PEDIATRIC DENTIST IN PACIFIC BEACH, CA
Your child’s first dental visit should be enjoyable. Children are not born with a fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. Our team makes a special effort to use pleasant, non-frightening, simple language to describe each step of dental treatment. We want you and your child to feel at ease from the very first moment you arrive at our office. The more you and your child know about the first visit, the better your family will feel.
THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY RECOMMENDS...
Children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child’s newly-erupted teeth (erupting at six and 12 months of age) receive dental care with emphasis on proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.
Getting to know your teeth and the care they need is fun!
WHEN NEW TEETH ARRIVE
Your child’s first primary or baby teeth will begin to erupt between the ages of six and 12 months, and will continue to erupt until about age three. During this time, your child may complain feeling sore or tender around the gums. To help with this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use a cool teething ring. When your child has finished teething, you can expect a total of 20 primary teeth.
Your child’s primary or baby teeth shed at various times throughout childhood. Permanent or adult teeth begin erupting at age six and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth (32, including wisdom teeth).
ADOPTING HEALTHY ORAL HYGIENE HABITS
As your child’s teeth erupt, be sure to examine them every two weeks, looking for lines and discoloration that may be caused by tooth decay. Remember that sugary foods and liquids can attack teeth, so take care that your child brushing needs after feeding or eating. We recommend brushing four times a day for optimal oral hygiene: after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and at bedtime.
Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as their first tooth erupts. When a baby’s tooth erupts, parents should brush the take care of them by brushing them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. For children younger than two, do not recommend use of fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by your dentist or other healthcare professional. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing procedures with your child.
Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your doctor will discuss with you the right time to start flossing. If you notice signs of tooth decay or discoloration, contact your dentist immediately.
PREVENTING TOOTH DECAY WITH REGULAR CHECKUPS
Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid, which can break down your dental enamel. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing habits combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.
Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth and gums clean, strong and healthy. Tooth sealants are also recommended because they “seal” the deep grooves in your child’s teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach sticky areas. Sealants may last for years, but will be monitored at your child’s regular checkups.