Your child’s first visit
A “Happy Visit” is for children under 24 months. It is usually short and involves no treatment. It is a introduction to the dental office for the child and an information session to help the guardian with the child’s dental care.
We may ask you to sit in the dental chair and hold your child. Your child may ride the chair up and down.
A Regular Visit is for children over 24 months. We will gently examine your child’s teeth and gums, counting them as we go. We will continue the appointment by cleaning your child’s teeth. X-rays may be taken (to reveal decay and check on the progress of your child’s permanent teeth under the gums). Most important of all, we will review with you how to clean and care for your child’s teeth.
Your child should be having “regular” dental visits by their third birthday
What should I tell my child about the first dental visit?
We are asked this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way you would before their first haircut or trip to the shoe store. Your child’s reaction to his first visit to the dentist may surprise you.
Here are some “First Visit” tips:
- Read books with them about going to the dentist.
- Review with them what will be done at the time of the first visit.
- Speak positively about your own dental experiences.
What about preventative care?
Tooth decay and children no longer have to go hand in hand. At our office we are most concerned with all aspects of preventive care. We use the latest in dental sealant technology to protect your child’s teeth. Dental sealants are space-age plastics that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay-prone back teeth. This is just one of the ways we will set the foundation for your child’s lifetime of good oral health.
Most of the time cavities are due to a diet high in sugary foods and a lack of brushing. Limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly, of course, can help. With sticky foods, a residue can stay on the teeth, with a greater chance of getting cavities.
Every time someone eats, an acid reaction occurs inside their mouth as the bacteria digests the sugars. This reaction lasts approximately 20 minutes. During this time the acid environment can harm the tooth structure, eventually leading to cavities.
Consistency of a person’s saliva also makes a difference; thinner saliva breaks up and washes away food more quickly. When a person eats a diet high in carbohydrates and sugars they tend to have a more acidic oral environment, which in turn can lead to more cavities. Also frequently sipping on sugary or acidic beverages can accelerate this process.
Tips for cavity prevention
- Limit frequency of meals and snacks.
- Encourage brushing, flossing and rinsing.
- Watch what your child drinks.
- Avoid giving your child sticky foods.
- Make treats part of meals.
- Choose nutritious snacks.
The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. You will notice this when your baby is about 6-8 months old. Next to follow will be the 4 upper front teeth and the remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear periodically. They will usually appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2 1/2 years old.
At around 2 1/2 years old your child should have all 20 teeth. Between the ages of 5 and 6 the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some don’t. Don’t worry if some teeth are a few months early or late as all children are different.
Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth but they are important to chewing, biting, speech and appearance. For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.