WHEN SHOULD I SCHEDULE MY CHILD’S FIRST DENTAL APPOINTMENT?
Around your child’s first birthday.
Really, that young?
But she hardly has any teeth yet.
The Age One First Dental Visit is recommended by both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Medical Association. The reason for your child’s first visit by age one, even though few teeth will be present at this time, is to establish a dental home in case of emergencies but more importantly for you to spend time with the dentist and staff to learn how to be taking care of your child’s newly erupting teeth in an effort to hopefully minimize or avoid getting cavities.
At your infant’s first dental visit we will spend time with you and your child learning about what your dreams are for your child’s dental health and how we can work together to accomplish that goal. We will discuss the medical history of your little one and the dental history of your child and those in your family, a history that may affect your child’s future dental health and development. We will demonstrate proper age-appropriate tooth-brushing techniques and evaluate your child’s risk for developing cavities in the future. Our team will share with you anticipatory guidance regarding future teeth eruption, any habits that may effect your child’s teeth such as thumb sucking or pacifier use, injury prevention, the effects of diet on your child’s teeth and much more. If indicated, we will perform a cleaning and apply a fluoride treatment.
At your child’s Age One First Dental Visit, together we will create a plan intended to keep your child on the path to a lifetime of healthy teeth and a beautiful smile!
WHAT IF MY CHILD IS OLDER THAN ONE FOR THEIR FIRST DENTAL VISIT?
No matter what age you bring your child in for their first dental appointment at ABC Pediatric Dentistry, our goals are the same…to help your child have a positive first dental experience and get them on the road to having healthy teeth and a beautiful smile for a lifetime.
Every time a new patient walks through our doors with his or her parents, we will spend time learning about what your dreams are for your child’s dental health and how we can work together to accomplish that goal. We will provide all of the same high quality care and attention that we do at our Age One First Dental Visit as well as provide other age-appropriate and dental-appropriate needs your child may have, including a dental cleaning, fluoride treatment and complete dental examination. We will take digital dental x-rays when indicated to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of your child’s teeth to obtain optimal dental health, following the American Dental Association’s guidelines for dental radiography.
I THINK MY CHILD MIGHT BE NERVOUS OR SCARED ABOUT THEIR FIRST DENTAL APPOINTMENT. WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE THEM FOR THE APPOINTMENT?
We understand that going to the dentist can be intimidating, even scary, both for your child and for you, his/her parents, who may have had less-than-fun experiences going to the dentist in the past.
At ABC Pediatric Dentistry we want to create a generation of patients who have GREAT experiences going to the dentist, who learn ways to try to prevent cavities, and who grow up to have beautiful, healthy smiles they are proud to show off!
The best way for you to prepare your child for their first dental appointment is NOT to try to prepare them. Just as you wouldn’t make a big deal about going to the grocery store or to the gas station, don’t put too much emphasis on going to the dentist. Especially, do not try to prepare them by “warning” them that “it won’t hurt,” “it will be easy,” “hopefully you won’t have any cavities,” “they won’t do anything.” Simply share with your child that they get to go to the dentist – just as if they were going to the zoo or the library. Keep it light, upbeat and positive…even if – especially if – you may be nervous.
If your child asks for more details, you can share with your child that at the dentist they will get to brush their teeth, watch movies on a TV that is on the ceiling, count their teeth, and get a prize! We will help walk your child through all of the details of the appointment once they are at the office. Our goal is the same as yours, for your child to have a fun and happy experience.
WHAT IF MY CHILD HAS A DENTAL EMERGENCY?
Begin by simply cleaning very thoroughly around your child’s tooth with a toothbrush and dental floss. Often a toothache result from debris becoming stuck in or around your child’s tooth. You can also have your child swish vigorously with warm salt water to dislodge any food that may be trapped and contributing to the pain. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen may provide temporary relief of pain. DO NOT apply aspirin directly to the tooth or gums.
Usually toothaches do not spontaneously get better, so contact your pediatric dentist as soon as possible to get an appointment scheduled for an examination of the offending tooth and treatment. Contact dentist immediately if you notice there is swelling involved with the toothache.
KNOCKED OUT PERMANENT TOOTH
Find the tooth. When you pick it up, be careful to hold it only by the “crown” (not the root) part of the tooth. Gently rinse any debris off the tooth but do not clean or handle the root of the tooth any more than necessary. IMMEDIATELY reinsert the tooth back into the socket and hold it there with a piece of gauze or cloth with firm yet gentle pressure. The sooner the tooth is reinserted into the bone, the greater chance of success. Contact dentist immediately for further care of this tooth.
If you are unable to reinsert the knocked out tooth, immediately place it in a cup containing milk (if no milk is readily available, use water), avoiding touching the root of the tooth. Time is essential so see a dentist immediately.
KNOCKED OUT BABY TOOTH
DO NOT reinsert a knocked out baby tooth!! When a primary tooth is knocked out, they are not to be reinserted. Control any bleeding with gauze pressure to the site for 10-15 minutes. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be given to relieve any pain or discomfort. A cold compress can be applied facially to relieve any discomfort or swelling that may occur. Contact your dentist.
CUT OR BITTEN CHEEK, LIP, TONGUE OR GUMS
As with most injuries that result in bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with a gauze or clean cloth to the site of the bleeding. Hold the gauze in place for a continuous 10-15 minutes. DO NOT remove the cloth to check every couple of minutes as the removal of the cloth too soon may cause the bleeding to begin again. During this time, also have your child sit or lie down as this will help in controlling the bleeding. If the bleeding persists after 15 minutes, go to an emergency room.
BROKEN OR LOOSE SPACE MAINTAINER
If the space maintainer is loose and you are able to remove it easily, take it out. If the appliance is loose or broken but it is not removable with ease, do not attempt to remove the appliance. If there is an area that is broken or sharp and causing discomfort, cover that area with wax, a piece of gauze, a cotton ball or sugarfree chewing gum and schedule an appointment with Dr. A. to have the appliance removed. Emergency attention is usually not required for a broken or loose appliance that is not causing pain, but an appointment should be scheduled at your convenience before problems do occur. If a space maintainer falls out or it was loose and you were able to remove it, please contact ABC Pediatric Dentistry during regular office hours to determine if that space maintainer needs to be put back. This should be done the same week it came out whenever possible.
Rinse the area with warm water and put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury for comfort and to reduce any swelling. If pain, can give over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Recover any broken tooth fragments if possible. Place fragments in glass of milk if available. Contact dentist immediately.
POSSIBLE BROKEN JAW
If you think your child may have a jaw injury, tie the mouth gently closed with a necktie, towel or handkerchief. Take your child immediately to an emergency room.
BLEEDING AFTER A BABY TOOTH FALLS OUT
If there is some bleeding when your child’s baby tooth falls out, fold up a piece of gauze or cloth and place it tightly over the area. Have your child hold the gauze in place with his or her teeth for 10-15 minutes. DO NOT remove the cloth to check every couple of minutes as the removal of the cloth too soon may cause the bleeding to begin again. During this time, also have your child sit or lie down as this will help in controlling the bleeding. If the bleeding persists after 15 minutes, contact your dentist.
COLD OR CANKER SORES
Over-the-counter medications can usually provide some relief. If sores persist or affect your child’s ability to eat or drink, schedule an appointment.
Call us at (605) 275-5771 with any questions or to make an appointment.