Sunday, March 13, 2011

Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Though they eventually end up with the Tooth Fairy, your child’s primary (baby) teeth are just as important as the permanent ones they’ll have when they are older. Primary teeth serve several important functions: they help your child chew properly, aid in learning to speak, and those first teeth act as space markers in the jaw for the permanent teeth that are developing underthe gums.

It’s important to check young children to ensure that teeth and jaws are developing as they should. A child’s first dental visit should ideally occur about six months after the first primary teeth appear. This “well baby” check up for teeth is a chance to look for early signs of tooth decay as well as to learn about the basics of caring for those tiny first teeth.

The first visit should be enjoyable for your child. Wilmette Dental staff tries to make the experience as pleasant as possible, with “rides” in the dental chair, flavored tooth polish and a visit to the treasure box at the end of the visit. Appointments are brief and may include any of the following, depending on the child’s age:

  • · A gentle examination of the teeth, jaw, bite, gums and oral tissues to monitor growth and development; 
  • · A gentle cleaning, which includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar, and stains; 
  • · An assessment of the need for topical fluoride; and, 
  • · A demonstration of how to care for teeth and gums at home. 

Pleasant, short dental visits can build your child’s trust in the dentist, and can prove invaluable if your child needs to be treated later for any dental problem. As a parent, you can help your child feel comfortable with dental visits by setting good examples – make sure you are up to date on cleanings and exams, and speak positively about dental visits.
By starting regular dental visits at an early age, you can help your child have strong, healthy teeth throughout life!

Illinois School Dental Exam Requirement 
Want to make the grade in school this year? Have your child’s teeth examined! The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) now requires youngsters in kindergarten, second and sixth grade to show proof of a recent dental exam.

The ages of kindergarten, second and sixth grade mark critical times in oral development. These are the ages when molars erupt, and it’s the right time for the application of dental fluoride and sealants to help prevent decay, if necessary.

Need the form? Wilmette Dental has the standard Illinois form on file.


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