Pediatric Dentistry

A child's first and successive visits to the dentist should be enjoyable. Children are not born with fear of the dentist, but they can pick up on anxiety towards dental work from parents or siblings. Our office makes a special effort to use simple words to describe each treatment. We encourage parents to stay in the office during appointments and allow parents to come back in the treatment room if they desire.  Please remember that it is best to allow the dentist and team members to communicate to your child what will be done during the appointment.

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 and 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 or baby teeth will begin to erupt between the ages of six and 12 months, and will continue to erupt until about age three. During this time, your child's gums may feel tender and sore. To help alleviate this 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. When your child has finished teething, you can expect a total of 20 primary teeth.

Your child's primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood. Permanent teeth begin erupting at age six, and continue until age 21 for some people. Adults have 28 permanent teeth (32 including wisdom teeth).

Adopting Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits

As your child's teeth erupt, be sure to examine them often as you are brushing their teeth. Look for lines and discoloration that may be caused by decay. Remember that foods and liquids cling to teeth as well as plaque, the coating that forms on all teeth every day.  We recommend brushing for two minutes twice a day, after breakfast and at bedtime. 

Brushing can be fun, and you should brush your child's gums and teeth 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 rice grain-sized amount of toothpaste. For children younger than age two, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by your dentist or other healthcare professional. We review proper tooth brushing procedures with your child during exams.

Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, so floss all teeth that touch one another. If you notice food or floss consistently getting caught between teeth, contact call to scheduled an evaluation appointment.

Preventing Tooth Decay with Regular Checkups

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria left on your teeth that produce acid, which then causes mineral content to be lost to your teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines assisted and supervised by parents combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away!

Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride varnish treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. Tooth sealants for permanent teeth are also recommended because they "seal" the deep grooves in your child's teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but will be monitored at your child's regular checkups.

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