There are books available which describe dental visits. Be careful how much you say to your child about the visit though since he or she might “pick up” on your fears if you have them.
Allow the dental team to show your child the tools to be used at the visit and describe the visit in terms your child will understand. Be careful not to say things like, “It won’t hurt,” since your child will only be reminded of the word “hurt.”
Radiographs (X-rays) are a vital and necessary part of your child’s dental diagnostic process. Without them, certain dental conditions can and will be missed.
Radiographs detect much more than cavities. For example, radiographs may be needed to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury or plan orthodontic treatment. Radiographs allow dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child and more affordable for you.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends radiographs and examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay. On average, most pediatric dentists request radiographs approximately once a year. Approximately every 3 years it is a good idea to obtain a complete set of radiographs, either a panoramic and bitewings or periapicals and bitewings.
Pediatric dentists are particularly careful to minimize the exposure of their patients to radiation. With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. The risk is negligible. In fact, the dental radiographs represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem. Lead body aprons and shields will protect your child. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary X-rays and restricts the X-ray beam to the area of interest.
Your Child’s First Dental Visit: According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your child should visit the dentist by his/her 1st birthday. You can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. Your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and their staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions.
It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as needle, pull, drill or hurt. Pediatric dental offices make a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.
When will my baby start getting teeth: Teething, the process of baby (primary) teeth coming through the gums into the mouth, is variable among individual babies. Some babies get their teeth early and some get them late. In general the first baby teeth are usually the lower front (anterior) teeth and usually begin erupting between the age of 6-8 months.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (Early Childhood Caries): One serious form of decay among young children is baby bottle tooth decay. This condition is caused by frequent and long exposures of an infant’s teeth to liquids that contain sugar. Among these liquids are milk (including breast milk), formula, fruit juice and other sweetened drinks.
Putting a baby to bed for a nap or at night with a bottle other than water can cause serious and rapid tooth decay. Sweet liquid pools around the child’s teeth giving plaque bacteria an opportunity to produce acids that attack tooth enamel. If you must give the baby a bottle as a comforter at bedtime, it should contain only water. If your child won’t fall asleep without the bottle and its usual beverage, gradually dilute the bottle’s contents with water over a period of two to three weeks.
After each feeding, wipe the baby’s gums and teeth with a damp washcloth or gauze pad to remove plaque. The easiest way to do this is to sit down, place the child’s head in your lap or lay the child on a dressing table or the floor. Whatever position you use, be sure you can see into the child’s mouth easily.
-A sore that won't heal
-White or red leathery patches on the lips and or under the tongue
-Pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth or lips
-Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue or a change in the way the teeth fit together
Because the early signs of oral cancer usually are not painful, people often ignore them. If it’s not caught in the early stages, oral cancer can require extensive, sometimes disfiguring, surgery. Even worse, it can kill.
Fluoride-containing compounds are used in topical and systemic fluoride therapy for preventing tooth decay. Fluoride treatment works to prevent cavities by (i) stopping the demineralization, or breakdown, of your child’s teeth, (ii) promoting the remineralization, or strengthening, of those very same teeth, and (iii) providing antibacterial effects by disrupting the enzymes used by bacteria found in plaque.
We recommend the use of fluoride-containing toothpastes for your child upon eruption of the first tooth. If your child cannot spit, then we recommend using only a minimal smear of toothpaste. For pre-school aged children who have developed the ability to spit productively, a small, pea-sized amount of toothpaste containing fluoride is adequate. We recommend parents to supervise and assist small children with their brushing.