Importance of Baby Teeth
The baby teeth (aka primary teeth) are crucial for many reasons. In addition to chewing and appearance, primary teeth are responsible for guiding and maintaining the appropriate space for the succeeding permanent teeth. Premature loss of primary teeth can cause harmful shifting of remaining teeth and can create, or certainly complicate, future orthodontic problems. Additionally, primary teeth decay more aggressively than their permanent replacements and if not treated appropriately, can become infected/abscessed. Abscessed primary teeth are a serious matter and can cause emergent medical conditions as well as potentially damaging the permanent teeth underneath.
First Dental Visit
"At what age should we begin seeing the dentist?" We concur with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and suggest scheduling a child's first visit around the age of one. Establishing a relationship at an early age promotes patient and parent education, early detection of any potentially harmful conditions, and acclimates the children to the dental office and staff. Although most of our tiny patients (1-2 years) are too young to comprehend or fully cooperate, many do amazingly well and quickly learn to enjoy the entire experience! Initially, most begin with a comprehensive exam, typically sitting on mom or dad's lap. As time progresses and the children gain experience the dental team will begin introducing them to all of the interesting and exciting things each visit has to offer
Utilizing a "Tell-Show-Do" education ensures that each child is informed, comfortable and happy. All procedures are explained in a non-threatening manner using kid-friendly terminology. Please keep in mind that terms such as needle, shot, pinch, tooth poker, drill, pull, yanking can create significant anxiety and potential behavioral issues. Terminology such as sleepy juice and sleepy juice machine, tooth counter, tooth washer and "..wiggle the tooth" are much better alternatives and still enable the children to fully understand and participate.
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