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The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry encourages every child to see the dentist within six months following the eruption of their first tooth or at least by their 2nd birthday. By encouraging healthy oral habits early on, you will set your child up for optimal oral health in the future. Seeing the dentist early on not only gives you a chance to know what your child’s oral health is like, but also gets your child familiar with our dentists – soon enough, coming to see the friendly dentists at Santa Monica Bay Dental will be second nature to your child.
What to Expect at the First Appointment
The first dental appointment for your child at Santa Monica Bay Dental is a very gentle appointment – there is nothing for your child to worry about. If you come in when your child just received their first tooth or teeth that first appointment is a chance for them to get comfortable in our dental chair and for us to get a baseline of their mouth. We will count their teeth and determine if there is any risk for tooth decay. Depending on the age of your child, we may or may not clean his teeth – it will depend on your child’s level of comfort as well as their age.
We will also use this time to help educate you and your child on proper oral health care. We will talk about your child’s diet and lifestyle habits (thumb sucking, bottle or sippy cup use) as well as their oral health care habits at home. We will go over with you the importance of brushing and flossing in the appropriate manner at least twice a day to ensure that your child does not become subject to excessive tooth decay. We will also talk to you about any potential issues we see and what you can do in the meantime.
Preventing Tooth Decay
It is very important that you are brushing your child’s teeth, even if they only have 1 tooth! You can use a soft toothbrush and water to begin with and move up to an ADA approved children’s toothpaste as more teeth erupt. As your child gets older and receives all of their teeth, we may talk to you about dental sealants, which are a harmless seal that is painted over your child’s rear teeth (molars) in order to protect the ridges from having food particles trapped in them, putting your child at risk for tooth decay. It is also very important that your child drinks plenty of fluoridated water to ensure the health of their teeth in the long run.
Protecting Your Child’s Teeth
If your child plays sports, it is important that they wear a mouth guard as this protects their teeth as well as their lips, cheeks, and even their head from a possible concussion.
If you ever experience an emergency with your child’s teeth, please do not hesitate to call us; we are available 24-hours a day to ensure that you and your child’s dental needs are well cared for when you need it the most.
Call Santa Monica Bay Dental today to get your child’s check-up scheduled – call (310) 736-2277.