POINTERS FOR PARENTS

Your child’s first visit to our office:

  • Set a good example by brushing and flossing your own teeth every day.
  • Try to make the 1st dental visit a fun adventure for your child.
  • Don’t bribe your child or threaten a visit as a punishment.
  • Don’t let your child know of any anxiety you may have about dental visits. Remember, a pediatric dental office will probably be a new experience for you, too.
  • Avoid what appear to be reassuring comments like “Don’t worry, the doctor won’t hurt you.” This serves only to raise your child’s level of anxiety. Talk about the visit in a positive and matter of fact way.
  • An opportunity to discuss dental findings, treatment recommendations and your questions will occur at each examination visit.

Your goal, as a parent and my goal as a pediatric dentist are the same… to make the process of dental care a pleasant one for your child.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I take my child to a pediatric dentist for the first check-up?

In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.

What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?

A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.

How can I prevent dental decay caused by nursing?

Avoid putting nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle. Also learn the proper way to brush and floss your child’s teeth. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child’s first birthday.

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialty training following dental school and limits his practice to treating children and adolescents only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?

A check-up every six months is recommended in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.

How safe are dental x-rays?

There is very little risk in dental x-rays. Pediatric dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead Apron and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the radiation.

For answers to these questions and more, please contact Scott Freeman, D.M.D.

Helpful links

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry AAPD.org, see Parent Resources

American Dental Association ADA.org, see Mouth Healthy and A to Z Topics