Your baby’s life is full of exciting firsts and new experiences. As a parent, though, you also know just how disconcerting some of those firsts can be, and the first trip to the dentist can certainly fall within this category. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be seen by a dentist by the age of one year, or within six months of the eruption of a first tooth. Knowing what to expect from the first dentist’s visit can help to soothe your anxieties, which may then be passed along to your child.
What to Expect
While the first dental visit is important in terms of establishing good oral hygiene patterns and acclimating your baby to regular appointments, there’s a good chance he’ll receive little in the way of treatment during the first appointment. This visit is all about facilitating a non-threatening, friendly meeting with the person who will be caring for your little one’s oral health and checking for potential problems in the future.
Your baby’s pediatric dentist will check for issues with his gums, oral tissues and long-term bite problems. The dentist may also clean any existing teeth, and will determine the need for fluoride. Expect to get a thorough course in the proper care basics for your child, along with any anticipated issues. Because your child’s dentist will request a complete medical history for your child and require you to fill out necessary health information forms, be sure you’re prepared with any records or written notes to facilitate the exchange of information.
Many pediatric dentists prefer to maintain a six-month appointment schedule, both to bolster kids’ confidence and to monitor the development of teeth and oral tissues as your child grows.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Joyce Ma, Prime Dental Care
A space maintainer is a small device that holds the space open between two teeth, where a baby tooth has been lost prematurely. Our teeth are designed to have specific growth patterns that guide the developing permanent teeth into a precise place. If a baby tooth, acting as a placeholder, is lost prematurely, then the growth pattern has the potential to be disrupted. Adjacent teeth may shift into the place due to nothing being there, and block (cause impaction) the permanent tooth below.
By placing a small temporary device in the area of the lost tooth, the space can be maintained for the developing permanent tooth to erupt properly. Sometimes these devices are called a “band and loop”, which is essentially a small metal band that goes around one of the teeth, with a thin wire loop extension out the side, butted against the tooth on the opposite side of the space. The open area of this maintainer allows the permanent tooth to begin to erupt without any interference. Once the permanent tooth begins to erupt, the temporary appliance is removed.
If your child has lost a tooth prematurely, having a space maintainer placed in their mouth is very easy to care for and should be done early as possible by your childrens dental care provider to prevent complex orthodontic needs later on. Some dentists, most pediatric dentists, and also orthodontic specialists place these devices. As with every tooth, proper brushing and flossing around the appliance is important to prevent tooth decay or gingivitis. It is perhaps one of the smallest orthodontic appliances that is used in modern dentistry, but has an extremely large impact on the health of your child’s developing smile.
Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental
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