The 1st dental visit should occur after the appearance [eruption] of
the first baby tooth. This usually occurs around six months of age.
It is important to begin dental appointments this early to discuss the
proper diet and oral hygiene instructions for the
baby and how to prevent cavities. Prevention is the key!
It is very important to maintain a healthy primary dentition! A child maintains baby teeth from six months until about 12 years of age. Keeping the teeth clean and healthy benefits the child in many ways; one major factor including having a happy and healthy smile. If the primary teeth are neglected, decay is inevitable. Neglected decay can then lead to the following issues:
Infection at the site of the tooth, which then requires an extraction
Possible widespread systemic infection, which could be fatal
Loss of space if tooth is extracted, which can cause the following:
Change in the smile and bite
Change in chewing and the diet
Change in speech
Pain and lowered quality of life
Possible effects to the permanent teeth due to infection or early removal of primary teeth
During your first dental visit, you will have the opportunity to meet the
dentist and our staff in a family-friendly, professional, and relaxing environment.
A comprehensive exam will be completed, which typically includes photographs and x-rays,
to allow the dentist to evaluate the health of your teeth and gums. Findings will be
reviewed with you after the initial exam to answer any questions and to determine a
treatment plan that best suits your dental needs.
It is VERY important in not only completely answering ALL questions regarding your health history,
but also to update your information as changes occur. Medications that you take and existing health
conditions could not only warrant precaution during certain dental procedures, but also prevent a
dental/medical emergency from occurring. The more your dentist knows regarding your health, the
better steps can be taken in managing your dental needs.
All things listed, in the presence of poor oral hygiene, can lead to tooth decay.
However, these things in excess can accelerate the process of decay and gum disease.
It has been found that poor oral health can have a negative impact on one's general
health (i.e. gum disease has been correlated with hypertension, diabetes, and pre-term
low birth weight babies).
Your dentist can discuss with you various options available to decrease dental
anxiety (i.e. nitrous oxide, oral sedation, IV sedation, etc.) to determine which
modality best suits your needs. It is the goal of the dentist to ensure that each
visit to the dentist is positive dental experience.
If swelling is minimal, localized at the site of the tooth, take the recommended
dosage of an anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medication (i.e. Ibuprofen or Motrin) and
have an appointment scheduled for the next business day with the dentist. If the swelling is
diffuse, spreading on the face or mouth, go to your nearest emergency room immediately for emergency
consultation and prescription for an antibiotic. This situation then needs to be followed up with
the dentist the next business day.
Braces are no longer just for teenagers. Patients of all ages are "eligible" for braces.
The best time for braces, and easiest time for tooth movement, is during puberty. This is typically
between the ages of 10-12 for girls and the ages of 11-13 for boys. It is recommended that all primary
teeth have exfoliated. The patient must be referred by their general dentist, have had a recent exam, and
no existing decay or treatment needs.
It is recommended that you brush after each meal for 2-3 minutes with a soft/medium-bristled
toothbrush in a circular motion sweeping food away from the teeth and gums. A toothbrush, used
with the proper technique can last up to three months. When the bristles begin to flare, it is
recommended to replace with a new toothbrush.
Following the instructions for proper oral hygiene is the greatest factor in reducing the occurrence of bad breath.
In addition to brushing the teeth, brush the tongue and floss between teeth to remove food debris and bacteria that
cause breath. Incorporating a recommended mouthwash can also help decrease bad breath. If these techniques do not
relieve bad breath, consult with your dentist to discuss these issues.
Trauma to the front teeth while playing sports or participating in recreational activities is very common.
Wearing a mouthguard can help decrease the chances of fracturing or the loss of a primary or permanent tooth.
Almost anyone can benefit. However, tooth whitening results may vary from person to person depending on the product and the patientís personal habits. Tooth whitening can decrease the appearance of tooth discoloration/staining from things such as tobacco, coffee, alcoholic beverages, and the natural wear of teeth from age. Talk with your dentist if you have other concerns about stains from other factors (i.e. tetracycline, etc.).