Establishing a good foundation is critical for continued oral health—and that foundation begins early. Your child’s first visit to the dentist should occur soon after his or her first birthday. While this first visit is typically short and generally does not involve much treatment, it allows your dentist to conduct a complete examination and begin building a trusting relationship between him or herself and your child.
At Gonzales Dental, we offer a comprehensive range of preventative dental services for children, adolescents, and teens. This includes everything from his or her first visit to regular teeth cleanings, dental sealants, and other treatments as your child grows and his or her oral health needs change. We’ll also help you and your child establish good at-home oral hygiene habits to protect against cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. With our gentle, welcoming approach, we strive to make sure your child is comfortable and healthy, no matter their dental needs.
Looking for child dentistry in Gonzales? Contact us today at (830) 971-0268 to learn more or to schedule an appointment for your son or daughter.
At Gonzales Dental, we know that a first visit to the dentist can be a little scary. That’s why we do everything possible to ensure both you and your child are comfortable, from the moment you walk in the door. We encourage you to ask any questions you may have regarding your child’s first visit or continued dental care; our team is happy to provide answers and address any concerns you may have.
While every visit is different, here’s a general idea of what you can expect with your child’s first trip to the dentist:
- Our dentists will conduct a through and gentle examination of your child’s teeth and gums. This is the main purpose of this first visit: to assess your child’s current oral health and identify any issues of potential concern.
- In some cases, we may conduct x-rays to check the health and progress of your child’s permanent teeth, located under his or her gums. X-rays can also be used to detect possible tooth decay.
- Depending on your child’s age, as well as other factors, the first visit may also include a routine teeth cleaning. During this cleaning, our dental hygienists and/or dentists may apply topical fluoride to your child’s teeth.
- In some circumstances, we may ask that you sit with your child in the dentist’s chair to help keep them calm and still during the exam. In other instances, we may request that you wait in our reception area so that your child can build trust with our dental team.
- Following the examination and/or teeth cleaning, our dental hygienists and dentists will go over the results of your child’s exam with you, explaining their findings and providing any recommendations they may have.
- The first visit is also a great time for you to ask questions about your child’s at-home oral hygiene and health care. Our dental professionals can provide personalized information regarding proper brushing and flossing, fluoride treatment, cavity prevention, and more.
We recommend that you help your child get ready for his or her first trip to the dentist in the same way that you would help him or her prepare for a first haircut. This might involve telling them about your positive experiences with the dentist, reading books about going to the dentist with your child, telling them what the dentist will do when he or she arrives, and/or taking your child in for a “preview” of the dentist’s office so that he or she will be familiar and comfortable with the setting.
How to Prevent Cavities
Every time we consume food or beverages, existing bacteria in the mouth react with acid as they work to break down the sugars present in those foods and beverages. During this process, which usually takes about 20 minutes, these acids can cause damage to the teeth. Over time, this can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
Cavities are generally the biggest concern when it comes to child dentistry and oral health. At Gonzales Dental, we focus on preventative care to help keep your child’s smile happy and healthy.
Here are some tips for preventing cavities that you can instill in your child (and follow yourself!):
- Always brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day
- When brushing, flossing, and rinsing teeth, be sure to utilize dentist-recommended practices
- If possible, always brush teeth and floss after eating treats or sugary snacks
- Limit the frequency of meals, snacks, and treats
- As much as possible, choose nutritious snacks and meals without added sugars
- Limit sticky foods, candy, and sugary beverages
The longer it takes your child to chew his or her food, the more time acid residue stays on the teeth. Additionally, thicker saliva—often a result of diets high in sugar and carbohydrates—has a tougher time breaking up and removing food from the mouth. Both of these factors increase the risk of cavities, but both can be counteracted with good dietary and oral hygiene habits.
Why Do Children Need to See a Dentist If They Have Baby Teeth?
Because the baby teeth do not stay in the mouth permanently, many people believe that they don’t require much (if any) dental care. However, this is simply not true. In fact, baby teeth are incredibly important, as they maintain space for adult teeth and significantly impact one’s future oral health.
Additionally, baby teeth are important for:
- Proper chewing and biting
- Future dental health
Taking care of your child’s baby teeth from the beginning can set the stage for a lifetime of fantastic oral health and hygiene. It can also help prevent serious dental health concerns in the future, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Your child will likely get his or her first teeth when he or she is around six to eight months old. The first teeth to appear will be the two bottom front teeth, followed by the four upper front teeth. After this, the rest of your child’s teeth will appear periodically, typically in pairs along the sides of the jaw. Once your child is about two and a half years old, he or she will have all of his or her baby teeth (20 in total).
Once your child is about five or six, he or she will begin getting his or her permanent, adult teeth. While some of these adult teeth replace baby teeth, meaning the baby teeth will fall out, others do not. In any case, don’t worry if your child begins getting his or her baby or adult teeth earlier or later. Every child is different, and the exact timeline may differ.
Dentistry for Adolescents & Teens
Continuing your child’s oral health throughout his or her adolescence and teens years is important. This includes scheduling regular teeth cleanings, as well as taking certain preventative measures, such as having dental sealants applied to your child’s adult molars.
As your child enters his or her teen years, our dentists can continue providing recommendations for ongoing dentistry and oral hygiene practices. We may also recommend orthodontics, as well as alternatives to orthodontics, depending on your child’s unique needs. Attending regular visits and having routine exams and check-ups is important at this age, as it allows our team to ensure your child’s continued health, as well as detect any issues of concern early on. This, in turn, allows us to effectively treat these issues to prevent them from developing into larger problems down the road.
Schedule an Appointment for Your Child with Gonzales Dental Today
We invite you to reach out to us today to learn more about our child dentistry in Gonzales or to schedule an appointment for your child or teen. Whether you are bringing your child in for the first time, or you are continuing an ongoing practice of routine dentist visits, we are happy to discuss your needs and help you find a convenient appointment time.
Gonzales Dental accepts all PPO insurance, Medicaid, and CHIPS. We also offer several payment plans and financing options for patients who do not have traditional dental insurance. Please do not hesitate to ask us about these options!
Call (830) 971-0268 or contact us online to get started.
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"A great and warm dental place that feels like home. He is very experienced and welcoming and does his best to make it a pain-free experience. I would definitely do any dental work for me and the family at Gonzales Dental."
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