Learn what to expect during the first dental visit with a Dothan, AL pediatric dental care office
Posted By Dr Nathan Pfister
Good oral hygiene is important for children and adults. All patients, even infants and toddlers, benefit from proper dental care. In Dothan, AL, Dr. Nathan Pfister, Dr. Brian Pfister, and the team at Biodentist Alabama offer pediatric dental care. Our general dental care extends to patients of all ages.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children in the United States. According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 5 children between the ages of 5 and 11 have at least one case of untreated tooth decay. The sooner children start getting regular dental exams, the healthier their mouth will be throughout their lifetimes. Early exams help prevent problems. Tooth decay can lead to pain and other medical issues. Children who have healthy teeth can chew easily, speak clearly, and smile confidently.
Establishing good dental care early
Good oral hygiene starts as early as infancy. Whether your child is breastfed, or bottle fed, a dental hygiene regimen should begin early. Even before teeth erupt, parents can wipe down the gums with a soft, wet cloth after feeding. As teeth start to come in, it is important to keep them clean. Find a toothbrush designed for infants. This brush will have a very small head for a baby’s tiny mouth.
Children begin to get teeth between the ages of six months and a year. Oral care is similar for children and adults. All children should brush or have their teeth brushed twice per day. As infants and toddlers, a parent should take on the role of brushing the teeth. Brush all sides of the teeth and the gums. As more teeth erupt, and especially if the teeth are touching, flossing should be done daily to remove particles from between the teeth.
First dental visit expectations
According to the American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, children should see a dentist by their first birthdays. The first visit teaches parents how to care for baby teeth and how to prevent cavities. The dental team provides education on various topics such as:
Allowing your baby to fall asleep with a bottle or sippy cup of milk or juice causes decay.
By age 1, teach your child to drink liquids from a cup rather than a bottle or sippy cup.
Instructions are given on how to brush baby teeth.
Oral habits such as thumb sucking, pacifiers, or lip sucking are discussed along with tips on stopping unhealthy habits.
Developmental milestones are reviewed.
Proper nutrition is discussed. This generally includes avoiding sugary foods.
A child’s first dental visit is usually kept short. This is when your child has an opportunity to get acquainted with the sights and sounds of the dental environment. The child becomes acquainted with the dentist, hygienist, and office staff while learning about the tools and procedures used during an exam. Familiarity and comfort are established so fear or anxiety can be minimized. The visit is friendly and non-threatening.
The dentist will assess your child’s teeth, gums, bite, jaw, and oral tissues. The teeth will be cleaned. This removes built-up plaque and food debris that may be stuck in the teeth. This crucial step prevents bacteria from spreading, which could lead to decay or inflammation of the gums. Following the initial appointment, the child should see a dentist every six months for periodic cleanings and assessments. When the time comes, the dental team can give advice on how to care for erupting adult teeth or provide restorative treatments if needed. Establishing the proper habits at a young age creates a routine and ensures the child is on the right track for dental health.
At Biodentist Alabama, we strive to make our patients of all ages comfortable and at ease when visiting the dentist. Children are special patients. We understand that children may be fearful of visiting the dentist, so we take the time to be gentle and soothing. Dental visits should be positive experiences. Your child’s primary teeth are important. Developmental stages that are imperative to your child’s future dental health depend on them.
Set your children up for success with oral hygiene by visiting a dentist who provides pediatric dental care. Contact the team at Biodentist Alabama in Dothan, AL to schedule an appointment. Call (855) 939-5566.
Dr. Pfister's passion for non-invasive biologic dentistry began while practicing dentistry in Hawaii and he learned of the power of ozone in dentistry. From Hawaii, Dr. Pfister moved to his hometown of Upland as the protégé of the world-renowned ozone dentist Dr. Bill Domb...
Dr. Brian Pfister was born and raised in Upland, CA. He attended Brigham Young University-Idaho, graduating with a degree in exercise physiology with a minor in chemistry. From Idaho, Dr. Brian returned to southern California to continue dental training at Western University College of Dental Medicine.