Your child's first dental visit

Our patients often wonder when they should start bringing their children in for dental exams and cleanings.  According to the American Dental Association, children should begin seeing a dentist within 6 months of the first tooth erupting, but no later than their 1st birthday.  Did you know that cavities are a transmissible disease?  That means that you can pass the cavity causing bacteria to your children by sharing drinks or silverware, or even just by kissing their sweet faces.   Teeth are susceptible to decay as soon as they begin breaking through the gums.   

The first visit we like to refer to as a “happy visit”.   It is primarily focused on comfort and education.   How many people do you know that hate going to the dentist… they are terrified!  We want to avoid that for future generations.  Our goal is for your child to enjoy coming to see us!  With that in mind, for their first visit, they will get to ride in the chair and play with our “squirt gun”.  The doctor and/or hygienist will check their teeth for developmental progress and signs of decay.   Good behavior is rewarded with a prize at the end of the visit! 

Subsequent visits will include polishing and removing any plaque buildup.  X-rays will be taken as needed, and as the child’s mouth allows.  (Don't worry- our hygienists are a little bit older than Miss Kate!!)

If you are a current patient in our office, you’ll know that we are dedicated to educating our patients.  This is especially important for our little ones… and their parents!   Did you know that parents should brush their children’s teeth until they are between ages 6-8?  Children lack the dexterity necessary for proper brushing.   The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that within a few days of birth, you start wiping your child’s gums with water and a clean washcloth or gauze.  When the first teeth start appearing, begin brushing with a SOFT toothbrush and either non-fluoride toothpaste or a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste.  Once they are able to spit the excess toothpaste out, begin using a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.  We recommend a soft bristled toothbrush for all ages, as medium or hard bristles can damage the enamel and gums.   As always, for our patients who are at high risk for decay, we may recommend prescription strength fluoride toothpaste.  

Give us a call to schedule your child's first visit!  479-521-2002