parent education & Resources
Your Child's First Dental Visit
Your child’s first dental experience should be a positive, stress-free one! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a dental exam within six months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than the child’s first birthday. At this checkup we can evaluate the oral cavity for tooth decay or other problems, and demonstrate how to properly care for your child’s teeth.
When your child is ready for their first dental appointment, we will perform a thorough oral exam, review the health history and address any concerns you may have. Morning appointments, when you child is fully rested, are usually better for their first dental visit. We want this to be a positive experience for you and your child.
We ask that you do not use any words that might create fear in your child (hurt, drill, shot, needle) and stay calm and relaxed, as any anxiety on your part will be sensed by your child. Let your child know that we will “count” their teeth and maybe even “take a picture” of their teeth.
The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups
In order to avoid lengthy procedures & maintain a healthy disease free mouth we recommend recare every 6 months. This allows us to detect early signs of disease & provide appropriate treatment, leading to a favorable prognosis.
All children need to brush their teeth at least two times a day, at night before bedtime, and in the morning after breakfast. By disturbing and removing the plaque formation twice a day, parents can minimize or eliminate their children’s potential for decay.
For younger children a parent should brush their teeth using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. As the child gets older and you see they have the dexterity and patience to properly take care of their teeth, you may give over the task. But do periodically monitor their care. Toothpaste should be approved by the American Dental Association. Toothbrushes should be the proper size, smaller is better than bigger, and always use a soft nylon brush in a circular manner. This will prevent toothbrush abrasion, excessive wear of the enamel at the gum line. Also a toothbrush should be replaced when it is worn, bristles splayed, or after more serious colds, infection, Strep throat, etc. If you need a new toothbrush between visits stop by and we will give you one.
Gum pads and teeth should be wiped off with a gauze or washcloth.
Begin brushing your child’s teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea- sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. If your child is resistant to brushing, try using a lap to lap technique with a partner. We are happy to demonstrate this technique at your infant’s dental exam,which should happen every 6 months.
3-6 Year Olds
Let them brush, supervise them, and do the final brushing to make sure all surfaces of the teeth are cleaned. Also you need to floss their teeth as they get older as the posterior teeth get closer and tighter over time. Make sure they can rinse their mouth so toothpaste doesn’t get swallowed.
6 & Older
Continue supervision until you are sure they can brush and floss properly.