Your Child’s First Dentist Visit
The first regular dental visit should be just after your child’s third birthday. This first visit is usually short, and involves very little treatment. Your dentist may ask you to sit in the dental chair and hold your child during the examination. You may also be asked to wait in the reception area during part of the visit so that a relationship can be built between your child and their dentist.
We will gently examine your child’s teeth and gums., X-rays may be taken to reveal decay and check on the progress of your child’s permanent teeth under the gums. We may clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the them against decay. Also, we will make sure that your child is receiving adequate fluoride at home. Most importantly, we will review how to clean and care for your child’s teeth.
Talking to Your Child About Going to the Dentist
We’re asked this question many times, and suggest that you prepare your child the same way you would before their first haircut or a trip to the doctor. Your child’s reaction to their first visit to the dentist may actually surprise you.
Tips for Your Child’s First Dentist Visit
- Take your child for a preview of the dentist’s office
- Read books with them about going to the dentist
- Review what the dentist will be doing at the time of their first visit
- Be sure to speak positively about your own dental experiences
During Your Child’s First Dental Appointment
- Examine the mouth, teeth and gums.
- Evaluate adverse habits such thumb sucking or biting
- Check to see if fluoride treatment is needed
- Teach you and your child about cleaning teeth and gums
- Develop a schedule for regular dental office visits
Preventative Dental Care for Children
Tooth decay and children no longer have to go hand in hand. At Harborside Dental 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 innovative plastics that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay-prone back teeth. This is just one of the ways in which we set the foundation for your child’s lifetime of good oral health.
Cavity Prevention for Children
In most cases, cavities are due to a diet high in sugary foods and a lack of brushing. Limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly can help immensely. 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 a cavity. Every time we eat, acid reactions occur inside the mouth as bacteria digests the sugars. This reaction lasts approximately 20 minutes and during this time, the acidic environment can destroy the tooth structure, which eventually leads to cavities.
The consistency of a child’s saliva also plays a roles. Thinner saliva breaks up and washes away food more quickly. When a person’s diet is high in carbohydrates and sugars, they tend to have thicker saliva, which in turn allows more acid-producing bacteria to cause cavities.
Cavity Prevention Tips for Children
- Limit the frequency of meals and snacks
- Encourage regular brushing, flossing and rinsing
- Monitor what your child east and drinks
- Avoid giving your child sticky, sugary foods
- Make treats a part of healthy meals
- Choose snacks that are more nutritious
The first baby teeth to 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 4 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 2-3 years old.
At around 2 1/2 years old, your child should have all 20 teeth. Between age 5 and 6, the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some permanent teeth will replace baby teeth, and some won’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 they are important for chewing, biting, speech and appearance. For this reason it is very important to maintain a healthy diet and daily dental hygiene.
To learn more about pediatric dental care for children, or to schedule an appointment at our Webster, NY dental office, get in touch with the Harborside Dental team today by phone at 585-671-2720 or write to us via email by visiting our contact page.