Do you remember your first trip to the dentist? You probably don’t.
Nevertheless, you were forming impressions. You were getting a feel for what the dentist and the dentist’s staff do. You were learning if those were nice people or mean people.
And you were becoming familiar with the sights and sounds of a dentist office.
Those initial visits may not be seared into your mind, but they did shape your feelings about the dentist.
Ghina Morad, DMD, and her staff want your child’s first dental visit, as well as his or her subsequent visits, to be as pleasant as possible. Pediatric dentistry is an important part of our practice here in San Carlos, CA.
Early Dental Care
You may not realize it but dental care can start before you child has his or her first tooth.
After feeding your son or daughter, you can wipe his or her mouth with a moist cloth or a piece of gauze.
Your child’s first tooth usually emerges between 4 and 6 months after he or she is born. You need to realize that once your child has a tooth, then your child can develop tooth decay, too.
You can brush your child’s tooth (and shortly thereafter, teeth) a couple times per day. Get a soft-bristled toothbrush with a brush head that fits easily in your baby’s mouth. Use a bit of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice to gently scrub those first teeth.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends bringing your baby to the dentist office for the first time by his or her first birthday. We like to see children for the first time within six months of when their first teeth emerge.
What To Expect During A Dental Visit
Again, your child’s first visit has two purposes.
One reason is to assess the health of his or her mouth. We will look at your son or daughter’s teeth, and we will examine his or her gums.
And we can answer any questions you may have about what you should be doing to help maintain his or her dental health.
The second purpose is to introduce your child to our office and our staff. As your child gets older, we want him or her to feel comfortable and relaxed when seated in our dental chair.
We will show them videos that explain the different parts of a cleaning and examination. We can show them different instruments, and we may even let them touch some of the tools.
During their cleanings, we have a tablet available so your son or daughter can play games or watch videos. For some children, this is the perfect distraction to keep them calm throughout their cleanings and examinations.
What To Do At Home
At some point, you will want to teach your children how to brush their own teeth. Many kids are ready to start this process between the ages of 3 and 6 years old.
Your child will need a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. Squeeze toothpaste about the size of a pea onto the brush.
Your child needs to scrub his or her teeth for two minutes twice each day. You can use a stopwatch, a clock, or an app for your smartphone or tablet to help make sure your son or daughter brushes for the right amount of time.
You also want to show your child how to floss between each of his or her teeth. The American Dental Association created a video to demonstrate the proper flossing technique. You can find it here.
As you child gets older, he or she will start losing his or her baby teeth. Dental care is particularly important at this time.
If a baby tooth falls out too soon, it can affect the alignment of your child’s permanent teeth. We may recommend using a space maintainer if this happens.
We also provide dental sealants. These provided an added layer of protection against cavities and tooth decay.
Here For You And Your Family
Being a parent is hard, but we know that you want to help keep your son or daughter’s mouth as healthy as possible.