Per the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, in order to prevent dental problems, a child should see the dentist for the first time when their first tooth appears, or no later then their first birthday.
Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.
A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.
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.
The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use a “smear” of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child less than 2 years of age. For the 2-5 year old, dispense a “pea-size” amount of toothpaste and perform or assist your child’s toothbrushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.
Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bed-time bottle. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child’s teeth. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child’s first birthday.
There is very little risk in dental X-rays. Pediatric dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.
At Fishman Pediatric Dentistry, we encourage parents to be as actively involved in their child’s visit as they feel comfortable. All parents are welcome in the treatment area if they desire. Having a parent back in the treatment area allows Dr. Fishman to effectively discuss with the parent ways in which their child can prevent decay and maintain proper dental hygiene.
A child crying during a dental visit is a completely normal and acceptable reaction. It is best to not let your child’s tears effect you. If you let your child know you are visibly upset, it may increase their anxiety. Our friendly staff will certainly make an effort to keep your child as calm and relaxed as possible.
Your first visit starts with a friendly greeting from our front desk staff. All new patient paperwork will be turned in at this point. You and your child will then be escorted back to the treatment area by one of our highly knowledgeable and friendly dental assistants. If needed, your child will be seated for x-rays using our digital x-ray machine. Your child will then have his or her teeth cleaned followed by a comprehensive dental examination. Lastly, a fluoride treatment is recommended. Your child will then be rewarded with a trip to our treasure box. He or she will pick out a toy, and they will be given a goodie bag with a tooth brush. The doctor will discuss any concerns you may have, and provide you with tips and suggestions regarding your child’s oral health.