When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a dentist when the first tooth appears or no later than his/her first birthday.
Are baby teeth really that important to my child?
Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.
How do dental sealants work?
Sealants work by filling in the natural pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.
How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?
No water in Thurston County is supplemented with fluoride. If your child does not get enough fluoride internally through their water supply it can lead to decay in both primary and permanent teeth. Because our goal is to prevent decay, especially in children, we often prescribe fluoride supplements to help protect not only their primary teeth, but the formation of their permanent teeth as well.
We recommend seeing children when their first tooth erupts. At this appointment we like to talk to the parents about the decay process, brushing, flossing and fluoride. We recommend a once annual application. Parents should consult with their child’s pediatrician regarding the application of fluoride varnish. If they offer this service, you may want to have the varnish applied when they receive their annual well baby check.
The first "regular" dental visit should be just after your child's third birthday. The first dental visit is usually short and involves very little treatment. We may ask the parent to sit in the dental chair and hold their child during the examination. The parent may also be asked to wait in the reception area during part of the visit so that a relationship can be built between your child and your dentist.
We will gently examine your child's teeth and gums. X-rays may be taken (to reveal decay and check on the progress of your child's permanent teeth under the gums). We may clean your child's teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay. We will make sure your child is receiving adequate fluoride at home. Most important of all, we will review with you how to clean and care for your child's teeth.
We are asked this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way that you would before their first haircut or trip to the shoe store. Your child's reaction to his first visit to the dentist may surprise you.