A child’s first visit to the dentist should be enjoyable and positive. The more you and your child know about the first visit, the better you will feel. Children are not born with a fear of the dentist, but they can- fear the unknown. Our office practices the use of pleasant, simple word- to describe your child’s first dental visit and treatment. We want you to feel at ease from the moment your family arrives at our office. We want all of our – new patients to have a fun, exciting, interesting, and educational experience at- their first dental visit.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), children should visit us by their first birthday. It is important that your child’s newly-erupted teeth (erupting at 6-12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.
Pediatric Dentists are the dental specialists (like pediatricians are medical specialists) for children. The specialty of Pediatric Dentistry requires 2-3 years of additional training beyond that of a general dentist in such areas as child psychology, pediatric medicine, growth and development in children, pediatric nutrition, and developmental orthodontics.
If your child is over age 2, we ask that you allow our staff to accompany them during their dental visit. We are all highly experienced in helping children overcome anxiety. Separation anxiety is not uncommon in children, so please try not to be concerned if your child exhibits some negative behavior. This is normal and usually diminishes with time. Most children react more positively when permitted to experience the dental visit on their own in an environment designed for children.
We set aside enough time for your child to experience a well planned dental visit. We understand that you may wish to accompany your child and share his/her dental experience. We will invite you at or toward the end of the visit when we will discuss with you what we have found. Sometimes it is difficult to gain a child’s attention when he/she is distracted by others, so we ask you to be prepared to allow your child to go into the treatment area alone. In cases where your child may suffer from emotional or physical disabilities, we may invite you to accompany your child during their visit.
Many new experiences are challenging for a young child. Children often express Fear of the unknown as crying or physical resistance. Parents should not be embarrassed if their child does not cooperate at their first dental visit. Given the opportunity, children take great pride in overcoming their fears. Most of our patients see their dental visits as a pleasant time.
We are asked this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way you would before their first haircut or trip to the shoe store. Your child’s reaction to his first visit to the dentist may surprise you.
Your child’s first tooth erupts between ages 6-12 months and the remainder of their 20 primary or “baby” teeth typically erupts by age 3. During this time, gums may feel tender and sore, causing your child to feel irritable. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring.
Your child’s primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood, and their permanent teeth begin erupting at age 6 and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth, or 32 including wisdom teeth.
As new teeth erupt, examine them every two weeks for lines and discoloration caused by decay. Remember that sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth, so take care that your child brushes their teeth after feeding or eating. We recommend brushing four times a day for optimal oral hygiene: after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and at bedtime. Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. When a baby’s tooth erupts, parents should brush the tooth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing procedures with your child.
Tooth decay and children no longer have to go hand in hand. At our office we are most concerned with all aspects of preventive care. We use the latest in dental sealant technology to protect your child’s teeth. Dental sealants are space-age plastics that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay-prone back teeth. This is just one of the ways we will set the foundation for your child’s lifetime of good oral health.
Most of the time, cavities are due to a diet high in sugary foods and a lack of brushing. Limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly, of course, can help. The longer it takes your child to chew their food and the longer the residue stays on their teeth, the greater the chances of getting cavities.
Every time someone eats, an acid reaction occurs inside their mouth as the bacteria digest the sugars. This reaction lasts approximately 20 minutes. During this time, the acid environment can destroy the tooth structure, eventually leading to cavities.
The Consistency of a person’s saliva also makes a difference; thinner saliva breaks up and washes away food more quickly. When a person eats diets high in carbohydrates and sugars, they tend to have thicker saliva, which in turn allows more of the acid-producing bacteria that can cause cavities.
The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. You will notice this when your baby is about 6-8 months old. Next to follow will be the four upper front teeth and the remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear periodically. They will usually appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2 1/2 years old.
At around 2 1/2 years old your child should have all 20 teeth. Between the ages of 5 and 6, the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some don’t. Don’t worry if some teeth are a few months early or late as all children are different.
Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth, but are important to chewing, biting, speech and appearance. For this reason, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.