Visiting The Dentist

Home/FAQ/Visiting The Dentist

When should my child first see the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that every child have their first dental visit by their first birthday or within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth. This allows the dentist to monitor the development of the oral tissues and gives the parents a resource for information about their child’s oral care.

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. The pediatric dentist has been through 2–3 additional years of rigorous specialized training after dental school focusing on the unique needs of children from infancy through adolescence. This also includes training in the care of children with special needs.

What is the first dental visit like?

That depends on the child’s age and development. The pediatric dentist will usually examine children under 3 with the child in their parent’s lap, knee–to–knee with the dentist. We like to carefully introduce new things like the dental chair, prophy brush, and suction equipment to each child in a fun way when they are at an age to enjoy it.

Are dental x-rays safe?

With the newest developments in ultra high-speed film and advances in x–ray technology, dental x–rays are very low-dose systems. Digital x–ray systems (like the one we use) are much more sensitive than film systems, so x–ray exposure is cut even further by as much as 80–90 percent.

Why are dental x–rays needed?

Dental x–rays are one of the most useful tools dentists use in helping patients maintain their oral health. They help dentists diagnose common problems such as cavities, periodontal disease and infections, as well as less common conditions like abscesses, tumors and cysts. X–rays can also allow the dentist to see whether a child’s permanent teeth are erupting properly with the correct spacing as well as check for any missing or extra teeth which may be developing in the jaws. Children generally need x–rays more often than adults because their mouths are growing and changing rapidly and they are more susceptible to tooth decay than adults.

What are sealants?

Sealants are a protective coating placed over the pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars. They are made of a plastic material and act as a barrier to food and bacteria that can cause decay in these pits and grooves. If your child has good oral hygiene and avoids chewing on hard objects, sealants can last for years, protecting their back teeth during the most cavity–prone years.

How safe is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide/oxygen is very safe. The effects are mild, it is easy to take, and it is not addictive. It is also quickly eliminated from the body. While breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all their natural reflexes. We do ask that you give your child little or no food before their dental appointment if nitrous oxide/oxygen will be used. Nausea or vomiting may occur if nitrous oxide/oxygen is administered on a full stomach.