Planning for Your First Dental Visit - Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

Planning for Your First Dental Visit

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July 29, 2017
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first dental visit

Hardy Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics is excited to welcome you into our dental family and we want you to feel comfortable and at ease from day one. Knowing what to expect when you walk in our front door can help eliminate those first visit jitters you may feel from beginning a new relationship with us. We are eager and happy to help prepare you for your first dental visit and can answer any questions you may have. Your child’s first dental visit is an exciting milestone in their life! We can help make that visit as enjoyable as possible. 


The Importance of Dentistry

When it comes to the health of your mouth, you definitely don’t want to miss out on dental care. Those who receive proper dental care have healthier mouths than those who don’t. Even if you brush and floss the teeth often, there are many problems that can go wrong with the teeth that you might not even be aware of. Tooth decay is hard for the visible eye to see until that decay has progressed significantly. It’s impossible to see inside the teeth on your own as well. However, a dentist has the right tools (such as x-rays) to see inside the teeth and make sure tooth structure is intact. When it comes to dental care, we recommend that you 1) have a dentist and 2) see that dentist often. We also recommend receiving comprehensive exams and cleanings at least biannually. Children, expectant mothers, and those who need dental work may need to visit the dentist more often than that. These cleanings and examinations can detect tooth decay and gum disease in their first stages. This detection can end up saving your smile and help you avoid extensive oral health problems in the future.


Your Child’s Teeth

The dentist is important for not only adults, but for children as well. Why? Because tooth decay and gum disease can affect anyone. Your baby will begin to grow teeth at about 6 months of age. At this time and forever after, it’s extremely important to establish proper oral hygiene habits so those teeth stay healthy. Yes, baby teeth will eventually fall out. However, those teeth won’t fall out for years. They must be taken care of just like adult teeth. Your child will have 20 primary teeth. The front upper and bottom teeth will come in around 6 months of age, and the rest will follow. These teeth will have more space between them. There will also be less teeth than an adult set.


Room for Adult Teeth

Your child’s baby teeth will make room for the adult teeth that will eventually come in. If those baby teeth are taken care of, the adult teeth should come in exactly how they’re supposed to. If bite and alignment problems are present, we have child orthodontics that can help shape your child’s teeth into proper alignment. This will ensure the adult teeth come into the mouth where they’re supposed to come in.


Your Child’s First Visit

The American Dental Association advises that your child see the dentist within 6 months of the first baby tooth erupting in the mouth, but no later than 1 year of age. At your child’s first visit with us, our goal is to have you and your child meet Dr. Nam and become comfortable with her. Your child can see the dentist office and become familiar with the environment. This visit will consist of a comprehensive exam so that we can assess your child’s needs. You can stay with your child during their first dental visit. We generally have the child sit with the parent during this visit so that they feel safe and are less nervous. You can even hold your child on your lap during their exam.


Comprehensive Exam

At your child’s first dental visit, Dr. Nam will check all of your child’s existing teeth for decay and will examine your child’s bite. She will evaluate any potential problems related to the teeth, gums, oral tissues or jaw. We will also take x-rays during this visit so that we can see the internal health of the teeth and current development. X-rays play an important role in this visit so that Dr. Nam can see if all the adult teeth are growing correctly in the jaw. We typically do a simple dental cleaning and a fluoride treatment during this first dental visit. This allows your child to become familiar with our tools and treatments. We will also give you tips for proper oral care and how to keep your child’s smile as healthy as possible.


Habits That Work Wonders

The foundation for good oral hygiene habits are established during the first few years of life. Poor diet and poor toothbrushing habits during the first two years of life are related to tooth decay in children. If your child has cavities in their baby teeth, they have a higher chance of having cavities in their adult teeth. Proper oral hygiene habits can work wonders for not only your mouth, but your child’s as well. Brush the teeth often, at least twice a day. Brushing after every meal will lower your chance of tooth decay even more than just sticking to twice a day. Floss the teeth every single day. Avoid too much sugary foods, as this sugar mixes with bacteria in the mouth and sits on the teeth in the form of plaque. This is what erodes the tooth enamel. Fluoride treatments are great for the teeth and there are fluoride treatments that are safe for young children.


Your Consultation

We offer a free first dental visit to all our patients. You can feel free to always call our office for any questions you might have. Your child’s first dental visit is something to be very excited about! Seeing the dentist and establishing good oral hygiene habits at home are the best ways to keep your child’s smile healthy for years to come. To schedule your first appointment, call our Hardy Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics office today at (720) 887-6003!