Our office takes pride in our understanding of the special care needed by your child. Whether this is your child's first visit to a dentist, or if they have been in care for some years, we do all we can to help them (and you!) feel at ease.
When Should My Child Start Seeing a Dentist?
As a general rule, you should schedule your child's first dental appointment once the first tooth has erupted. This usually occurs by 2 years of age. As soon as a child has teeth, those teeth are subject to decay. The primary concern in very young children is "Early Childhood Caries" also known as "baby bottle tooth decay," which can be avoided with early prevention and home care.
Following the first visit, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests follow up visits twice a year for preventative cleanings. Of course, at home care between visits is essential.
The Importance of Baby Teeth
Your child's baby teeth serve several important functions for their development and health:
- Pronunciation of sounds
- Proper chewing to facilitate digestion
- Establish and preserve space for each adult tooth
- Form buds from which the adult teeth develop
Though the baby teeth will eventually be lost, they do serve important functions for your child.
Your Child's First Visit
During the appointment, your dentist will review your child's medical and dental history. He or she will gently examine your child's teeth, gum tissue and jaw. The teeth will be cleaned and polished, followed by the application of a fluoride solution. At each step, he or she will let your child know what to expect, using pictures and easily understandable language.
We pride ourselves on a very friendly, inviting staff and we do all we can to help put your child at ease and make it a comfortable experience for him or her.
Despite our best efforts, this first visit to a dentist can sometimes be intimidating. We encourage you to talk to your child about what to expect before coming in, without using any language that might cause apprehension (e.g., needles or pain).
Part of a visit to our office includes motivating your child toward healthy diet and hygiene activities to get them off to a great start.
How to Care for Your Child's Teeth
Even though your child does not yet have teeth, home care should start at birth by regularly cleaning your baby's mouth with a soft infant toothbrush and water.
An important part of caring for you child's teeth is diet. Reducing the amount of sugary snacks and drinks will greatly help prevent tooth decay, as will teaching your child to drink from a cup after his or her first birthday. Consumption of sugary drinks from a bottle has been linked to "bottle caries" and should be avoided.
For More Information
We welcome questions from our patients, and encourage you to speak to Dr. Sobczak, Dr. Wencel or any of our staff about your child's dental care. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry also offers information on many topics on their website, located here: