaning every 6 months.
  • Avoid sticky foods.
  • Give "treat" foods with mealtime (rather than between meals).
  • Choose nutritious snacks.

When do baby and adult teeth come in?

Each individual is unique and develops at a different rate. The charts below give a general guideline for eruption of both primary (baby) teeth

and permanent (adult) teeth.

Is dental care really needed? Won't the baby teeth be lost anyway?

Your child's teeth are important for many reasons. They are needed for correct pronunciation of words and sounds. Baby teeth are needed for proper chewing so that your child gets proper nutrition.

Dental care also helps to avoid the pain and infection associated with cavities.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, baby teeth lay the groundwork for the adult teeth that will eventually take their place. Without healthy baby teeth, the adult teeth may come in poorly aligned or decayed.

What treatments do you provide?

When should I start giving my child toothpaste?

You should start brushing your child's teeth twice daily with children's toothpaste (no fluoride) then change to fluoridated toothpaste once your child can spit properly. Prior to that, you should clean the gums with a soft cloth and water. Children less than two should get a dab of toothpaste with just enough to very thinly cover the bristles. After age 2, you can advance to a "pea-sized" portion of paste.   After brushing, have your child spit out the paste.

How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?

Most children get a sufficient amount of fluoride from water, foods and toothpaste. Dr. Lewis can evaluate your child's fluoride needs at each 6 month cleaning appointment.

What should I do if my child has a toothache?

Call the office immediately for an appointment. Most toothaches can be avoided by seeing the dentist every 6 months. Over the counter medications that are appropriate for your child's age and weight can also be used to temporarily help with discomfort. Sometimes food gets lodged between the teeth and can cause discomfort, brush and floss the area thoroughly and swish with warm salt water.

What should I do if a permanent tooth gets knocked out?

Remain calm and try to locate the tooth. If possible, put it back in its socket and call the office immediately.   If you cannot put the tooth in the socket, put it in a glass of milk.

Do you use the latest equipment and techniques?

We are dedicated to using modern technology to support your child's health and comfort in our care.  We use the latest sterilization techniques.

How do I care for my child's teeth after they receive dental treatment?

Please visit our page with Insturctions for After Treatment.



André L. Lewis, DDS

Pediatric Dentist

1882 59th St.

W. Bradenton, Fl 34209

Phone: 941-792-9392

Fax: 941-795-4057

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