At Life Point Dental, we strive to provide a “dental home” for your child, a place where oral health care is delivered in a comprehensive, accessible, and family-centered way. This relationship gives your child the best chance for optimal oral health. Our approach to dentistry focuses on prevention and education.
We aim to educate the whole family to help prevent dental problems - parents are welcome to be with their children during their appointments. Our goal is for our office to be a place where families are comfortable and look forward to visiting.
When Should I Make My Child's First Dental Appointment?
The staff at Life Point Dental like to see a child around age three, when they typically have all of their primary teeth.
A child’s first dental visit is the perfect opportunity for parents to learn how to properly care for their child’s teeth to avoid cavities. Additionally, if your child’s teeth are already beginning to show signs of early decay, your child’s dentist will be able to work with you to try to reverse that early decay before it develops into a cavity. The sooner you bring your child to the dentist, the better the chances of being able to reverse any tooth decay before it permanently damages your child’s tooth.
If a cavity has already developed, it is important to treat the cavity early. Tooth decay in young children is especially aggressive and, when left untreated, can lead to serious infections relatively quickly.
Because very young children cannot communicate their feelings easily, parents sometimes mistake pain caused by tooth decay for normal teething or other types of pain.
When Should My Child Begin Brushing Their Teeth?
When your child gets his or her first tooth/teeth, brush them with an infant toothbrush. Use water and a tiny bit of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice).
Around age 2, your child should learn to spit while brushing. We do not recommend giving your child water to swish and spit to avoid potentially swallowing toothpaste.
Children ages 3 and up should use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
Always supervise children younger than 8 while brushing to prevent swallowing toothpaste.
Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle can harm their teeth. Sugars from juice, formula, or milk that stay on a baby's teeth for hours can eat away at the enamel (the layer of the tooth that protects against tooth decay). When this happens, teeth can get discolored, pocked, and pitted. Cavities might form and, in severe cases, the decayed teeth might need to be pulled.
If your child is nervous about their first dental appointment, we always welcome parents to bring their child by our office to take a look around and get acclimated to our clinic before your visit with us! If you think this would help your child, feel free to give us a call to schedule a tour of our office.
A Child's First Dental Checkup
Your child's first dental visit is to help your child feel comfortable with the dentist. The first visit often lasts 30 to 45 minutes.
Depending on your child's age, the visit may include a full exam of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to check growth and development. If needed, your child may also have a gentle cleaning. This includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque or tartar.
Just like adults, children should see the dentist every 6 months, but sometimes we may advise an appointment in 3 months. This can build comfort and confidence in the child. More frequent visits can also help keep an eye on a development problem.