Dentistry for Kids
When it comes to dentistry for kids, it’s never too early to teach a child the benefits of oral health care. This can begin as early as infancy when you can incorporate wiping down your baby’s gums with a gauze pad or wet washcloth after nursing or bottle feeding. Sadly, studies have shown that tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic condition in children before one year of age. However, there are ways to keep children’s teeth and gums healthy through parental involvement and preventive pediatric dentistry at Weissman Dental.
Baby Teeth Are Important
Although primary teeth fall out, it’s still extremely important to practice healthy mouth care as they come in. One reason for this is that these teeth can serve as space savers and guides for permanent teeth. When adult teeth begin to erupt, the roots of the primary teeth dissolve so they can fall out. When baby teeth fall out prematurely, the surrounding ones will shift toward the empty spaces. This reduces space for permanent teeth, so we may recommend a space saver from our office. In all cases, issues with primary teeth should be addressed as soon as possible. They are just as susceptible to tooth decay and cavities as permanent teeth.
When to Begin Dental Visits
Teaching your children how to care for their own teeth and gums at home is highly important. However, it’s also very helpful if they get used to dental visits as early as possible to begin eliminating any fears. We do our best to make appointments for children as fun as we can, from wearing a fun pair of sunglasses to letting them pick out a toothbrush. The recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is that you should schedule your child’s first dental visit around age one, or at least within six months of the first primary tooth erupting. We also include education in early childhood visits, including brushing and flossing tips, healthy foods, and general maintenance. All of these practices help us build strong relationships with our young patients and alleviate the common fear of going to the dentist.
What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit
In order not to overwhelm babies and children on their first visit, we try to make it short and informal. However, this does not mean that we’ll rush you out of the office. We understand that you may have many questions about your child’s oral health, and we will be available to answer all of them. You may even want to compile a list of questions prior to the appointment. Depending on your child’s comfort level and age, we may ask you to hold them while we examine their mouth. Then again, we may ask that you sit just out of sight so that your child can have some quality time with our staff. We will check for tooth decay and check your child’s gums, bite, and jaw. This will be followed by a gentle cleaning and a fluoride preparation if we discover staining or a risk for cavities.
At Weissman Dental, we love introducing children to the dentist in a way that makes them feel safe and at ease. For more information about dentistry for kids, call our office at (503) 274-2222 to schedule your child’s visit.