Child Dentistry − Butler, PA
Your child’s first dental appointment is very important! You should schedule around their first birthday in order to get them familiar with regular six month dental visits.
Your child’s first visit
We may ask the parent to sit in the dental chair and hold their child during the examination. The parent may also be comfortable waiting in the reception area during part of the visit so that a relationship can be built between the child and the dental team.
We will gently examine your child’s teeth and gums. X-rays may be taken (to reveal decay between the teeth and check on the progress of your child’s permanent teeth under the gums). We may clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay. We will also make sure your child is receiving adequate fluoride at home. Most importantly, we will review with you how to clean and care for your child’s teeth and provide product reccomendations.
What should I tell my child about the first dental visit?
We are asked this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way that you would before their first haircut or trip to the shoe store. Your child’s reaction to his first visit to the dentist may surprise you.
Here are some “First Visit” tips:
- Take your child for a “preview” or online tour of the office.
- Read books or role play with them about going to the dentist.
- Review with them what the dentist will be doing at the time of the first visit.
- Speak positively about your own dental experiences
During your first visit the dentist will:
- Examine your mouth, teeth, and gums
- Evaluate diet and adverse habits like thumb sucking
- Discuss fluoride options
- Provide dental hygiene instructions and individualized products
- Suggest and schedule regular dental visits.
What about preventative care?
Tooth decay and children no longer have to go hand in hand. At our office we are most concerned with all aspects of preventive care. We use the latest in sealant technology to protect your child’s teeth. Sealants are a flowable composite material that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of teeth with deep grooves. This is just one of the ways we will set the foundation for your child’s lifetime of good oral health.
Limiting the frequency of carbohydrates and sugary snacks, brushing regularly, and drinking beverages with a low sugar content can keep teeth healthy and cavity free.
Every time someone eats, an acid reaction occurs inside their mouth as the bacteria digests the sugars. This reaction lasts approximately 20 minutes. During this time the acid environment can destroy the tooth structure, eventually leading to cavities.
Consistency of a person’s saliva also makes a difference; thinner saliva breaks up and washes away food more quickly. When a person eats diets high in carbohydrates and sugars they tend to have thicker saliva, which in turn allows more of the acid-producing bacteria that can cause cavities.
Tips for cavity prevention:
- Limit Frequency of meals and snacks.
- Encourage brushing, flossing and rinsing.
- Encourage drinking of water, milk, and 100% fruit juices with no added sugar.
- Avoid sticky foods.
- Make treats a part of meals to decrease frequency
- Choose nutritious snacks. Crunchy fruits and vegetables help clear away cavity causing particles that can be stuck in the grooves of the teeth.
The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. You will notice this when your baby is about 6-8 months old. Next to follow will be the 4 upper front teeth and the remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear periodically. They will usually appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2 1/2 years old.
At around 2 1/2 years old your child should have all 20 teeth. Between the ages of 5 and 6 the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some don’t. Don’t worry if some teeth are a few months early or late as all children are different.
Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth but they are important to chewing, biting, speech and appearance. For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.