The American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend that your child's first dental examination should occur between the ages of 12 and 15 months.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends dental checkups at least twice a year for most children. Some children may need more frequent visits because of increased risk of tooth decay or poor oral hygiene.
There are books available which describe dental visits. Be careful how much you say to your child about the visit thought since he or she might "pick up" on your fears if you have them.
Allow the dental hygienist and dentist to show your child the tools to be used at the visit and describe the visit in terms your child will understand. Be careful not to say things like "it won't hurt" since your child will only be reminded of the word "hurt".
Yes. While your child sleeps at night, the milk bathes his teeth with liquid which feeds the bacteria that produces the acids that cause tooth decay. This can happen very quickly. Baby teeth, like permanent teeth, have nerves in them and these cavities can become toothaches and sources of infection leading to the necessity of extracting or restoring the teeth.
A soft bristle brush is preferable for use by children. Electric toothbrushes are available as well. Electric toothbrushes can remove plaque with less effort on your child's part than a regular brush. However, both are effective with your supervision.
If your child has contact between teeth (no spacing). Flossing is an important means of removing plaque, preventing cavities and avoiding gum disease. Believe it or not, cavities between baby molars in your school age children is very common. Taking steps to prevent this tooth decay is important to your child's health.
Fluoride in your water, or the use of a Fluoride supplement if your water is not fluorinated, is an important way of increase the strength of your child's teeth as they are forming. Topical fluorides, such as those found in toothpaste, rinses and in dental office treatments, strengthen the teeth that are already present in the mouth. Fluoride, along with better oral hygiene and a healthy diet, have helped decrease tooth decay.
Cavities are caused when bacteria normally found in the mouth produce acid after food is present in the mouth. More cavities will be present in "snackers" who eat small amounts of food all day since the acid production in initiated more frequently.
If broken bones or other injuries are suspected, you should first seek care at a hospital emergency room. However, if the nature of the injury is strictly dental in nature, please call any of our offices and our phone message will tell you how to activate the dentist's beeper for quick response.
Often the dentist can give you some idea of the future need for braces...even at the age of two. When your child's first permanent teeth erupt (usually at age 6) you and the dentist will discuss the need for braces and whether early intervention is necessary, or if waiting until the permanent teeth are in place makes more sense.