The dental appointments someone attends as a child can influence how they feel about the dentist’s office for many, many years to come – which is why Shore Dental wants to ensure that these experiences are 100% positive! Dr. Stein and Dr. Smith welcome in the whole family for comprehensive dentistry, and our relaxed atmosphere is a great fit for younger patients. We’ll help them develop good oral healthcare habits and provide the gentle, friendly support they and their growing smiles need on a regular basis. To schedule an appointment for your son or daughter, please contact our North Port, FL location today.
What Happens During My Child’s First Dental Appointment?
When it’s time to bring your loved one in for their very first checkup, keep in mind that this experience will be very short. Depending on their age, our doctors may ask you to sit in the treatment chair and hold your child during the exam, or they may ask you to stay in the waiting room so that our team can start building a relationship with your son or daughter right away.
During the examination, our team will take a careful look at all of the existing teeth and their current bite, pinpointing any possible concerns with the gums, jaw, and oral tissues. We will also educate parents on good oral hygiene techniques for their children and how to instill strong habits at home, as well as answer any questions you may have.
How Can I Help My Child Feel Comfortable at the Dentist’s Office?
Does your child have a favorite toy or stuffed animal? If so, bring it along to their appointment so that it can comfort them if they become scared or anxious.
Have your child come along to a sibling or parent’s appointment so that they can get used to the sights and sounds of the dentist’s office without any pressure.
Play “dentist” at home! Have your child sit back in a chair and open their mouth so you can peer inside. Then, switch positions so that they can see there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Children’s Dentistry FAQs
Your child’s smile is the most precious thing in the world to you, and with proper care, we can work together to help their smile stay healthy and happy. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that we get about children’s dentistry. If you have a query about treating your child’s teeth that you don’t see answered on this page, just call us at Shore Dental and ask!
When Should My Child Start Using Toothpaste?
In general, you can start cleaning your little one’s gums with a wet cloth as soon as they come home form the hospital. Then, when their first teeth begin to erupt (which should start around 6 months of age), use a smear of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice on a toothbrush made specifically for babies. Make sure not to use too much toothpaste, because they could accidentally swallow it and make themselves sick.
Should My Child Get Dental Sealants?
Sometimes, a child’s little arms have a difficult time reaching to brush and floss the teeth in the back of their mouth, known as molars. For this reason, bits of food can get trapped there, attracting bacteria that cause cavities. Luckily, your children’s dentist can administer an easy treatment called dental sealants. We can paint this composite resin material onto the pits and grooves of your child’s molars. It then creates a barrier on top of the teeth which bacteria have a hard time penetrating. Dental sealants can drastically decrease your child’s risk for tooth decay, and they can be applied quickly at their next checkup.
Baby Teeth Aren’t Permanent. Why Do We Need to Care for Them?
Your child’s baby teeth, also known as primary teeth, play an important role in their development. Baby teeth help your son or daughter smile, speak, and chew properly until their adult teeth are fully developed. They also hold space in the jaw for the permanent teeth. If a child loses a tooth too early, the other teeth may shift in order to fill in the gap. This blocks the adult teeth from erupting properly, resulting in crooked or crowded teeth that will require orthodontic treatment.
My Child Sucks Their Thumb. What Should I Do?
Thumb sucking is a completely normal habit that shouldn’t cause any lasting harm, provided the child grows out of it. This normally happens by age four. If your child sucks their thumb aggressively, or if they’re still sucking their thumb by the time their permanent teeth come in, contact us to schedule an appointment. We can see what’s going on and come up with a personalized and comfortable treatment plan for your little one.