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  • Writer's pictureOcean Breeze Dental Care

This is the right time to take your child to a dentist

It’s understandable for parents to think that your child is either too young or have too few teeth to require a visit to a dentist. According to the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, it is important to take your child to a dentist within 6 months of the first tooth coming in (erupting), or by about 12 months at the latest to receive information on and discuss:

  • Baby bottle tooth decay

  • Infant feeding practices

  • Mouth cleaning

  • Teething

  • Pacifier habits

  • Finger-sucking habits

Depending on your child's age, Dr. Travis Lee at Ocean Breeze Dental Care may include a full exam of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to check growth and development. If needed, your child may also have a gentle cleaning. This includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar, and stains. Dr. Lee and his knowledgeable & compassionate dental professionals may show you and your child proper home cleaning such as flossing, and advise you on the need for fluoride. Baby teeth fall out, so X-rays aren’t often done. But Dr. Lee may recommend X-rays to diagnose decay, depending on your child's age. X-rays are also used to see if the root of a jammed baby tooth may be affecting an adult tooth.

Dr. Lee recommends planning in advance to help children feel comfortable with dental visits. If possible, morning appointments will help young children as they are most alert and fresh. Talking with children about what and why they are visiting a dentist and helping them choose a comfort item such as a favorite toy or game to take to the visit will help them feel comfortable. Having continuity with compassionate dental professionals who’ve built a positive rapport with your child can help build excitement and understanding for each visit. It’s important to collaborate with your dentist to help your children receive the best care possible by sharing your child’s complete health history and condition.

Understand that there are common age appropriate behaviors you may expect from your children such as:

  • Between 10 to 24 months, some securely attached children may get upset when taken from their parents for an exam.

  • 2 to 3 year-old securely attached child may be able to cope with a brief separation from parents with “No” being the common response if asked if they want to go visit a dentist.

  • Three year-old children may not be OK being apart from a parent when having a dental procedure such as getting a cavity filled. This is because most 3-year-olds are still in the process of developing social maturity to separate from parents.

  • By the age of 4, most children are able to sit in another room from parents for exams and treatment procedures.

Please contact us at Ocean Breeze Dental Care to take the first steps toward your children’s oral health together.

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