Beginning your child’s dental care early will set him or her up for a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you make your child’s first dental appointment after the first tooth appears, but no later than 12 months of age. Your child should continue seeing the dentist every six months for good oral health.
We want your child’s first-time visit to be a good experience. You can help ahead of time by talking to your child about what will happen and reading books together. Practice counting your child’s teeth so he or she won’t be surprised when the dentist does it. The more you present your child’s first-time visit in a positive light, the more likely your child is to be calm during the exam. However, if your child is nervous, don’t feel bad. We’ll work together to make it a more pleasant experience.
It’s important to schedule your child’s first-time visit as soon as his or her first tooth appears. That’s because teeth are susceptible to cavities from the moment they come in. During your appointment, we’ll clean your child’s teeth and check for any dental problems. We’ll also let you know if you need to do anything different at home.
Your child should continue to see the dentist every six months for a cleaning and exam. We’ll gently clean his or her teeth to remove any plaque or tartar that has accumulated. We’ll also check for tooth decay and signs of gum disease so we can catch and treat problems early. And we’ll educate both you and your child on proper brushing and flossing techniques to help keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy.
The ADA recommends that children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years receive fluoride treatments to help protect their teeth as they develop. Fluoride makes your child’s teeth less susceptible to decay, helps stop acid erosion, and aids in remineralization.
If you choose to receive fluoride treatment for your child, we’ll use a brush to apply it as a varnish. In addition to the treatment your child receives in the office, you can use fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses. We can also prescribe stronger fluoride mouth rinses as necessary.
Sealants are an important part of your child’s dental care. They act as a barrier to help protect the enamel from plaque and acid. We recommend applying sealants as soon as your child’s permanent molars and premolars come in. Children are particularly susceptible to developing cavities between the ages of 6 and 14, so it’s important that they have sealants on their teeth during that time.
Applying sealants is fast, simple, and painless for your child. We’ll first clean your child’s teeth and dry them. Then, we’ll prepare the teeth with a special gel and rinse it away. Next, we’ll apply a liquid solution to the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Finally, we’ll cure the sealants with a special light. That’s it!
Sealants may need to be reapplied periodically, which is one of the reasons your children need to see the dentist regularly. As long as your child’s sealants are intact, their teeth will be protected from decay. However, sealants are not a substitute for brushing, flossing, or regular dental care. You’ll need to continue bringing your child in for visits and encouraging good dental hygiene at home.
Ready to schedule your child’s next visit? Contact us today, and we’ll get you on the schedule!