Just like you take your child to a pediatrician, it’s important to take your child to the dentist.
When to Take Your Child to the Dentist
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child visit the dentist by the child’s first birthday. Love Your Smile Dentistry accepts newborn and infants. We encourage your first visit to be at least when the child is 6 months old even if the child has no teeth yet. We will evaluate swallowing and structures within the oral cavity.
As soon as a child has a tooth, that tooth can get a cavity. And as soon as the child has two teeth that touch each other, they need to be flossed to keep cavities from forming between them. Many people don’t realize that babies and toddlers can develop a problem known as baby bottle tooth decay. Milk, juice, formula, and sugar water can lead to cavities (dental decay) if the liquid sits on the teeth. This may happen if the child falls asleep with a bottle or sippy cup resting against his or her mouth.
What to Expect During Your Child’s Visit to the Dentist
Our dentist will check your child’s teeth and jaw alignment for any problems. Depending on the child’s age and comfort level at the dentist, the examination can be done either in a dental chair or with the child sitting on the parent’s lab.
If dental x-rays are needed to diagnosis any tooth with decay or other problems, they will be taken. Often, small children do not require any x-rays.
Our children’s dentist and team have several ways to keep your child’s smile healthy and bright including:
- Teeth Cleaning for Children: Our dentist and hygienist know how to get your child to open wide so their teeth can be cleaned.
- Fluoride: Known as nature’s cavity fighter, topical fluoride incorporates into the enamel of teeth to make the tooth surface more resistant to decay.
- Dental Sealants: Sealants prevent dental decay by sealing the grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth with a thin, protective layer of plastic so food and bacteria can’t get trapped there.
- Dental Bonding: Tooth-colored materials can repair chips and minor fractures to children’s teeth.
- Fillings: If your child has a cavity, our dentist will carefully remove the damaged part of the tooth and repair it with a tooth-colored filling.
- Baby Root Canal: If dental decay reaches the soft pulp of the tooth where the blood vessels and nerves are housed, then it can cause a severe toothache. A root canal may be the only way to save the damaged tooth.
- Pediatric Crowns: If the child has a cavity too large to repair with a filling or if the child has had a root canal, then our dentist can cap the tooth with a pediatric crown.
The American Dental Association recommends children wear mouthguards to protect their teeth when involved in just about any kind of athletic training, from football, boxing and hockey to gymnastics and ice skating. Mouthguards cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth, teeth knocked loose, or teeth knocked out. Love Your Smile Dentistry is able to fabricate mouthguards in our office.