Our practice is committed to providing you and your family with safe, gentle, high-quality dental care. 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. The more you and your child know about the first visit, the better you will feel.
THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY RECOMMENDS...
Children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child's newly-erupted teeth (erupting around 6-12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.
Your Child's First Visit
The first visit to the dentist is very critical in shaping a great lifetime relationship with dentist and the dental team. Here are some important points to help with getting it right:
- Choose a pediatric dentist, not general dentist, we don't have general dentistry in our office and are specialists. Pedodontists are specialists with 2-3 years of exclusive training in the field of dental care for infants, children and adolescents
- When calling our office to make your child's appointment, confirm that this is your child's first visit to the dentist, we take pride in providing a great experience for you and your little one.
- Make the appointment at a time that fits your child's daily routine, it is best to have a morning appointment when your child is well-rested and fed but not right after a complete meal. Children with strong gag reflex can get sick when a dental mirror is used in their mouth! make sure the timing of your appointment is not at their usual nap time, children do not cooperate well when tired or sleepy.
- Prepare your child for their appointment by speaking to them about the dentist visit and what to expect, read a book about the first visit to the dentist or watch a video about it with your child. You may role play at home or at the office to introduce the procedure and help them feel comfortable with the familiar experience.
- Your child's first visit is more focused on learning about their dental health status, nutrition, habits and caries (cavities) risk and educating you on how to care for your baby's teeth. Our pediatric dentist will perform an exam to evaluate the health of your child's teeth, gums and jaws. He will recommend ways to improve your child's dental health and the best home care routine for your unique case. This simple visit serves as the foundation for a lifetime of good dental hygiene, habits and health. Make it count and trust your child's care only to the best specialist. We are Top Orange County Specialists voted by other dentists and trusted by families from Fullerton, Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Placentia, Brea, Yorba Linda, Orange and other Orange County Communities.
Getting to know your teeth is fun!
WHEN NEW TEETH ARRIVE
Your child's first primary or baby teeth will begin to erupt between the ages of 6 to 12 months and will continue to erupt until about 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 on the gums. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring. When your child has finished teething at around 3 years old, you can expect a total of 20 primary teeth.
Your child's primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood. Permanent teeth begin erupting at age six and continue until after 18 years old. The first permanent teeth to erupt are usually the front teeth or molars. The first molars (6-year-old molars) erupt behind the last baby molar without any baby teeth falling out in that area. These are the teeth mostly affected by cavities, since they erupt in the back and parents are not aware that the permanent molars have erupted in their child's mouth. They are also more at risk due to limited access and not being brushed well. The front teeth (incisors) usually erupt after the baby teeth have been lost or next to them. it is common for the lower permanent teeth to erupt on the inside and toward the tongue, making two rows of teeth which scares the parents into calling the dentist. While this is not a big concern and usually addressed with the extraction of the baby tooth to help guide the permanent successor to the correct position, it is very important to monitor the proper sequence and order in losing baby teeth and erupting permanent ones. Sometimes having a baby tooth kept in place longer than it should (over-retained) can lead to impacted permanent teeth that require surgery and braces to have them erupt in the correct position.
There are 28 permanent teeth (32 when counting wisdom teeth) and some of the baby molars are going to last beyond 10-12 years of age, therefore it is very important to prevent cavities in baby molar teeth or fill them as soon as possible to prevent toothache and infections or premature loss of baby molars which can lead to problems in the permanent teeth. At Fullerton Orthodontics & Children's Dentistry, we are committed to provide you with comprehensive and preventive care.
Dr. Lee, our pediatric dentist works closely with Dr. Nooshin Majd, our orthodontist and one of Orange county's Top Orthodontists to provide your children with preventive orthodontic care and space management to make sure the permanent teeth erupt normally and in the proper position, as well as establishment of balanced jaw growth and healthy and functional bite.
ADOPTING HEALTHY ORAL HYGIENE HABITS
As your child's teeth erupt, be sure to examine them every two weeks, looking for lines and discoloration that may be indications of cavities (tooth decay). Remember that sugary foods and juices, even milk can damage and cause caries in a newly erupted tooth, since the teeth are most likely to have caries in the first year after eruption in the mouth. Make sure that your child's teeth are brushed and cleaned properly after each feeding or eating and at least 2-3 times a day. We recommend brushing four times a day for optimal oral hygiene: after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and at bedtime.
Brushing together can be fun, and your child's teeth should be cleaned with a toothbrush as soon as the first tooth arrives. Our recommended regimen is to start cleaning your child's gums and tongue with a moist gauze after each feeding and before bedtime from the beginning. When a baby's tooth erupts, parents should brush the tooth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride-free toothpaste. For children younger than two, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by your dentist or other healthcare professional. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing and fluoride intake procedures with your child's dentist.Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your doctor will discuss with you the right time to start flossing. If you notice signs of tooth discoloration or black spots on your baby's teeth that look like tooth decay, contact our office immediately to set up a check-up appointment.
PREVENTING TOOTH DECAY WITH REGULAR CHECKUPS
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that feed off sugars left in the mouth. These germs produce acids, which can break down the structure of the 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 can keep tooth decay away.
Here at Fullerton Orthodontics & Children's Dentistry, we recommend that your child should have a dental check up, cleaning and fluoride treatment to prevent tooth decay and prevent any initial caries from growing into large cavities. If your child is considered as "high risk" for cavities, they may require a different approach.
Tooth sealants are a great way to prevent cavities in the back teeth. They "seal" the deep grooves in your child's back teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but will be monitored and repair or replaced at your child's regular checkups.