Frequently Asked Questions
When should my child first see a dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatrics Dentists recommends that a child be seen by a dentist by his/her first birthday.
Why so early?
Did you know that tooth decay is the most common childhood disease? Early evaluation and preventive care can help protect your child’s teeth now and in the future. There are dental problems that can occur, even at this age. The most common is Early Childhood Caries (previously known as Baby Bottle Syndrome or Nursing Caries). When a child uses a bottle frequently, including naptime and bedtime, or when they nurse continuously, they increase the risk of Early Childhood Caries. The early dental visit allows us to help prevent these dental problems.
How can I prevent this decay?
Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle of anything other than water. Encourage him/her to drink juice or milk from a cup as they reach their first birthday. As the primary teeth erupt, at-will breast feeding at night should be avoided, also.
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 that you would before their first hair-cut or trip to the shoe store. This will not be the frightening experience you may remember from your youth. If you are nervous about the trip, then the less you say the better. You cannot hide your anxiety from a child (they have radar for these things). We will send you information before the appointment that will explain everything and should be helpful to you. Have fun going through it with your child. Your child’s reaction to his first visit to the dentist may surprise you!
When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?
As soon as that first tooth erupts, it is at risk for developing decay. But even before it does, we recommend cleaning your child’s gums with a soft cloth with simply water.
What can I do for my child while he/she is teething?
From the age of six months through, approximately three years of age, your child will be teething! There are no hard and fast rules. Some children like a clean teething ring, cool spoon, chilled teeth ring or a cold, wet wash cloth. Some children will even require analgesics. Whatever works for your child is correct!
What about thumbsucking and use of a pacifier?
The use of a pacifier and thumbsucking/finger sucking is perfectly normal in infants. We have found that many will stop, on their own, by age 4. If not, the child may need help. A prolonged sucking habit can create many orthodontic and bite problems. We would be glad to suggest ways to help your child abandon any prolonged habit.
What about sterilization?
Your child’s health and peace of mind are always our primary concern: therefore we use state-of-the-art sterilization procedures. After each patient’s visit, the treatment area is thoroughly disinfected. We ultrasonically clean and heat sterilize all non-disposable instruments. Our staff wear gloves and masks during procedures. Please feel free to ask us for information on the measures we take to ensure the safety of your child.