Early Dental Care

A Child's First Dental Visit

A child's first dental visit should be scheduled around his/her 1st birthday. The AAPD and AAP recommend the first dental visit at age 1. This is a newer, more medically based model focused on prevention rather than waiting for "holes" to appear in the mouth and fix them. It is similar to a well-baby check-up at the pediatrician's office. A majority of children in America have already had a cavity by the time they reach kindergarten. If the parents, child, and dental staff work as a team, we can help lower this figure in our little area north of Seattle.

Why Primary Teeth Are Important

Primary teeth are important for several reasons. Foremost, good teeth allow a child to eat and maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth allow for clear pronunciation and speech habits. The self-image that healthy teeth give a child is immeasurable. Primary teeth also guide eruption of the permanent teeth. Losing primary teeth early due to cavities can sometimes cause very crowded permanent teeth.

Good Diet and Healthy Teeth

The teeth, bones and soft tissue of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups help minimize (and avoid) cavities and other dental problems. Most snacks that children eat cause cavities, so try to have more healthy foods like vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, which promote strong teeth.

Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Tooth decay in infants can be minimized or totally prevented by not allowing sleeping infants to bottle-feed. Infants that need a bottle to comfortably fall asleep should be given a water-filled bottle or a pacifier.