Dental Emergencies

Children’s Dentistry

What is children’s dentistry?

Also referred to as pediatric dentistry, children’s dentistry focuses specifically on patients who are still in their formative years, between birth and puberty.

When should your child first see a dentist?

A child’s first visit should be before the age of one. It is important for them to get comfortable with the idea of visiting a dentist so they won’t fear it later on or develop dental anxiety. It is also very important to educate the parents on infants’ oral health and dietary habits and concerns. Because of this, it’s recommended that parents bring their children to the dentist with them to sit-in on their parents’ dental exams, even if they’re still too young to have one of their own.

What is the main focus of children’s dentistry?

Helping to promote and maintain the dental health of children, children’s dentistry is focused on educating kids, and their parents, about the importance of having good dental hygiene habits, including expert flossing and brushing, identifying, preventing and treating the early signs of tooth decay, and maintaining proper development.

When should you start taking care of your baby’s teeth?

During teething, between the ages of three and nine months, your baby’s first teeth will begin to break through, which may make them fuss or cry. You can help promote the health of these first teeth by cleaning them, as well as the gums, with a clean cloth that’s been dampened with water.

When should you start brushing teeth?

When the first teeth erupt, brush them with a soft cloth, finger brush or toothbrush and water after each meal. At the appropriate age, start using toothpaste and teach them to brush their own teeth. Don’t start using fluoride-based toothpaste until your child is old enough to spit the toothpaste out and not swallow it. Supervise your child when they are first learning how to brush their teeth, usually until age 10.

What should you expect during your child’s first dental exam?

Regular dental checkups for children include a visual dental examination. X-rays may be used, once a child reaches a certain age, to diagnose potential problems. A thorough dental cleaning is also part of a routine children’s dentistry visit, including scaling, polishing with toothpaste, flossing and possibly a fluoride treatment.

How can you maintain optimal oral health in children?

  • Start bringing them to the dentist at an early age so they get comfortable with dental screenings and examinations.
  • Education on proper nutrition and eating habits.
  • Help them develop an expert flossing and brushing routine as soon as they are old enough to learn it.
  • Inform yourself about the effect of habits like thumb sucking on tooth alignment.
  • Ensure your children wear protective mouth gear when engaging in sports activities that could result in potential dental injuries.