We have a lot of parents ask, “When should my child first see the dentist?” The answer may surprise you! It is recommended that every child visits the dentist before their first birthday, specifically once their first tooth erupts! During this first visit, we will polish the teeth removing any plaque build-up or tartar.
Preventative dentistry begins with patient and parent education. Our doctor will thoroughly examine the mouth and gums while demonstrating proper brushing and flossing techniques. It is important to do this at every visit to promote a healthy dental routine. If the examination exhibits further problems such as decay, we will discuss a personalized and proactive solution at this time.
Our team is committed to the health and wellbeing of your child. Preventive care means ensuring a strong foundation for the future!
Fluoride is much like a multivitamin for the teeth. Application is recommended to prevent tooth decay while making the enamel more resistant.
Sealants are a shield for the teeth. Once applied to the chewing surfaces of each tooth, the sealant will act as a barrier to food, plaque, and acid. This protects the areas where the majority of cavities are found preventing future decay from developing.
Low Radiation X-Rays
Our office uses Digital radiographs as a healthier alternative to traditional radiographs. This is a tool we use to track the health of teeth below the gum line, as well as inside the tooth. This tool is essential in providing a thorough and personalized treatment plan.
A white filling is also known as a composite filling or a resin filling. When a patient has a small cavity, we can use a white filling to restore the tooth. White fillings mirror the appearance of natural teeth and are virtually unnoticeable. White fillings are durable and resist fracture in small to medium-sized fillings. Unlike silver, amalgam fillings, less tooth structure is removed, and white fillings harden in seconds rather than needing a few days to harden and set. Most patients prefer white fillings as post-treatment sensitivity is very minimal.
Silver crowns may be needed to restore a tooth with a very large cavity. With larger cavities, more tooth structure is removed. This makes it harder for a white filling to hold up. While a white filling may fracture on larger cavities, the stainless steel crown will ensure that the entire tooth is covered. This means a lower chance of developing a new cavity or infection on the tooth. To help increase the longevity of stainless steel crowns, we encourage patients to clean along the gum line and avoid eating hard, sticky foods.
Root Canal or Pulpotomy
Sometimes with larger cavities, your child may be experiencing throbbing pain. This means that the cavity may have reached the nerve of the baby tooth, resulting in possible infection or inflammation. In cases such as this, a root canal may be necessary.
A root canal involves the removal of infected nerves, where we then add a special medicine to the area. A baby “root canal” is very different from an adult root canal. It only takes a few minutes to complete! Additional procedures and visits are not needed.
If the tooth can be saved a root canal is the preferred method of treatment rather than pulling the baby tooth. It is important to retain the baby teeth as long as we can so that it can fall out naturally. This helps the child retain full function of their teeth, jaws, and tongue, as well as prevents speech problems. Allowing baby teeth to run their natural course will guide the adult teeth into proper placement, preventing future orthodontic complications.
Nitrous is commonly known as “laughing gas” or “happy air.” We use nitrous oxide to put anxious children at ease. This is a very safe and effective sedative which creates feelings of happiness and relaxation when inhaled. When using nitrous a fitted mask is placed over the nose, allowing the patient to breathe normally. There are no lingering effects after treatment.
We recommend giving your child little or no food two hours prior to their dental visit. Sometimes, nitrous oxide can create feelings of nausea or vomiting when on a full stomach.
Tooth extractions involve the removal of a tooth which is visible in the mouth. This could mean removing a badly damaged or decayed tooth, or removing teeth prior to getting braces. In some cases, the doctor will suggest nitrous to calm restless patients and reduce anxiety.
It is possible for baby teeth to fall out prematurely. If this happens with a baby molar, a space maintainer may be prescribed. If the adult tooth underneath is not close to eruption, the baby teeth around the gap could drift into the empty space, creating insufficient space for the permanent teeth to properly come in. This is why it is so important to fix the space early.
A space maintainer is a small appliance used to preserve the empty space for the permanent teeth until it is fully developed and ready to erupt. These appliances are small in size and most children adjust to them after a few days.
There are two different sedation options offered at All Smiles. Conscious oral sedation and general anesthesia. Sedation dentistry may be needed if your child requires a lot of dental treatment, has special needs, or struggles with dental anxiety. Our team will help you and your family decide the best sedation route for your child.
Request an Appointment at our Pediatric Dentistry!
The first visit is by far the most important! First impressions can make all the difference so we strive for excellence!
When you arrive for your appointment, a Care Coordinator will meet with you to welcome your family to the practice. At this time we will go over any questions or concerns you may have and meet the doctor. It is important to discuss your child’s dental care history, including daily habits so that we can personalize a healthy dental routine. The doctor will conduct an evaluation so that you have a clear understanding of your child’s current oral health.
At this time we will welcome you and your child into the treatment area an exam with the doctor and x-rays. If there is further work needed, we will work diligently to complete the procedure on the first visit! While we love saving everyone a trip, a second visit may be required.
