On this page, you can learn about all the ways our team can take care of your child’s smile, and you’ll also find answers to common questions such as, “When should my child start seeing the dentist?” and, “What will their first appointment be like?”
All in all, Dr. Thomas and Dr. Gopinathan are committed to making sure your child’s smile stays healthy throughout their entire development. Thanks to their experience and true love of helping children, they’ll make going to the dentist a fun place of learning rather than a chore to be dreaded.
It’s important for you to take care of your child’s mouth even before their teeth come in. After every feeding, be sure to gently clean their gums with a washcloth and warm water. Once their teeth start to arrive, you can use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush along with some water. You should only start using a tiny amount of toothpaste once your child knows how to spit. Our doctors can let you know which products are best for your child’s growing smile.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child should have their first dental appointment within 6 months after their first tooth has erupted or by their first birthday. When you bring them in to see us, their first visit will mostly be focused on making sure they are comfortable rather than performing any dental treatment. They’ll be greeted by smiles, and we’ll take them around the office so they can meet everyone and start to get familiar with their new surroundings. You’ll be with them the entire time, and we’ll always go at their pace.
You’ll then have a chance to talk to their doctor and discuss their dental and medical history, and then they’ll perform a moderate cleaning and oral exam while your child sits in your lap. They’ll examine their gums, teeth, count them, and look for any signs of potential dental problems. Afterward, they’ll discuss a plan to take care of your child’s new smile.
During these appointments, the doctor can also cover basic information with your child such as how to brush, why it’s important, and how their diet can affect their smile. With your help and ours, we can ensure they develop healthy habits that will keep them smiling for a lifetime.
For children, the most common place for them to develop cavities is on the chewing surfaces of their back teeth, and that’s because this area can be hard for them to reach while they are still learning to brush. To give them a little extra protection right where they need it, we can apply a clear, thin layer of a (BPA-free) plastic-based substance to the teeth called a dental sealant. It will provide a barrier against plaque and food particles, essentially protecting your child from both tooth decay and cavities.
Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps strengthen the teeth against cavities and tooth decay, and it’s absolutely essential for children while their teeth are still developing. To help keep them cavity-free, we can use something called a fluoride treatment. For this, all your child has to do is wear a small set of mouth trays that are filled with highly-concentrated fluoride gel for about 1-4 minutes. It’s just that simple, and it’ll help protect their teeth between appointments.
Sports are fantastic for helping a child learn and develop, but even non-contact sports can put your child’s teeth at risk. Before they go play, make sure to protect their teeth with an athletic mouthguard. We can provide them with a completely custom-made one. It’ll be much more comfortable than any generic mouthguard you can buy at the store, and it’ll also do a better job of defending their smile.
We are able to provide a quick and painless frenectomy, which is a minor surgical procedure that is used to eliminate a short or thick frenulum in a child’s mouth. This small piece of tissue can cause a wide variety of serious problems, such as speech issues, breathing difficulties, and even problems breastfeeding. We use a soft tissue laser to perform this procedure so that it only takes a few minutes and doesn’t cause your child any discomfort. The benefits of this treatment can usually be felt almost instantly, and healing time is minimal.
We’re dedicated to ensuring that your child has a life filled with both sustained oral health and beautiful smiles. If you have any questions about how to take care of their teeth, or if you would like to schedule their next appointment, please contact us today.