All health authorities regarding pediatric dentistry such as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), recommend that children begin regular dental checkups after the first tooth emerges and before their first birthday. Starting early dental visits to our office is key to ensuring your child develops proper dental habits, realizes the importance of seeking life-long dental treatment, and is not anxious about going to the dentist.
Dr. Bridges, Dr. Buckner and our friendly staff can assist you and your child with proper brushing techniques, how to handle habits that affect teeth such as thumb sucking and pacifier usage, teething, and how to prevent any problems your child is at risk for. We will clean, floss and inspect your child’s teeth at each visit.
Your child may not begin receiving x-rays for a while. Most child patients do not need x-rays until they have a full set of teeth around age three. Dr. Bridges or Dr. Buckner may x-ray their teeth sooner if they suspect anything abnormal, but they will always discuss it with you first. In fact, when they’re very young, you’ll be encouraged to be present during their entire appointment.
If your child has a cavity in a baby tooth, Dr. Bridges or Dr. Buckner will discuss putting a small filling in the tooth. You may wonder if this is necessary, but baby teeth are very important. Not only do they help your child learn to eat solid food, but they are also important for learning to speak and guiding adult teeth into proper alignment. Most importantly, though, ignoring a cavity in a baby tooth can lead to a host of other problems that could require more serious intervention such as extractions and crowns. If you see any dark spots on your child’s teeth or you suspect they may have a cavity, we recommend you make an appointment right away.
Another strange thing that sometimes happens with kids who are starting to get their first permanent teeth is that a tooth might come in behind an existing tooth. This usually occurs with the front teeth on the top or bottom, and if it happens, don’t panic! The look of shark teeth might scare you, but it’s actually very common and we can help. Just call the office for an appointment if this occurs, or if anything else concerns you about your child’s smile. We are committed to serving your family at all ages.