Baby’s First Visit
Your baby’s first visit is a simple visual exam to evaluate your child’s oral health and to determine his/her risk for developing dental disease. A gentle prophy cleaning is performed if your child is inclined to try it, and fluoride may be applied. Usually, no x rays are taken at this appointment.
Feel confident about your child’s care as Dr. Walker and Dr. Kraus also look for relatively common and uncommon infant oral conditions you may not have heard of, such as: tongue-tie, missing teeth, abnormal teeth, inclusion cysts, natal teeth, iron stain, and more.
You will receive guidance to help you prevent potential problems, including dental disease, in your child’s future. Along the way, feel free to ask any questions you may have about your child’s new teeth and their oral health. Let your infant become familiar with the dental office setting in a positive way. Enjoy this primary prevention visit where dentistry is “fun”, and where future dental disease can be prevented!
Your cooperation is appreciated. Remember good habits, your good dental health depends on proper brushing, regular dental visits, and a good diet. These points and others can be discussed thoroughly during your child’s appointment.
2 to 5 years of age
When can I expect my child's pearly whites to arrive?
What should I do when my child is teething?
What should I do about pacifiers or thumb-sucking?
Most children quit their thumb/pacifier-sucking by age four, or at least by school age (due to peer pressure). At this stage, any dental problems (tooth movement, jaw-shape changes) that have resulted from your child’s sucking habit will usually correct on their own. If your child’s thumb-sucking or pacifier use continues past five years of age (or when permanent teeth arrive), full self-correction is far less likely, and there are possibly other issues that should be explored that may be perpetuating the habit. Stress may exacerbate the thumb-sucking problem, therefore, scolding your child for thumb-sucking is not recommended. It is better to use positive reinforcement to motivate your child to quit the habit. Finding and eliminating the source of stress can also be helpful.
Other helpful tips to prevent decay in children:
- Breastfeeding – Wean your children from the bottle and breast at 12-14 months of age.
- Sippy cup beverages – Don’t let your child walk around for prolonged periods of time during the day with a sippy cup filled with anything but water.
- Juice – Don’t allow your child to drink more than 4-6 oz. of juice per day.
- Pacifiers – Never dip a pacifier into honey or into anything sweet before giving it to a baby.
- Cleaning infant’s gums – After feedings, wipe your infant’s gums with a clean, damp cloth or with a baby “finger” brush…even before the first teeth erupt.
- Brushing teeth for children up to two years of age – Once teeth appear, brush your child’s teeth with a soft toothbrush twice a day once after breakfast and again before bedtime. Use only fluoride-free toothpaste at this age. Most infants under the age of two have not yet learned to “spit out” after brushing, and excessive swallowing of toothpaste can damage the adult teeth that are still growing under the gums at this time. Your baby can be placed with his/her head on your lap (with their legs facing away from you) in order to facilitate cleaning.