When should I bring my child to the dentist?

Right after your little girl or boy has their third birthday, schedule an appointment with us. Your first visit will normally be quite short and will not involve a lot of treatment. We want to make the first time with us as easy as possible for you and your little one! At the beginning, we may ask that you sit with your child in the dental chair with them during the first part of the examination. We may also ask you to wait out in our waiting room for part of it, as well. This is so we can start to build a trusting relationship between Dr. Muneer and your child.

Child Dentistry

Dr. Muneer will start by examining your child’s teeth and gums carefully and slowly, so as not to startle your child. We may need to take x-rays to check for any decay and to look at your child’s progress concerning their permanent teeth under their gums. We will clean and brush your child’s teeth and provide a topical fluoride which will help fight decay. We may ask if your child receives the right amount of fluoride at home. Additionally, we will talk to you and your child about the proper teeth cleaning and care routine that you should be practicing at home on a daily basis.

Explaining a dental visit to your child-what do I say?

Dr. Muneer and staff have been asked this question many different times. The answer is simple, talk to your child the same way that you would if they were headed to their first haircut. We bet your first visit with us will be a whole lot easier than you think!

We always offer a few tips for your child’s first dentist visit:

  • Bring your child in beforehand to take a look around the office
  • Always talk positively about the dentist and what they do
  • Find books about visiting the dentist
  • List what we may do on the first visit to give them an idea of what to expect
  • AVOID words like “shots”, “needles” and statements like “it won’t hurt.” Such statements introduce an idea in your child’s mind that it can hurt and causes apprehension.

What will we do for your child on their first visit?

  • Examine their teeth, gums and mouth
  • Explain the importance of brushing and flossing
  • Check if fluoride is needed at home
  • Talk about issues you are concerned about, such as thumb sucking
  • Suggest a regular schedule for future dental visits

Preventing Cavities

Cavities occur when a child eats a diet high in sugar and/or has poor brushing and flossing habits. You’ll always want to limit your child’s sugar intake and make sure that they brush well every single day. Get into the habit of brushing with your child so that they see how important it is.

Also, make sure that your child does not hold food in their mouth for too long, especially sugary drinks and candies. When the sugar stays on their teeth, the residue causes cavities to form quicker. While the bacteria in one’s mouth works to digest the sugars, this reaction can last 20 minutes every time your child eats. The acid environment in their mouth can quickly destroy the structure of their teeth, which then leads to cavities.

You’ll be surprised to know that even your child’s saliva plays a role in cavity prevention. If you have thinner saliva, it breaks food up quicker and washes it away faster. A diet loaded with sugars and carbs actually causes thicker saliva, which then allows for the acid-producing bacteria that is responsible for cavities.

Important information concerning preventative care

One of our most important concerns is preventative care for your children. Tooth decay doesn’t have to be a regular part of your child’s toddler years and we will talk with you openly and honestly about it. Dr. Muneer employs the latest dental sealant technology that will protect your child’s teeth as much as possible. These are space-age plastics that we can bond to the surfaces of back teeth that may be more prone to decay. This is one of the better ways to begin a firm foundation for your child’s oral health needs that can last a lifetime.

Baby Teeth

Your baby will develop their two bottom front teeth usually between six to eight months of age. The four upper front teeth will be the next teeth your baby will develop. After that, your baby will periodically develop the rest of their teeth, usually along the sides of their jaw in pairs, until they are around two and a half years old.

By then, your child usually has all 20 of their baby teeth. You can expect their first permanent tooth to begin to erupt between the ages of five and six. You may see that some permanent teeth will begin to replace the baby teeth while some won’t. Remember, all children develop at different stages, so don’t be alarmed if your child does not get their teeth in at the same time as another child.

It might not seem that your child’s baby teeth are that important, but they are for many reasons. They hold the space for the permanent teeth to come in, as well as allow your baby to chew, bite and talk. A healthy diet is important from every age, as well as daily hygiene.