Oral healthcare is important for everyone, including children. In fact, with their continually growing and developing mouths, specialized dental care is essential. At National Dental Douglaston, we offer pediatric dentistry, specializing in the care of little mouths. Here is what you can expect on your child’s first visit to our office.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PEDIATRIC DENTIST AND A REGULAR DENTIST?
While your child could be seen by a general dentist, a dentist who specializes in pediatric dentistry is more beneficial. You might be wondering, what’s the difference? All dentists, regardless of specialty, attend four years of dental school. After these four years, a pediatric dentist goes on to attend two more years of education and training. Our pediatric dentists study the treatment and development of developing mouths, along with child behavior and the unique needs of pediatric dentistry. We can help your child (and you) understand the importance of good oral health, and speak to them in a way they understand.
WHAT AGE SHOULD YOUR CHILD BE SEEN?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should be seen by a pediatric dentist by the age of one, or 6 months after their first tooth emerges, whichever one comes first.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE FIRST VISIT?
Your child’s first dental visit is often relatively quick. If your child cannot sit still, we may ask that you sit in the chair with him or her on your lap. We examine the teeth your child has for signs of decay. We also check their soft tissues (gums, tongue, cheeks) for signs of damage and their jaw for any issues. We may clean their teeth, and, if necessary, discuss the need for fluoride treatments.
The appointment will also include a discussion, during which we may address topics such as:
- Oral hygiene basics – brushing and flossing
- How to prevent cavities (other tips along with brushing)
- The importance of fluoride
- Any issues we find in your child’s mouth (if we find any)
- Developmental milestones
- Habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting
- Proper nutrition for development
- Setting up regular appointments. Dental visits every six months will help to establish trust, while we monitor the development of their mouth.
WHEN ARE THE FIRST X-RAYS TAKEN?
There is no set age at which your child should receive their first set of X-rays. The time the X-ray is taken depends on your child’s circumstances. If your child is prone to cavities, has a cleft palate, or other oral issues, they will get their first X-rays earlier than other children. In general, children have their first X-ray by the age of 6. X-rays provide us with valuable insight as to how your child’s permanent teeth develop. We can also monitor the condition of their jaw, and check for any alignment issues. At National Dental, we use digital X-ray technology, which reduces the amount of radiation your child is exposed to, as well as the amount of time it takes for the images to be produced.
Proper oral care at a young age goes a long way to providing your child with a beautiful smile that will last them a lifetime. To schedule your child’s first dental visit, contact National Dental Douglaston today at (718) 557-9882!