Our practice is kid-friendly and committed to providing you and your family with safe, gentle, high-quality dental care. Children are not born with a natural fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. At our office, we make a special effort to describe treatment in pleasant, non-frightening words. Our goal is for you and your child to feel at ease from the moment you walk through the door. The more you know and have prepared for your child's first dental visit, the better you will feel.
Your Child's First Visit
Children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. When the first teeth erupt (typically around 6-12 months of age), it is crucial that your children receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.
The first visit to the dentist is very critical in shaping a great lifetime relationship with the dentist and dental team.
When New Teeth Arrive
Your child's primary or baby teeth will begin to grow in between around age 6 to 12 months and continue to erupt until about age three. It is normal for their gums and teeth to feel tender and sore during this time. To help alleviate this discomfort, you can soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or cool, wet cloth on the gums. A teething ring can also help ease the teething process. When the teething process is complete, your child will have 20 primary teeth.
These primary teeth will begin shedding to allow permanent teeth to grow in around age six and may continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth, 32 when including wisdom teeth.
Adopting Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits
Be sure to examine your child's teeth as they develop, checking every two weeks for lines and discoloration that may be caused by decay. Encourage your child to brush their teeth after every feeding or eating, as sugary foods and liquids can attack new teeth. For children, we recommend brushing four times a day for optimal oral hygiene: after each meal and before bedtime.
Help your child learn to brush their teeth as soon as their first tooth arrives. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride-free toothpaste to gently scrub the surfaces of the tooth. If you notice signs of decay on your child's teeth, call our office to schedule an appointment immediately.
Preventing Tooth Decay with Regular Checkups
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that feed off the sugars left in the mouth. These bacteria produce acids, which can break down the structural integrity of the teeth. The reason children are at high risk for tooth decay is simple: many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits can help keep tooth decay away.
We recommend you stop into our office to visit Dr. Tang for fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth at their strongest. Tooth sealants, which help prevent decay, are also an option for children who are having difficulty cleaning the hard-to-reach deep grooves in their teeth.