A Trusted Children’s Dentist in Wayne
It may not be surprising to learn that your child’s smile has different needs than your own. For instance, kids are more vulnerable to cavities between the ages of 6 and 14, as their first teeth are falling out and the permanent teeth are erupting. Protecting young smiles through excellent dentistry and oral hygiene at home are of vital importance. Keep reading to learn more about how your children’s dentist in Wayne can keep your favorite little teeth and gums healthy for the long-haul!
When Should a First Visit Occur?
It is generally recommended that children visit the dentist when their first tooth erupts, or no later than age 1. It may seem early for the dentist, but this initial appointment is important because allowing your child to get to know the dental team from a young age will help them make a lifelong habit out of regular dental care. Plus, the earlier we can intercept any issues with oral health and development, the better.
What to Expect during the First Visit
You do not have to do anything special to prepare for your child’s first dental appointment. They can sit in your lap throughout the visit -- and it will not take long to peek in their mouth and give their first little teeth a brief cleaning. We will first peek in their mouth, count the teeth that have come in, and make sure everything looks AOK. This is also a perfect time for you to ask any questions you may have about your little one’s oral health. Prepare a list ahead of time to make sure you do not leave with any doubts!
Some of the things you may want to ask at this appointment include:
- How should I clean my child’s teeth and gums?
- Can I use fluoride toothpaste?
- When should I begin flossing?
- What is baby bottle tooth decay and how can I avoid it?
- Am I doing everything I can to protect my child’s smile?
Top Tips for At-Home Oral Hygiene
In addition to visiting your child’s dentist every six months beginning around the age of 1, make sure you are helping them practice excellent oral hygiene at home to prevent tooth decay and other issues. Some of our tips for smart oral hygiene beginning in infanthood include the following:
- Use a moist washcloth to wipe down their gums and any erupted teeth after each feeding.
- Begin brushing the first erupted teeth twice daily with a rice-sized amount of non-fluoride toothpaste.
- Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle, which can lead to baby bottle tooth decay.
- Floss as soon as two teeth are touching each other.
- When your child is tying their own shoes, they will be ready to brush their own teeth. Continue to monitor their habits to ensure they are getting a proper clean each time.
Contact Us Today!
When it’s time for your child’s very first dental appointment, choose the team that offers excellence in a warm, kid-friendly environment! We invite you to contact Wayne Family Dentistry to book a visit with your dentist in Wayne today.
Children’s Dentistry FAQs
Do you still have questions about your child’s oral health? Your children’s dentist in Wayne wants to ensure your little one’s developing smile grows up to be bright and healthy. During their appointment, we can address any concerns you may have about caring for your child’s pearly whites in between appointments. For your convenience, here are the answers to some of the questions we get asked the most often.
How Can I Help My Child Avoid Cavities?
If your child eats or drinks a lot of sugar and/or has poor oral hygiene, bacteria can accumulate in their mouth. When these bacteria come into contact with sugar, they produce acids that erode tooth enamel, creating holes that we call cavities.
To reduce your child’s risk of developing cavities, make sure they brush and floss every day, stay hydrated with water instead of sugary juice, and eat plenty of mouth-healthy fruits and veggies.
Should I Be Worried If My Child Sucks Their Thumb?
Thumb-sucking is a natural habit that can bring very young kids comfort. Most of the time, they’ll outgrow it on their own by the age of four. If they don’t, though, be sure to talk to us about it. If your child continues to suck their thumb as their permanent teeth grow in, it could lead to orthodontic issues, such as a misaligned bite or protruded front teeth.
Why Do Baby Teeth Need Special Care If They’re Not Permanent?
Even though baby teeth eventually fall out, they play an important role in your child’s development. They help your son or daughter chew, speak, and smile properly. Additionally, they maintain space in the jaw for permanent teeth. If your child loses a baby tooth prematurely (whether due to decay or injury), the adjacent teeth may drift out of place in an attempt to fill in the gap. The adult teeth may then grow in at awkward angles that require orthodontic intervention, or they may not even erupt at all.
My Child Plays Sports. How Can I Protect Their Teeth?
We recommend that your child wears a mouthguard whenever they play sports that involve contact. Many pharmacies and sporting goods stores sell mouthguards for cheap, but they won’t fit as well as one that we make from impressions of your child’s mouth. Our custom-made mouthguards are not only more comfortable, but will protect your child’s smile more effectively.
Does My Child Need Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants cover the grooves and pits in the molars (back teeth). Your child may have difficulty reaching to brush those back teeth, making them more likely to suffer from decay. In most cases, we recommend all children get sealants as a preventive measure to keep their budding smiles safe.