We do the best we can to make your child’s first experience at the dentist a pleasant one. When it comes to children first impressions are everything and a child is not born with a natural fear of the dentist but a natural fear of the unknown. Our intention is for you and your child to be at ease from the moment you arrive at our office. It is for this reason that we try to use non frightening pleasant words when describing the services we provide.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends…
Children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child’s newly-erupted teeth (erupting at six to 12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.
Getting to know your teeth is fun!When new teeth arrive
Your child’s first primary teeth, also known as “baby” teeth, will begin to erupt between the ages of six to 12 months and will continue to erupt until about age three. During this time, your child’s gums may feel very sore. To help relieve their discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring or baby orajel. When your child has finished teething, you can expect a total of 20 primary teeth.
Your child loses their primary teeth at various times throughout their childhood, and his or her permanent teeth begin erupting at age six and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth in total (32, including wisdom teeth).Adopting healthy oral hygiene habits
As your child’s teeth erupt, be sure to examine them every two weeks, looking for lines and discoloration that may be caused by decay. Remember, sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth while the enamel is still fully developing, so take care that your child brushes his or her teeth after feeding or eating. Dr. Cynthia Skiba recommends brushing four times a day for optimal oral hygiene: after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and at bedtime.
Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. When a baby’s tooth erupts, parents should brush the tooth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. For children younger than two, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by your dentist or other healthcare professional. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing procedures with your child.
Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your doctor will discuss with you the right time to start flossing. If you notice signs of decay, contact your dentist immediately.
Preventing tooth decay with regular checkups
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that feed on sugars in your mouth. Bacteria feeding on these sugars secrete acid that can break down your teeth. Proper brushing and flossing routines that are combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.
Dr. Cynthia Skiba recommends that children visit our office every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. Along with regular cleanings, we recommend fluoride treatments twice a year to help keep enamel at its strongest. Tooth sealants are also recommended because they “seal” the deep grooves in your child’s teeth, preventing decay from forming in hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but they will be monitored at your regular checkups.