At Friedman Dental Group, we provide excellent dental care that is especially suited to the needs of infants, children and teenagers. During the different phases of adolescence, we are experts in caring for teeth, gums and mouth. We know how to treat our young patients in a manner that eliminates anxiety and makes them feel comfortable. Our skilled and nurturing staff will educate your child on the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene, ultimately establishing a positive foundation that will encourage him/her to continue a healthy routine as they move toward adulthood.
Your child’s first visit
The first “regular” dental visit should be just after your child’s third birthday. The first dental visit is usually short and involves very little treatment. We may ask you to sit in the dental chair and hold your child during the examination. We will gently examine your child’s teeth and gums. X-rays may be taken (to reveal decay and check on the progress of your child’s permanent teeth under the gums). We may clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay. We will make sure your child is receiving adequate fluoride at home. Most important of all, we will review with you how to clean and care for your child’s teeth.
What should I tell my child about the first dental visit?
We are asked this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way you would before their first haircut or trip to the shoe store. Your child’s reaction to his first visit to the dentist may surprise you.
What about preventative care?
Tooth decay and children no longer have to go hand-in-hand. At our office, we are concerned with all aspects of preventive care. We use the latest in dental sealant technology to protect your child’s teeth. Dental sealants are space-age resins that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay-prone back teeth. This is just one of the ways we’ll set the foundation for your child’s lifetime of good oral health.
During your child’s first visit, the dentist will:
- Examine your child’s mouth, teeth, and gums.
- Evaluate adverse habits like thumb sucking.
- Check to see if your child needs fluoride.
- Teach your child about cleaning his or her teeth and gums.
- Suggest a schedule for regular dental visits.
Here are some “First Visit” tips:
- Take your child for a “preview” of the office.
- Read books with them about going to the dentist.
- Review with them what the dentist will be doing at the time of the first visit.
- Speak positively about your own dental experiences.
Most of the time cavities are due to a diet high in sugary foods and a lack of brushing.
Limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly, of course, can help. The longer it takes your child to chew their food and the longer the residue stays on their teeth, the greater the chance of getting cavities.
- Every time someone eats, an acid reaction occurs inside their mouth as the bacteria digests the sugars.
- This reaction lasts approximately 20 minutes.
- During this time, the acid environment can destroy the tooth structure, eventually leading to cavities.
Consistency of a person’s saliva also makes a difference; thinner saliva breaks up and washes away food more quickly. When a person eats diets high in carbohydrates and sugars they tend to have thicker saliva, which in turn allows for more of the acid-producing bacteria that can cause cavities.
Tips for cavity prevention
- Limit frequency of meals and snacks.
- Encourage brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
- Watch what your child drinks.
- Avoid giving your child sticky foods.
- Make treats part of meals.
- Choose nutritious snacks.
The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. You will notice this when your baby is about 6 to 8 months old. Next to follow will be the 4 upper front teeth, and the remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear periodically. They will usually appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2-1/2 years old.
At around 2-1/2 years old your child should have all 20 teeth. Between the ages of 5 and 6, the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some don’t. Don’t worry if some teeth are a few months early or late, since all children are different.
Baby teeth are important because they not only hold space for permanent teeth, but they’re important to chewing, biting, speech, and appearance. For this reason, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.