According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child’s first pediatric dental well-care visit should happen by age one. This first visit is similar to your child’s first “well baby” check-up with the pediatrician.
During your child’s first well-care visit, one of our pediatric dentists will look over your child’s medical history and perform an infant oral exam. The dentist will evaluate growth and dental development and assess any chances of tooth decay. Our pediatric dentist and staff will also discuss healthy dietary practices, proper oral hygiene habits and techniques, and address issues such as teething, thumb and pacifier habits, fluoride use and the prevention and treatment of oral injuries. We will also clean your baby’s teeth and offer tips for daily care. If any cavities are found, treatment options will be discussed.
There are somethings you can do at home before your first visit. It may help to read a book or watch a child-friendly video about the first dental visit. You can also share positive thoughts about visiting the dentist.
Baby teeth are important for chewing, smiling and speech. They are also essential to hold space for the permanent teeth.
A baby’s first tooth can appear as early as six months after birth. The two bottom front teeth typically erupt first. Children will teethe on and off until they are about three years old. If your child seems uncomfortable from teething, you can give him/her a chilled teething ring to alleviate the discomfort. You can also rub the area gently with a cool, wet cloth. If your child’s pain cannot be relieved, contact our office to schedule a visit.
You can actual start cleaning your baby’s gums during the first few days after birth. It is a good idea to wipe the baby’s gums with a clean gauze pad or wet washcloth after every feeding. This removes plaque and milk or formula left behind that can harm newly erupting teeth. Once your child’s teeth do erupt, you should gently brush them twice daily with a child-sized toothbrush and water or fluoride-free toothpaste. By age three, a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste can be used. Speak to your dentist if you have any concerns about when to introduce toothpaste that contains fluoride.
The first thing to remember is to stay calm. If the area is bleeding, apply pressure until the bleeding is controlled. Then, you can gently clean the area with a wet cloth. If a tooth is broken, try to find the missing pieces and place them in a cup of cold milk or water. You will need to see your dentist immediately if the tooth has been knocked out. If there is any debris on the tooth, hold it by the crown and rinse the root very gently under cool water. Try to gently place it back in the socket and hold it there with a clean cloth. If that doesn’t work, place the tooth in a cup of milk. Apply ice to the face where the injury has occurred. Call our office and let our staff know what has happened. Our doctors are always on call, so if an injury occurs during lunch or after hours, you can speak to our 24-hour answering service. They will contact the dentist on call right away.
There is very little risk in dental X-rays. We follow the strict guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry for the use and timing of dental X-rays. Our pediatric dentists and staff are careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. We use lead aprons and high-speed film to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation. Digital X-rays allow less exposure to radiation than traditional X-ray film.
Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children and adolescents. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.
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