Our team recommends a dental check-up every six months. Depending on tooth development and hygiene, additional visits may be needed.
How should I prepare my child and myself for the first visit?
Prior to your initial consultation, expect a welcome call from one of our Care Coordinators. We ask that you express any of your primary concerns at this time. We encourage parents to describe the dentist as a positive and fun experience as you prepare your child for the visit.
One way to do so is through children’s books and videos. This helps gain an idea of what will happen at their first visit. When describing the dental office, avoid using terms such as shot, needle or pull, etc. These words can create fear and anxiety. We strongly encourage using positive affirmations with your children so that they can enjoy their first dental experience. If your child has a favorite toy or security blanket, please bring it to the appointment so that your child can be comfortable in this new environment.
It is important to remember, since most children do not know what to expect, it is completely natural for a young child to cry or be anxious. Our goal is to help your child build trust for future visits. Our main priority is to create a more pleasant experience each visit, promoting their independence and confidence.
All Smiles is founded on the principles of genuine, personalized pediatric dentistry. We practice the highest quality of care beginning at the first visit. Our team understands that all children are unique and for some, a visit to the dentist is a new and unfamiliar experience.
We make it a priority to sit down with you for candid one-on-one time. Answering questions and concerns during your evaluation is just as important as the procedure.
With your consent, we will proceed with a gentle exam, a possible cleaning, fluoride treatment, and dental x-rays as prescribed by the dentist. The first visit will last approximately 30-45 minutes.
Your child’s first dental visit should be fun! We make sure to explain the entire process in kid-friendly terms so that each visit is a learning experience.
If you are interested in scheduling a visit, please contact one of our wonderful care coordinators! We are excited to meet you and your family.
Request an Appointment at our Pediatric Dentistry!
At what age will my child’s first tooth erupt?
Your child’s first baby tooth usually erupts around six to ten months. It is not uncommon for the first tooth to erupt as early as four months. Permanent teeth will begin erupting around age six.
At what age will my child lose their first tooth?
Children usually lose their first tooth around 6 years old. If dental trauma occurs, your child may lose teeth even sooner. Unless your child’s tooth is decayed or overcrowded, the baby teeth should fall out naturally.
How do I brush my child’s teeth and which toothpaste should I use?
We recommend cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts. It is best to use a wet washcloth or gauze when wiping plaque from the teeth and gums. For best oral hygiene, repeat this process twice a day or after every meal.
For children under the age of two, a smear of infant toothpaste is recommended. Between the ages of 2-5, we advise using a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste.
Once your child has several baby teeth, a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head is recommended. It is best that parents brush and floss their child’s teeth until they reach the age of 7 or 8.
What foods are good for my child’s teeth? What are foods that are bad for my child’s teeth?
Even though some foods are known to be healthy, they are not always good for your teeth. Examples of foods that are good for your teeth are:
- Apples, Celery, Carrots
- Leafy greens
Foods that are bad for your teeth include:
- Sports drinks
- Chewy Candy
- Chips, Bread and Pasta
What is a cavity?
Cavities or tooth decay occur when bacteria is left on the tooth. This bacteria produces acid which destroys the tooth enamel, creating a hole or pit. This can become very sensitive, causing pain and discomfort.
How did my child get cavities?
Diets that are high in sugar, such as juice, soda, and sweets can put your child at risk. If your child does not practice proper oral hygiene, the risk for cavities is even higher. When these sugars are left on the teeth, acid develops from the bacteria resulting in weakened enamel. This weak enamel becomes subject to holes known as cavities.
How can I reduce my child’s risk for developing cavities?
It is important for parents to help brush and floss their children’s teeth until 7 or 8 years old. Limit the amount of sugar in your child’s diet, while encouraging more water. Limit snacking between meals. It is recommended to visit the dentist every 6 months to ensure proper oral hygiene.
Should I be concerned about my child grinding their teeth?
There are a few reasons why your child may be grinding their teeth. Children may grind or clench their jaws because their bite isn’t properly aligned. Other causes may be an earache or permanent teeth erupting. Grinding is a response to pain as a method to ease the discomfort. If you find that your child is grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw, do not worry. Most children grow out of this stage. However, if you find that the grinding is persistent, please consult the doctor for an examination and solution such as mouth guards.
When will my child be ready for braces?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children are evaluated by an orthodontist around age 7. This is to evaluate the growth and development of their jaws, including the eruption pattern of permanent teeth. Treatment can be broken down into two phases; Phase I (early treatment) and Phase II (adolescent treatment). Phase I treatment covers children between the ages of 6-12. Phase II treatment deals with permanent teeth and bite relationship.
My child is sucking their thumb, how does that affect their teeth?
Thumb sucking is not an issue until the permanent teeth erupt. Once the adult teeth begin eruption, it is so important to help your child end this habit. Thumb sucking can cause issues with tooth alignment and growth. The thumb can also change the roof of your child’s mouth, which can lead to speech problems. Children typically lose interest in thumb sucking around the age of four.