Did you know that 20% of children ages 5-11 have at least one untreated cavity? The good news is that cavities are preventable, and that by practicing good oral health habits and seeing a dentist regularly, your child can have a healthy set of teeth and gums. With over 25 years of experience, Lynn M. Andreacola, DMD, treats her youngest patients with special care and kindness, so they never dread a visit to the dentist. Call Andreacola Family Dentistry in Marlton, New Jersey, to schedule your children’s dental visits or make the appointments online.
You may think it’s not necessary to bring infants to see a dentist, but the earlier you start good dental practices, the more likely your children will have healthy teeth for their whole lives. Babies should come in for a first dental visit soon after the first tooth erupts, and no later than one year of age. Why? Because once your child gets teeth, those teeth can get cavities. Dr. Andreacola and her team are happy to see patients as young as nine months old.
You can start good dental practices soon after you give birth by cleaning your baby’s gums with a soft washcloth or gauze pad. Once your child starts getting teeth, brush them with a child-sized toothbrush and pea-sized squirt of toothpaste -- the kind without fluoride -- until age two.
After age two, you can use a pea-sized drop of fluoride toothpaste, but make sure your child spits and doesn’t swallow the toothpaste. Brush twice a day, every day.
Other things you can do to ensure good oral health is to limit sugary foods and snacks and schedule regular dentist visits. Dr. Andreacola can show you and your child how to brush properly and offer advice about pacifiers, thumb-sucking, and teething, as well as answer any of your pediatric dental questions.
At your child’s dental visit, Dr. Andreacola checks your child’s mouth, gums, and tongue to look for cavities, gum issues, and other problems. She cleans your child’s teeth and discusses diet, proper brushing technique, and flossing.
When your child gets a little older, Dr. Andreacola or one of her dental hygienists takes dental X-rays, only when necessary, and discusses the pros and cons of using a dental sealant to protect your child’s teeth against cavities.
To ensure that your child’s dentist visit goes well, try to schedule it at a time when your child is rested and has already eaten.
After the first dentist visit, you should make a pediatric dental appointment twice a year. Some children who are prone to tooth decay may need more frequent visits.