If you take your child to a pediatric dentist during infancy, you may help them avoid future dental problems. Pediatric dentists have two or three more years of training after dental school in order to specialize in infant and children’s dentistry through adolescence. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, an infant’s best time to visit the dentist is when their first teeth begin to erupt. Our pediatric and infant dentist can help ensure a lifetime of dental health for your child.
Taking good care of baby teeth is important for helping your child speak, chew and bite properly from the very beginning. Our infant dentist offers many of the same treatments that are used for adults in evaluating the progress of growing teeth. X-rays, cavity fillings and laser dentistry are just a few of the ways your child’s teeth can be monitored and treated.
Cavities are common in children and should not be left untreated. It is a common myth that cavities do not matter much in baby teeth because they will fall out anyway and the adult tooth will be fine. However, untreated cavities can go deeper into the gum and jaw and be painful while affecting the adult tooth.
Tooth decay is caused when acid that is produced by sugars remains on the teeth for long periods of time. The bacteria that are naturally on the teeth feed on the acid and can eat away at the tooth enamel and gum. We recommend that you make sure your child rinses out his or her mouth after every meal and snack to dilute and reduce the amount of acid that remains on the teeth until the next brushing.
Babies are sometimes born with a malformed frenum, which can lead to difficulty eating, speaking or even moving the mouth. In cases such as these, our infant dentist offers easy, safe and comfortable treatment with an infant frenectomy. This may be the right treatment for your child if he or she is exhibiting any of these symptoms.
Here are some tips to help your infant have a positive experience at their first and subsequent visit to the dentist’s office:
• Do not arrange a surprise visit, but make sure your child knows there is a visit to the dentist in the near future.
• Help set expectations by reading a story to your child about a positive experience at a dentist’s office.
• Even though our pediatric and infant dentist has a child-friendly office, it is always comforting if you bring one of your child’s favorite toys.
• If there is an older sibling, both children can have a dental appointment on the same day. This can make the experience more fun.
• If you child is still upset, it is better to make another appointment and not force the experience. If he or she behaves well, you can reward with a toy or stickers.
Good oral hygiene begins when the first tooth arrives. At Ashburn Children’s Dentistry, our infant dentist can help you learn how to clean your child’s gums and first teeth to avoid tooth decay. Contact our office in Ashburn today to help your child get started on a lifetime of healthy teeth.