First Dental Visit

First Dental Visit

When should your child have their first visit?

All children should have their first dental exam by their first birthday as recommended by The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Dental Association, and The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Helpful Tips

Our team loves helping kids have a good first impression of the dentist! We also have some tips for helping your child feel ready and comfortable before they come see us:

Talk About It

We encourage parents to prepare children for visits by talking about it at home. Stick to positive words to describe the process like "healthy", "shiny" and "strong" (stay away from words like "shot", "hurts", "drill"). If your child has apprehensions or negative past experiences, please let our staff know before the appointment so we can be sure to be extra helpful.

Stay Positive

If parents or other family members have anxiety around dentistry, try to avoid discussing that with or in front of your kids. Try to keep it light and fun. Pediatric dentistry has come a long way in the last few decades and our goal is to provide great care in a fun, safe environment, so your kids enjoy coming back!

Read About It

Read books about teeth and going to the dentist before coming in!

Books We Recommend:

  • Just Going To The Dentist by Mercer Mayer
  • Show Me Your Smile!: A Visit To The Dentist (Dora the Explorer)
  • What to Expect When You Go to the Dentist (What to Expect Kids) by Heidi Murkoff
  • The Berenstain Bears Visit The Dentist
  • Curious George Visits the Dentist by Margret and H.A. Rey.
  • My Dentist, My Friend by P.K. Hallina

Frequently Asked Questions

When should a child first see a dentist?

When the first tooth grows into the mouth or age one, whichever happens soonest.

Why are baby teeth important to keep clean and fix? Don't they just fall out?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt. Leaving cavities on baby teeth until they fall out can be painful and cause damage to permanent teeth developing in the jaw.

What are cavities and where do they come from?

Cavities are areas of tooth damage caused by acid-producing bacteria that live in our mouths. When exposed to sugars and starches in our diets, these bacteria release acid onto our tooth which then eats away at the enamel surface and breaks down tooth structure.

What are the benefits of fluoride?

When applied topically to the teeth, fluoride has two benefits. First, it helps kills some "bad" or cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. It also gets incorporated into the enamel surface, making the tooth harder and more resistant to acid attacks, thereby reducing cavities! Be sure your children are not swallowing fluoridated toothpaste or rinses. Too much fluoride can also cause irreversible damage called fluorosis to the permanent teeth.

Why and how often do kids need x-rays of their teeth? Are they safe?

Dental x-rays allow dentists to diagnose and treat conditions that may not be detected during a clinical or visual examination. If dental problems are found and treated early, care is more comfortable, effective and affordable. In addition to showing cavities between the teeth, x-rays may be needed to evaluate erupting teeth, diagnose oral diseases or plan orthodontic treatment. Dental x-rays are usually first taken around the age of 4-5. Children are generally more susceptible than adults to getting cavities, and some kids are at even higher risk. For those children the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends x-ray examinations every six months to detect cavities. Children with a low risk of tooth decay require x-rays less frequently. © American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
As parents ourselves, we are particularly careful to minimize the exposure of all kids to radiation. With modern safeguards, the amount of radiation received during x-rays in our office extremely small. We use digital, low-dose x-rays and proper shielding with lead aprons to ensure that our patients receive the minimal amount of radiation exposure possible.

Why should my child get sealants?

Sealants act as a protective barrier in the deep grooves of back teeth. They can help reduce cavities by up 70%. The process is quick and painless that includes a deep clean of the tooth grooves, application of the sealant and setting it with a special blue light wand. We check all sealants we place at every routine exam to ensure they are intact. If they chip or come out, we replace them at no cost.

What is the benefit of Nitrous Oxide?

We safely use nitrous oxide in dentistry to provide a more comfortable level of care. It is delivered through a mask placed over the nose that provides a feeling of calm comfort and also reduces pain. This combination is great for children who have small mouths, gag-reflexes, difficulty opening wide or are fearful. It's often possible to avoid giving numbing injections during treatment when nitrous oxide is used. Patients stay awake while using nitrous oxide and are able to communicate. Once the nitrous oxide is turned off, the body removes almost all of the nitrous oxide in the patient's system within minutes. Below that should be the tooth eruption chart you already have.
Here is the content for the section on Dental Emergencies (also under patient info tab):

Emergency Information

What should I do if my child has a toothache?

A toothache can be caused by a variety of things from a new tooth coming in, a cavity, an infection or a cracked tooth. Help your child clean the area by brushing and flossing to remove any debris. Add a teaspoon of table salt to a cup of warm water and have your child rinse with it several times a day to reduce bacteria in the mouth. If the area is swollen, use a cold compress or ice bag wrapped in a towel to reduce inflammation. Apply cold for 15 minutes on, then 15 minutes off. Give your child children's ibuprofen in a dose appropriate for their size and weight to further reduce inflammation and treat pain. Feed your child cool, smooth, soft foods until the source of the problem can be managed. Since kids are at greater risk for cavities than adults, it's important to contact us to have your child seen as soon as possible.

What should I do if my child knocks out a baby tooth?

If your child knocks out a baby tooth, there is usually no treatment required as we do not re-implant baby teeth. It is still important to have the area examined as soon as possible to check for remaining tooth parts and rule out any damage to the surrounding bone, tissue or permanent teeth.

What should I do if my child knocks out a permanent tooth?

If your child has knocked out a permanent tooth, she or he must see a dentist ASAP! Following these steps will help give the tooth the best chance of surviving:
A) Locate the tooth and handle it by the crown only. Do not touch or scrub the root area;
B) If possible, re-insert the tooth back into the socket and hold it in place with gauze or a tissue;
C) If not possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk or a cup of the child's own saliva and transport it to a dentist office quickly. The quicker the tooth is re-inserted, the better.

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