Pediatric dentists have received two to three additional years of specialty training after dental school. They have extra training in the oral health, restorative and orthodontic treatment and behavior management of infants, children, and adolescents, including those with disabilities.
The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends having your child’s first infant dental exam six months after the eruption of their first tooth, which is usually by their first birthday.
Reading books or watching videos about dental visits can give your child an overview of what to expect. Additionally, playing dentist-related games will help get used to the dental experience and prepare them for their appointment.
If they have a favorite toy or stuffed animal, having them carry it along during the visit will help them feel safe and secure. Moreover, discussing the dentist positively and using positive reinforcement by praising them for being brave will help make visits easier for your child.
Our pediatric dental office is open to you! You’re welcome to accompany your child during their checkup and dental cleaning appointments to promote a pleasant and collaborative experience for your little one.
It is important to help your young child brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes. The most important time to brush is prior to bed. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head specially designed for your young child. Brushing twice daily helps to eliminate plaque that can leads to decay and gum disease.
Tooth spacing is normal in young children, but if your child’s teeth are touching, it is important to floss in between their teeth with dental floss nightly. This can prevent food impaction that can lead to gum and tooth pain. Flossing can also decrease your child’s risk of developing cavities in between their teeth.
As soon as your child’s first tooth erupts, you should use toothpaste that is appropriate for your child’s dental needs. If your child is under the age of 3, our office recommends a toothpaste made with hydroxyapatite, like Risewell Toothpaste. After the age of 3, you may let them use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste under your supervision, or continue using the hydroxyapatite toothpaste. Encourage your child to spit out excess toothpaste.
Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth to prevent tooth decay. As the sealant bonds into the teeth’s grooves and depressions, it forms a protective shield over each tooth to help reduce your child’s risk of dental cavities on the biting surface of their teeth.
If your child uses a pacifier, you may notice a different pattern in their bite. Prolonged pacifier use can cause your child’s teeth to close down in the back and remain open in the front (open bite). Your child’s top arch may also be narrow and cause problems with spacing and bite pattern (cross bite). Prolonged use of a pacifier may also promote a forward position of the tongue (tongue thrust) which can affect their bite, and speech articulation.