Recently, I took Kensington and Sean Jr. for their dental checkup and routine teeth cleaning at our incredible dentist at Fisher & Serger Pediatric Dentistry in Newport Beach, California.
My kids love going to the dentist because we've always made dental care a huge priority in our home. I started taking them when they both turned about 10-months-old. Because we started so early and found a dentist we trust and love, the kids love having their teeth cleaned.
The experience includes picking their flavor of tooth polish, wearing ultra-cool sunglasses while the dentist examines their mouths, and receiving a balloon and "goodie bag" afterward for good behavior.
I posted photos of my kids getting their teeth cleaned on Instagram and got so many questions from fellow parents. So, I decided to develop an article surrounding common questions new parents may have about pediatric dentistry.
Here are some of the questions I received from readers:
#1 - When should I bring my child in for his or her first visit?
According to our dentist, a baby should have his or her teeth examined within six months of getting their first tooth. This usually happens around their first birthday. Regardless, it's important to have them seen by the time they're 18 months old.
#2 What is the first visit like?
Your child's first dental appointment is all about meeting the dentist and letting him/her get familiar with your child's temperament and teeth.
The dentist will give you tips and tricks on how to properly clean your child’s teeth and prevent tooth decay. They will also talk to you about habits like thumb sucking and using a pacifier and recommend oral care products that best fit your children's needs.
#3 - How often should we come back to visit the dentist?
Every six months for a routine checkup and cleaning. It's common at follow-up appointments to have x-rays done if the dentist feels there's something that needs more examination.
#4 - Is there a difference between a pediatric dentist and a regular dentist?
Pediatric dentists have to attend an additional two years of specialty training after dental school, as they must become adept at making children feel comfortable and secure.
#5 - Why take care of the baby teeth if they are just going to fall out?
They play a huge role in forming paths for permanent teeth to follow. Baby teeth need to be well taken care of because they help babies properly chew food, help them speak clearly, and more.
Tooth decay on baby teeth can spread to their permanent teeth. Going to a pediatric dentist is literally make all the difference in the world as new teeth begin to show themselves.
#6 - What if my child has a cavity? Does it need to be filled?
Cavities are infections and most likely need to be filled, even if the cavity is on a baby tooth. Cavities can be passed from tooth to tooth, just like a cold, so if you leave a child's cavity in long enough, his or her other teeth can also become infected.
If you think your child has a cavity, connect with a dentist as soon as possible.
Getting your child comfortable in a healthy routine of regularly going to a dentist is so important for their future as adults and their oral health for the rest of their lives.