What To Expect
Along with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association, we recommend that a child’s first dental visit be scheduled by their 1st birthday. We always want you and your child to be comfortable and to enjoy getting to know our doctors and staff. A pleasant, comfortable first visit builds trust and helps put the child at ease during future dental visits. Please communicate any concerns and expectations for the visit to our staff. We want to be accommodating and support you any way that we can.
We will record the child’s dental and medical history, complete a comprehensive examination and discuss any findings with you. We will also review the importance of maintaining a good dental health program with you and your child to ensure a healthy and beautiful smile for life. Tips for brushing baby’s teeth and gums, dietary counseling, and other growth and development assessments will be provided. Feel free to prepare a list of questions or concerns to bring with you, so that we may adequately address them. A parent or legal guardian must be present for the child’s first visit.
If your child is older for their first visit, then we will be happy to tailor that visit to your child’s individual needs. If age appropriate, we may prescribe x-rays, cavity diagnosing and/or growth and development. Please inform us if your child has had an experience prior to visiting our office, so we may communicate with the child any concerns they may have at the start of the appointment. We will make every attempt to obtain x-rays taken at a previous provider. Our doctors prescribe radiographs in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s guidelines, which is the standard of care. A parent or legal guardian must be present for the child’s first visit.
While many may think that pediatric dentists are meant for providing dental care exclusively for young children, they are actually trained to treat kids of ALL ages–teens included! In fact, they are the best choice when it comes to caring for your teen’s teeth. Teens have a higher risk for cavities than adults and more risk for traumatic injuries to teeth and pediatric dentists are best for treating these types of dental issues. Pediatric dentists are also trained to determine if your teen needs orthodontic treatment. We understand the specific dental needs of teenagers and provide the best dental care in an office that is anything but kiddie.
Children normally have two sets of teeth: primary (baby) teeth and secondary (permanent) teeth. The primary teeth begin erupting around ages 6-8 months, and all 20 are in place by age 3. Some children may begin teething earlier, and in some cases babies are born with a tooth!
Permanent teeth begin to erupt in children around 6 years of age. A full complement of permanent teeth is usually achieved between the ages of 12 and 14 years, with the exception of wisdom teeth. They generally erupt between the ages of 17 and 21 years. The total number of permanent teeth is 32, though few people have room for all 32 teeth, which is why wisdom teeth are usually removed.
Regarding permanent teeth, those present in the very front of the mouth are called incisors. The next teeth, further back, are called the canines, or “eye teeth” The next set of teeth are called premolars, or bicuspids. The last set, in the back of the mouth, are called molars. Your permanent teeth are the ones you keep for life, so it is important that they are brushed and flossed regularly and that periodic check-ups by a dentist are followed.
Hover over a tooth for its eruption information.
Hover over a tooth for its eruption information.
Brush your child’s teeth at least twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste, to avoid the accumulation of food particles and plaque. This will help to minimize your child’s risk for cavities.
For children under 3 years of age, a soft bristled toothbrush and a “smear” of fluoridated toothpaste is recommended, regardless of the child’s ability to spit out. This tiny amount allows the teeth to be protected by daily fluoride exposure, while reducing the child’s risk for fluorosis, which may cause unsightly discoloration of the permanent teeth.
For children between the ages of 3 and 5 years, a soft bristled toothbrush and a “small pea” of fluoridated toothpaste is appropriate.
For older children learning to brush on their own, we recommend they brush for two minutes, attempting to brush the cheek side, chewing side and tongue side of every tooth twice. Brushing should consist of small circles with bristles angled towards the gumline. We do recommend that parents help children under age 10 with their night time brushing, as they do not have the dexterity to brush as adults do. This helps to ensure that all surfaces are plaque free before bedtime.
For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, dental floss is used to remove food particles and plaque. Dental floss is a thin thread of waxed nylon that is used to reach below the gum line and clean between teeth. It is very important to floss between your child’s teeth every day.
We recommend traditional floss or floss sticks. For traditional floss, pull a small length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between the teeth, forming a “C-shape” at the gumline. For floss sticks, pop them between any teeth that are touching. This will remove any food particles or plaque that your toothbrush cannot reach. Floss daily between any teeth that are touching, both in the front and back of your child’s mouth. When you first begin flossing your child’s teeth, his/her gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not go away after 7-10 days of consistent flossing, please call our office.