Dentistry for Kids
Dentistry for Kids: The Pediatric Dentist
A child's first visit to the pediatric dentist should be enjoyable. Children are not born with a natural fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. Our pediatric dentists makes a special effort to use pleasant, non-frightening, simple words to describe each treatment. We want you and your child to feel at ease from the moment your family arrives at our child friendly dentist office. The more you and your child know about the first visit, the better you will feel.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the first visit by age 1
Children should visit the pediatric dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child's newly-erupted teeth (erupting at six to 12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.
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The arrival of Baby Teeth
Your child's first primary, or "baby," teeth will begin to erupt between the ages of six to 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.
Your child's primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood, and their permanent teeth begin erupting at age six, and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth, 32 teeth including wisdom teeth.
Click on the ages below to learn more about dental development.
- Know Your Teeth:
Adopting healthy oral hygiene habits as recommended by our Pediatric Dentists
As your child's teeth erupt, be sure to examine them every two weeks, looking for lines and discoloration that may be caused by decay. Remember that sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth, so take care that your child brushes her teeth after feeding or eating. We recommend brushing four times a day for optimal oral hygiene: after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and at bedtime.
Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush 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 pea-sized amount of toothpaste. For children younger than two, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by your dentist or other healthcare professional. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing procedures with your child. Our pediatric dentist will guide you on proper brushing techniques.
Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your pediatric dentist will discuss with you the right time to start flossing. If you notice signs of decay, contact your pediatric dentist immediately.
Preventing tooth decay with regular visits to your Pediatric Dentist
Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid that can break down 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 combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.
Your child should visit the pediatric dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and dental checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. Tooth sealants are also recommended because they "seal" the deep grooves in your child's teeth, preventing tooth decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Dental sealants last for several years, but will be monitored at your regular dental checkups.