YOUR CHILD’S FIRST VISIT
Your child should have their first “regular” dental visit soon after their third birthday. This first visit is typically short and does not involve much treatment. During the examination, we may ask you to hold your child in the dentist chair. In order for your child and dentist to form a relationship, you may also be asked to wait in the reception area for a portion of the visit.
Your child’s gums and teeth will be gently examined during their first visit. We may take x-rays may to reveal any decay and check the progress of their permanent teeth. Your child may also have their teeth cleaned and have a topical fluoride applied in order help protect the teeth from decay. It is important for us to ensure your child receives adequate fluoride while home. Most importantly, we will go over the best way to clean and care for your child’s teeth.
WHAT SHOULD I TELL MY CHILD ABOUT THE FIRST DENTAL VISIT?
We are asked this question more often than not. We recommend you prepare your child the as if it is their first time going to the shoe store or their first haircut. Many are surprised by their child’s reaction regarding the first visit to the dentist.
DURING YOUR FIRST VISIT THE DENTIST WILL:
- Check your gums, mouth, and teeth.
- Evaluate certain habits, such as thumb sucking.
- Determine whether fluoride is needed.
- Teach you about cleaning your gums and teeth.
- Recommend a schedule for frequent dental visits.
WHAT ABOUT PREVENTATIVE CARE?
There no longer has to be a correlation between children and tooth decay. Every aspect of preventive care is important at our office. In order to protect your child’s teeth, the latest in dental sealant technology is used. Dental sealants act as modern plastics that bond to the chewing surface of back teeth that are decay-prone. This is just one of the ways we will set the basis for a lifetime of good oral health for your child.
Cavities typically form from diets that are high in sugary foods and minimal brushing. In order to prevent cavities, it is important to brush regularly and limit overall sugar intake. The chances of your child getting cavities increases if it takes them a long time to chew their food and if the residue remains on their teeth for long period of time.
Whenever someone eats, the bacteria must digest the sugars. In order for this to happen, an acid reaction occurs within their mouth. This normally will last around 20 minutes. During this time the acid environment can destroy the tooth structure, which can lead to cavities.
The consistency of one’s saliva can also make a difference. Someone who has a diet that is high in sugars and carbohydrates typically has thicker saliva, whereas as someone who has thinner saliva washes away food more quickly because of how it is broken up. In turn, thicker saliva allows more of the acid-producing bacteria that can cause cavities.
The first teeth that you will see in your baby’s mouth are the bottom two front teeth. This will occur when your baby is around 6-8 months old. After that will be the upper 4 front teeth. Your baby’s teeth will appear periodically thereafter. Until your child turns 2 ½ years old, it is common for their teeth to grow in pairs along the sides of the jaw.
You should be able to see all 20 teeth grown in once your child reaches 2 ½ years old. You will be able to see permanent teeth beginning to come in once your child is around 5 or 6. Permanent teeth may replace some baby teeth, but some do not. If some teeth come in a couple months early or late, there is nothing to worry about.
Baby teeth are significant to biting, speech, chewing, and appearance. They also act as space holders. For this reason, it is essential to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.