Your child’s first dental visit sets up their lifetime experience of dental care! That’s why it’s so important to ensure children have an enjoyable first visit.
The dedicated dental team at Alba Dental Centre does everything we can to help kids have fun at the dentist. We make sure your child feels comfortable and at home from the moment they enter our clinc.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should have their first dental appointment by the time they turn one. Children need dental care to start around the time they get their first teeth. Even if your baby does not yet have teeth by 12 months old, starting dental care early ensures good oral hygiene development.
Most kids get their first “baby teeth” (officially known as primary teeth” by six to 12 months old. From there, teeth continue erupting until three years old, when your child will have 20 primary teeth During tooth eruption, kids may experience tender, sore, or swollen gums. Wipe a cool, damp cloth across the gums to help soothe them. You may find a teething ring, especially one that can be refrigerated, to be helpful.
Primary teeth shed throughout childhood, when the adult teeth begin to erupt. In most cases, permanent teeth start coming in around age six. This continues until around age 21, when wisdom teeth erupt. Adults have a total of 32 teeth, or 28 excluding wisdom teeth.
As your child’s teeth come in, check on them roughly every other week. Keep an eye out for signs of decay, including lines or discolouration. Keep in mind that sugar gravitates to new teeth. Help your child brush after eating or drinking non-water liquids. For the best kids hygiene, brush baby teeth four times a day, after each meal and before bed.
Brushing your child’s teeth doesn’t have to be a pain! Help them get in the habit as soon as they get their first tooth. Use a fluoride toothpaste to strengthen and protect their teeth. Start with a drop of toothpaste that’s similar to the size of a rice grain until about age three. When kids consistently spit out the toothpaste correctly, you can move up to a pea-sized drop. Monitor young kids as they brush to ensure safe, effective brushing.
In addition to brushing, help your kids with flossing. Your dentist will help you determine when to start flossing.
Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid, which can break down your teeth. 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 routines and regular dental visits help prevent tooth decay.
Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. 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 areas. Sealants last for several years, but will be monitored at your child’s regular checkups.
The health of your teeth and mouth is very important to the well-being of your entire body, and while routine brushing and flossing at home are necessary to keep your smile looking its best, visiting your dentist for a comprehensive exam and cleaning is essential. The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist every six months to ensure your teeth stay healthy and your smile stays beautiful.
By routinely seeing your dentist for exams and cleanings, you can:
During your exam, your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other health problems. Your dentist may also want to take X-rays to see what is happening beneath the surface of your teeth and gums. Whether these X-rays are traditional or digital, the images provided will help your dentist discover dental issues not visible to the naked eye.
Your dental hygienist will begin your cleaning by exploring the surface of your teeth to determine if you have any cavities and to examine the quality of existing fillings. The dental hygienist will then perform a periodontal exam to make sure your gums adhere tightly to your teeth, and no periodontal disease or bone loss may be occurring.
Next, your hygienist will carefully clean your teeth with a variety of tools to remove any hard mineral buildup (tartar) from your teeth. Then your hygienist will floss your teeth, use a polishing compound, and apply fluoride. Cleanings usually aren’t painful, but if you have any anxiety about your dental exam, be sure to let your hygienist know. They may offer several sedation options to ensure your comfort. If your dentist or hygienist finds tooth decay or gum disease, they will talk to you about changing your brushing or flossing habits. In severe cases, they may recommend antibiotics or other dental treatments. If your teeth and gums appear to be healthy, your dentist will probably recommend that you continue your brushing and flossing routine as usual.