Can I Prepare for My Baby’s First Dental Exam?
As a parent, you’ll experience so many exciting milestones, and the first dental visit is another one to add to your little one’s baby book. Your Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry team looks forward to laying the groundwork for healthy smiles for life. Here’s all you need to know about your baby’s first dental exam and what you can expect.
When Should You Start Taking Your Child to the Dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends scheduling your child’s first visit to a pediatric dentist when the first baby tooth appears and no later than the first birthday. Establishing a dental home and caring for children’s teeth right from the start will ensure their development is on track and help keep them free of tooth decay and cavities.
How Can You Prepare Your Little One for the First Dental Visit?
It is important to prepare for your child’s first dental visit to ensure it is a happy experience. Talk about the dentist in a positive manner and read a book or two or watch a video about visiting the dentist, even if your child isn’t verbal yet.
Avoid scheduling your child’s appointment during naptime. Choose a time you know your little one is likely to be rested and cooperative. Feed your baby before coming in because the last thing you want is to have a hungry, cranky child on your hands. Come to your child’s appointment prepared. Download the patient forms and fill them out at home instead of at the office on the day of your first visit.
It’s important to stay calm because your child will pick up on unspoken fears. Think of your little one’s first dental as an exciting milestone. Our team will do everything possible to keep your baby comfortable and happy.
What Happens During the First Dental Visit?
After greeting you and your little one, Dr. Patel will ask you about your child’s medical and dental history and if you have any current concerns. He will perform a dental exam to assess the baby teeth and gums and will evaluate every aspect of your child’s oral health.
We strive to make your child’s dental first visit as comfortable and informative as possible, so be sure to ask any questions you have. We will talk to you about proper tooth brushing techniques, nutrition for healthy smiles, what to expect with teething, and when to schedule your child’s next visit.
Just like adults, most kids require twice-a-year dental visits. Dr. Patel will recommend a dental cleaning and fluoride treatment at the appropriate time when your child is ready for and needs it. Maintaining regular pediatric dental care is an important component of preventive dentistry, designed to prevent the onset or progression of dental problems. Our goal is to maintain healthy, happy smiles for life.
Quality Pediatric Dentistry Services in Phoenix, AZ
At Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we strive to ensure our young patients are as comfortable as possible. Dr. Patel and his team are committed to providing outstanding, gentle dental services in a kid-friendly atmosphere. Call us and schedule your child’s first dental appointment today!
Childhood Caries: What Is It?
Did you know that early childhood caries, or ECC, is one of the most prevalent yet preventable diseases in children under age six? According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a young child is five times more likely to develop ECC than asthma. Learn more about ECC and how to keep your child’s smile healthy and sound.
Why Is It Important to Maintain Healthy Baby Teeth?
Even though baby teeth will eventually fall out, keeping them healthy will set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Those little chompers maintain the space needed for the adult teeth developing behind the scenes and help with proper speech development as well as chewing and eating. The premature loss of baby teeth can result in the neighboring teeth shifting out of alignment, potentially leading to crooked teeth or a crowded mouth. That will likely translate into the need for orthodontic treatment down the road.
What Is Early Childhood Caries?
Early childhood caries, otherwise known as baby bottle tooth decay, refers to a condition that affects young children up to age six. The first signs of ECC are white spots that appear near the gum line that often go unnoticed. If not diagnosed and treated, your little one may develop brown spots or holes or even broken teeth that may require involved dental procedures down the road.
How Does Early Childhood Caries Develop?
ECC is a preventable condition that usually results from the frequent, prolonged exposure of a child’s teeth to liquids and foods containing sugar, including milk and juice. As cavity-causing bacteria feast on the sugars, they produce acids that, over time, destroy your little one’s pearly whites. The main bacteria responsible for tooth caries are streptococcus mutans and lactobacillus, which usually transmit from the primary caregivers to the child. Other factors contributing to ECC are the frequency of feedings, poor oral hygiene practices, inadequate fluoride exposure, and the use of certain medications.
How Can You Prevent Early Childhood Caries?
The best way to prevent ECC is to care for your little one’s oral health right from the start. After each feeding, make sure you wipe your baby’s gums with a clean damp gauze or washcloth. When the teeth begin to come in, brush them regularly with a soft-bristled baby toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste around the size of a grain of rice until age 3. Between ages 3 and 6, you can use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
To prevent ECC, avoid placing sugary liquids or juices in bottles, make sure your child doesn’t go to bed with a bottle, and never dip the pacifier in sugar or honey. Encourage your little one to drink out of a sippy cup by the first birthday. Once you introduce solid foods, try to stick to healthy eating habits to promote a healthy body and healthy smiles.
Quality Pediatric Dentistry Services in Phoenix, AZ
Visit Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry for tips and advice on preventing ECC. We encourage you to start your child’s routine dental visits as soon as the first tooth emerges and no later than age one. Together, we’ll establish healthy habits for healthy smiles right from the start. Call us and schedule your appointment today!