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Baby’s First Visit
Your baby’s first visit is a simple visual exam to evaluate your child’s oral health and determine his/her risk for developing dental disease. A gentle prophy cleaning and fluoride application is performed by one of our child-friendly dental hygienist. Usually, no radiographs (x-rays) are taken at this appointment.
Feel confident about your child’s care as our doctors also look for relatively common and uncommon oral conditions affecting infants that you may not have heard of, such as tongue-tie, missing teeth, abnormal teeth, inclusion cysts, natal teeth, iron stain and more.
You’ll receive guidance to help you prevent potential problems and dental disease in your child’s future. Along the way, feel free to ask any questions you may have about your child’s new teeth and oral health. Let your infant become familiarized with the dental office setting in a positive way, before he/she gets bombarded with negative propaganda from older siblings, peers or even dental-phobic parents. Enjoy this primary prevention visit where dentistry is “fun”, and future dental disease can be prevented!
Your cooperation is appreciated. Remember, good general health depends partly on the development of good habits, such as sensible eating, sleeping routines and exercise. Dental health also depends on good habits, such as proper brushing, regular dental visits and good diet. These points and others can be discussed thoroughly during your child’s appointment.
- When Can I Expect My Child's Pearly Whites?
- What Should I Do When My Child Is Teething?
- What to do about Pacifiers or Thumb sucking?
When Can I Expect My Child’s Pearly Whites?
When your baby was born, all 20 primary teeth were already present and developing in their jawbones. The first tooth to arrive is usually the lower front incisor, which usually erupts into the mouth at around 6 months of age, but could be earlier or later. There are even a very few babies born with lower front teeth, they are called natal teeth.
What Should I Do When My Child Is Teething?
Be prepared to deal with your child’s first oral event – teething! It usually happens without problem and is a completely natural occurrence. During the time your infant’s teeth start to come out, your child may become restless and fretful. Your baby may also start to salivate excessively and exhibit the desire to put hands and fingers into his/her mouth. Relieve your baby with a clean teething ring, chilled teething ring, cool spoon, cold wet washcloth or toothbrush. If your infant has a fever, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort or other unusual problem, it may not be related to teething. In that case, consult your family physician as soon as possible to rule out any other common diseases and conditions of infancy.
What to do about Pacifiers or Thumb sucking?
Thumb sucking is a habit that often starts while your child is still in the womb. It is a natural instinct that helps prepare your infant for nursing. Infants and young children often use thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other available objects to satisfy their sucking needs. This can give your child a sense of security, happiness, and relaxation that can even lull them to sleep.
Most children quit their thumb/pacifier sucking by age 4, or at least by school age (due to peer pressure). At this stage, any dental problems (tooth movement, jaw-shape changes) that have resulted from your child’s sucking habit will usually correct on its own. If your child’s thumb sucking or pacifier use continues past 5 years of age (or when permanent teeth arrive), full self-correction is far less likely, and there are possibly other issues that are perpetuating the habit that should be explored. Stress may exacerbate the thumb-sucking problem, thus scolding your child for thumb sucking is not recommended. It is better to use positive reinforcement to motivate your child to quit the habit. Finding and eliminating the source of stress can also be really helpful.
Other helpful tips:
- Breastfeeding. Wean your children from the bottle and breast at 12-14 months of age.
- Sippy Cup Beverages. Don’t let your child walk around with a sippy cup filled with anything but water for prolonged periods during the day.
- Juice. Don’t allow your child drink more than 4-6 oz. of juice per day.
- Pacifiers. Never dip a pacifier into honey or anything sweet before giving it to a baby.
- Cleaning Infant’s Gums. Wipe your infant’s gums after feedings with a clean damp cloth or baby finger brush even before the first teeth erupt.
- Brushing Teeth for Children up to 2 Years Old. Once teeth appear, brush your child’s teeth with a soft toothbrush twice a day (once after breakfast and again before bedtime). Use only fluoride-free toothpaste at this age. Most infants under age 2 have not yet learned to “spit out” after brushing, and excessive swallowing of toothpaste can damage the adult teeth that are at this time still growing under the gums. Baby can be placed with head on lap and legs facing outward to facilitate cleaning.
Pulp therapy addresses issues with the internal structure of the tooth, where the pulp is located.
KIDS & TEENS
During these ages and older, children become more active with sports, and dental injuries are very common.
SPECIAL NEEDS CARE
If your child has special health care needs, feel great knowing his/her dental needs are not necessarily any different than those of any other child.
What are you waiting for? Make your appointment today!