A child's first visit to the dentist should be enjoyable. Children are not born with a natural fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. Our Shoreline kid friendly office makes a special effort to use pleasant, non-frightening, simple words to describe each treatment. We want you and your child to feel at ease from the moment your family arrives at our office. The more you and your child know about the first visit, the better you will feel. We are very excited to be a part of your child's growing years and feel honored to help nurture their smiles for a lifetime!
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends...
Children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child's newly-erupted teeth (erupting at six and 12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.
Getting to know your teeth is fun!
What to expect at your child’s first dental visit
Please select an appointment time when your child is usually alert and not tired, preferably in the morning for small children. It is normal for kids to feel anxious at first about going to the dentist. We encourage you to give your child a virtual office tour https://www.alemfamilydental.com/office-tour.
The first visit is an introductory visit if you child is less than three years old. We will listen to any concerns that you may have, and review medical and dental history. We focus on getting to know your child and give you some basic information about dental care, nutrition, and discuss any habits such as thumb sucking, pacifier use, teething, and fluoride. The doctor will then check your child's teeth for pattern of teeth eruption, health, and facial development, and look for signs of any potential problems. If your child is ready for dental polishing, we may do a bit of cleaning and apply fluoride varnish. If your child is over the age of three and cooperates for X-rays, we may include digital X-rays during this visit to check for dental decay and other abnormality.
We will also answer any questions you may have about how to best care for your child's teeth as they develop. Our goal is to establish communication, alleviate fear/anxiety, build a trusting dentist/child relationship, and promote the child’s positive attitude toward oral health and become a regular and comfortable visitor for a lifetime. As a mother of three boys, Dr. Timar Alem your Shoreline family dentist knows the special attention children and adolescent need to care for their teeth and helps them establish consistent long term good habits. She has been helping families and children in Shoreline area for 10years.
When New Teeth Arrive
Your child's first primary or baby teeth will begin to erupt between the ages of six and 12 months, and will continue to erupt until about age three. During this time, your child's gums may feel tender and sore. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring. When your child has finished teething, you can expect a total of 20 primary teeth.
Your child's primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood. Permanent teeth begin erupting at age six, and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth (32, including wisdom teeth).
Adopting Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits
As your child's teeth erupt, be sure to examine them frequently, looking for white spots and discoloration that may be the first sign of tooth decay. Remember that sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth that is not quite fully mineralized, so take care that your child brushes after feeding or eating. We recommend brushing twice a day for optimal oral hygiene.
Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. When a baby's tooth erupts, parents should brush the tooth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. For children younger than two, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by your dentist or other healthcare professional. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing procedures with your child.
Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your doctor will discuss with you the right time to start flossing. If you notice signs of decay, contact your dentist immediately.
Preventing Tooth Decay with Regular Checkups
Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid, which can break down your teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.
Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. Tooth sealants are also recommended because they "seal" the deep grooves in your child's teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants should be placed as soon as their first permanent molars erupt or around age 6. Sealants last for several years, but will be monitored at your child's regular checkups.
We are here to help nurture your child's smile, serving Shoreline are families.
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