Children's Dentistry

When will my baby start getting teeth?

The first teeth erupt when the baby is 7-14 months old. If the teeth are late coming into the mouth, do not worry because every child has a different eruption timetable. Remember that your child will always be unique.

What should I do if my child’s baby tooth in the front gets knocked out?

Clean the area from where the tooth came out with peroxide. Do not place the baby tooth back into the mouth because doing so might cause the tooth to fuse to the bone, preventing it from falling out when the new tooth erupts.

Are baby teeth important?

Yes, baby teeth (also known as primary teeth) are important. These teeth allow children to chew and speak. They also hold the space for the permanent teeth. Primary teeth have large nerves, and a cavity in the nerve will hurt as much as a cavity in an adult tooth.

At what age should I bring my child for the first dental visit?

We recommend age three for the first dental visit. At that age children are usually cooperative and can have a positive experience. Some of the dental organizations are recommending age one; however, at this early age the visit is more for the parent than the child. If the parent is already a patient, we tell the parent long before the child’s first visit what to do and what to avoid. For example, give the child a water bottle in bed—never a juice or milk bottle because juice and milk have natural sugars that cause tooth decay.

What do you do at the child’s first dental visit?

The hygienist will normally count and polish the teeth, and the dentist will do an exam. We avoid procedures, such as x-rays or fluoride treatments, which might be difficult for a three-year-old child to tolerate. Our main concern is that the child have a good experience.

What should I tell my child before his first appointment?

Tell your child that the hygienist will count and polish his teeth. Avoid phrases that will make your child fearful, such as “It won’t hurt.” Sometimes parents or siblings also scare children by recounting their own childhood experiences at the dental office. We have heard instances where patients tell their children that the dentist pulled out their teeth with pliers at their first visit. If a child comes to a visit with positive expectations, the visit will usually be a positive one.

How often should children come for their cleanings?

Having dental cleanings twice a year is usually adequate for children. This frequency allows us to catch cavities at an early stage.