A child’s first visit to the dentist should be enjoyable. Children are not born with a natural fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. Our office makes a special effort to use pleasant, non-frightening, simple words to describe each treatment. We want you and your child to feel at ease from the moment your family arrives at our office.
Dr. Lisa Phillips, a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist, is happy to help make your child smile!
Board certified pediatric dentists undergo two years of additional residency training after dental school working exclusively with children under the mentorship of other experienced pediatric dentists. They then go through a series of rigorous exams to complete the process. Pediatric dentists dedicate their practice to the specific dental and behavioral needs of children and adolescents.
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends...
Children should visit the dentist 6 months after eruption of their first tooth, around their first birthday. It is important that your child’s newly erupted teeth (erupting at six to 12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.
Getting to know your teeth is fun!
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When new teeth arrive
Your child’s first primary, “baby” or "milk", teeth will begin to erupt between the ages of six to 12 months, and will continue to erupt until around age three. During this time, your child’s gums may feel tender and sore. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring.
Your child’s primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood. Permanent teeth begin erupting around ages five to seven, and continue until age 21. Adults can have 32 permanent teeth, including wisdom teeth.
Adopting healthy oral hygiene habits
As your child’s teeth erupt, be sure to examine them, looking for lines and discoloration that may be caused by decay. Remember that sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth, so take care that your child brushes his or her teeth after feeding or eating. We recommend brushing two times a day for optimal oral hygiene.
Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. When a baby’s tooth erupts, parents should brush the tooth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small smear of fluoride toothpaste, smaller than the size of a lentil. We suggest care givers to aid in tooth brushing for children until they are age appropriate to do so themselves. This age varies, however the average age is eight years old.
Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your dentist recommends to start flossing your child’s teeth when they are touching each other. If you notice signs of decay, contact your dentist immediately.
Preventing tooth decay with regular checkups
Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid, which can break down your teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.
Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. Tooth sealants are also recommended because they “seal” the deep grooves in your child’s teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but will be monitored at your child’s regular checkups.