Early Dental Care
When and Why?
We feel very strongly that every child should visit the dentist at a very early age. There are many reasons for this, but none more important than teaching a child not to fear the dentist.
The younger a child is when introduced to the dental office, the easier it is for them to develop a positive association with it. Another very important reason is the chance we can detect and manage early signs of oral disease or abnormalities before they become a more difficult problem to solve.
Last, it provides parents with the resource and education to give their child the very best chance of growing up with a bright and healthy smile.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Dental Association recommend that a child makes their first trip to the dentist by his/her 1st birthday.
What should I do to prepare my child and myself?
The most important tool we have to start your child off on the right path is good communication. We have very special words and actions that put children at ease.
Based on experience, we found that the less details parents use to explain a visit to the dentist to their child, the more receptive and at ease they are during their visit. This allows us the opportunity to teach both children and parents the positive aspects of going to the dentist.
We are experienced in managing children with anxiety and can explain treatment procedures in a positive and pleasant manner to minimize any anxious or negative feelings they may have toward dentistry.
If a parent is afraid of going to the dentist, the chances are very good that their child will pick up on this. Please try very hard to have a positive attitude.
Remember, our ultimate goals are to treat your child with great care, and make you and your child feel comfortable and relaxed with each and every visit.
What if my child cried?
That means they are normal! Crying is a very normal reaction to the unknown and we are trained to help fearful children through their dental experience. These are the qualities that allow children to cope with potentially difficult situations.
Remember, when describing their visit, please do not use words such as “needle, shot, drill, pull,” or words suggesting unpleasantness. We will treat your child as our own and perform the dental services in the easiest and safest way possible.
What if my child will not cooperate?
On occasion it is decided by our doctor to refer a child to a pediatric dentist. This rarely is needed and is only done when it is in the best interest and safety of the child. A pediatric dentist specialized in treating children has the capability to sedate the child if needed.
When will my child’s teeth come in?
Typically, children start getting teeth between 8 and 12 months of age. By the time they are three, they will have all 20 baby teeth. It is important to begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they grow into the mouth, since germs that cause cavities can begin to colonize the mouth once teeth are present. Toothpaste with fluoride should not be used until after a child’s second birthday.
Why are the baby teeth so important?
All teeth are important whether they will fall out or not. If teeth are not cared for, they will become diseased with cavities and can lead to significant pain, infection, and swelling. These problems can even lead to a child being hospitalized.