Your child’s first visit
The first regular visit your child takes to the dentist should be around their third birthday. The first visit is usually short with little treatment. Sometimes we ask you to sit in the dental chair to hold your child. You might also be asked to wait outside in the reception area so a relationship can be established between the dentist and your child.
Part of the first visit will be to examine your child’s teeth and gums. To check the progress of your child’s permanent teeth under the gums and to detect any potential decay, we may take X-rays. We also might clean your child’s teeth in addition to applying topical fluoride. This will help protect the teeth against decay. We will also make sure your child is receiving the proper fluoride at home and instruct you on how to clean your child’s teeth properly.
What should I tell my child about the first dental visit?
This is a question we are asked frequently. You can prepare your child in the same manner you would prepare them before a first haircut, or a trip to the shoe store. Below are some first visit tips which you might find helpful:
- You can take your child for a preview of the office before the appointment
- Read books with them about their trip to the dentist
- Teach them about what the dentist will be doing on their first visit
- Talk about your own dental experiences with a positive tone
During the first visit, the dentist will do the following:
- Examine your mouth, gums, and teeth
- Evaluate unfavourable habits such as thumb sucking
- Check to see if there is a need for fluoride treatment
- Teach you about how to clean your teeth and gums
- Discuss a schedule for routine visits to the dentist
At our dental office, we are concerned with all aspects of preventative care for your child. We use the latest dental sealant technology so tooth decay will no longer have to be an issue. Using advanced technology, the dental sealants are bonded to the chewing surfaces of back teeth that are more prone to decay. This is the start of your child’s path to good dental and oral health.
The majority of the times cavities appear are due to eating too much sugar with a lack of brushing. With regular brushings and decreasing the amount of sugar in your child’s diet will decrease the chances of getting cavities. Additionally, when your child chews their food for too long, the residue from the food will stay on their teeth which will increase the chance of getting cavities.
Each time you eat, there is an acidic reaction which occurs inside the mouth which causes bacteria to digest the sugars. This reaction lasts about 20 minutes and during this time, the acid can destroy your tooth structure which can eventually lead to cavities.
Believe it or not, the consistency of your saliva can determine the chances of getting cavities as well. The thinner your saliva is, the better it works to break down and wash away food. Having a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates tends to thicken your saliva which will actually create more of the acid producing bacteria which can lead to cavities.
Top tips for cavity prevention
- Limit the frequency of meals and snacks.
- Encourage lots of brushing, rinsing, and flossing
- Watch the amount of sugary drinks your child consumes
- Sticky foods should be avoided
- Nutritious snacks should be included in their daily meals
The first two baby teeth that emerge from the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. This will generally occur around the age of 6-8 months. The next teeth which will emerge are the 4 upper teeth on the front. After that, the remainder of the baby teeth will eventually start to appear periodically. They will continue to appear in pairs along the side of the jaw until the child is 2.5 years old. At this time, your child should have all 20 baby teeth. These baby teeth are very important to your child as they are place holders for permanent teeth. They are also very important for biting, chewing, speech and of course their appearance. For these reasons, it is highly important to adhere to a healthy diet and regular brushings.
Your child will keep these baby teeth until about the age of 5-6 when their permanent teeth start to make their introduction to their mouth. Some of the new permanent teeth will replace the baby teeth, but not always. All children are different and some teeth may come early or late.
Martindale Dental provides both general and specialty dentistry under one roof. For more than 20 years, our dentists have been advocates for their patients oral health care needs. Our dental offices are conveniently located in Toronto, North York, St Catharines, North York, Burlington, Milton East and Milton West, Ontario. We offer convenient before & after work and weekend appointments.