your child's first visit
what to expect
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child’s first dental visit should be when their first tooth erupts, or around their first birthday. Bringing your little one in early will ensure that their mouth and gums are healthy and that their oral health is on the right track.
During your first visit at Villa Park Pediatric Dentistry, we will assess your child’s dental health and check their mouth and gums for any issues. We will always take the time to answer any questions you may have, and offer honest guidance and tips to help you develop proper oral care regimens for your child. Call us today!
gentle solutions for tongue-ties
Studies have shown that an infant with tongue tie issues can have trouble breastfeeding, and can also develop more serious issues if left untreated. An infant frenectomy is a quick, effective treatment that involves one of our dentists using a soft tissue laser to release your child’s lingual, labial, or posterior tie. Not only do frenectomies help babies, but older children with speech impediments or orthodontic issues can see benefits as well. Call us today to learn more about this life-changing procedure.
How to Prepare for
Your First Visit
Your child’s first dental visit should occur when their first tooth has erupted or by the time they turn one year old. Prepare your child for their visit by easing their mind and getting them excited. Children pick up on the attitudes of those around them so you mustn’t scare them with words like “needles,” “shots,” or “drills.”
Instead, speak positively about the dentist and get them interested in taking care of their teeth by reading a child-friendly book about going to the dentist. When you clean their teeth, tell them what you’re doing and why.
You can also mentally prepare them for the checkup by performing a checkup on their favorite stuffed animal. Make it fun and about counting how many teeth they have. Your child can bring this stuffed animal to their appointment for comfort and we can include it in the checkup to make them feel better.
It’s important to schedule the appointment with a strategy in mind. Don’t schedule it during an inconvenient time that your child would usually be napping or eating – this is unlikely to be a good experience for anyone. We recommend you schedule the appointment for early in the morning.
We will explain to your child what to expect, what we’re doing, and all of the tools we are using. Afterward, you can get them excited about the next appointment by reassuring them that the appointment was fun, reminding them that they learned how many teeth they have, and were given special prizes. You can use rewards like a trip to their favorite store or the park as positive reinforcement.
How Do I Clean
My Baby’s Teeth?
Before your child ever develops any teeth, you should keep their gums clean by wiping them with a damp cloth or using an infant-friendly toothbrush.
This will remove bacteria from the mouth and prepare your child for future toothbrushing.Their first tooth will usually come in when they are around 6 months of age and as soon as you notice their first tooth erupting, you will need to use a soft-bristle toothbrush with a small head to brush their tooth.
Otherwise, plaque will buildup and can cause oral health problems like cavities or gum disease very early on. You do not need to use toothpaste on your child’s tooth until they are 18 months old unless your dentist tells you it’s okay.
At 18 months, you can start using a smear of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice until they are 3 years old. From 3 years on you can use a pea-sized amount. Too much fluoride at a very young age can cause fluorosis.
Brush in small circles twice a day. It can be difficult to get young children to cooperate to brush their teeth. A helpful way to do it is to have them sit in your lap with their head tilted back.
You can sing a song or put something on that eases them while you brush their teeth. Your child will need help brushing until they develop the dexterity to do it on their own at around 7 years old.
Why Should I Take My Child to a
Pediatric Dentist Rather Than a General Dentist?
Unlike a general dentist, a pediatric dentist has received additional years of education and training in their specialization. They have been specially trained to deal with oral health problems that affect children, such as tongue and lip ties, losing baby teeth prematurely, bottle feeding, pacifier use, and thumb sucking.
Pediatric dental offices are also built from the ground up with your little one’s needs in mind. From a child-friendly design that will keep your child entertained while they wait to a highly trained staff and a team that knows how to communicate effectively with children.
A pediatric dentist will take the time to make your child feel uncomfortable, accommodate children with special needs, and explain what each tool is used for in a child-friendly manner. Pediatric dentists study child development, which enables them to better communicate and puts children at ease. This reduces negative feelings towards the dentist and helps facilitate a good relationship with dental care from an early age.