A child's first visit to the dentist should be enjoyable and positive. The more you and your child know about the first visit, the better you will feel. Children are not born with a fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. Our office makes a practice of using pleasant, non-frightening, simple words to describe your child's first dental visit and treatment.
We want you to feel at ease from the moment your family arrives at our office.
Your child's first tooth erupts between ages 6-12 months and the remainder of their 20 primary or “baby” teeth typically erupts by age 3. During this time, gums may feel tender and sore, causing your child to feel irritable. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a teething ring or a cool, wet cloth across them. Children’s Motrin can be dispensed when a slight fever arises.
Your child's primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood, and their permanent teeth begin erupting at age 6 and continue until age 21. Adults have 32 permanent teeth, including wisdom teeth.
Tooth decay is preventable. Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid which can break down your teeth. We recommend brushing three times a day. When a baby's tooth erupts, parents should brush the tooth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Brushing can be fun. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing procedures with your child.
Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your doctor will discuss with you the right time to start flossing.
Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason — many children and adolescents tend to be lax in their oral hygiene habits or cannot reach back teeth properly by themselves. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away. A low-sugar diet also helps keep tooth decay at bay.
Your child should visit the dentist every 6 months for regular dental cleanings and checkups starting at 3 1/2 years old. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. Tooth sealants are also recommended because they "seal" the deep grooves in your child's teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas.
Sometimes brushing is not enough. Everyone has hard-to-reach spots in their mouth and brushing doesn't always fully clean those difficult places. When that happens, your children are at risk of tooth decay. Using sealants on your teeth gives you an extra line of defense against tooth decay.
Dental sealant is a plastic resin that bonds to the deep grooves in your tooth's chewing surface. When sealing a tooth, the grooves of your teeth are filled and the tooth surface becomes smoother -- and less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, tooth brushing becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.
Sealants generally last from 3 to 5 years. However, it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from their childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact so if your sealant comes off you must let your dentist know.
We love to reward our patients without cavities. The "No Cavities Club" was started to acknowledge those kids and to encourage them to keep up their good oral hygiene habits. We believe that by recognizing their accomplishments, kids will keep their "beautiful smiles that last a lifetime." Their pictures are posted on the "No Cavities Club" Board in our kid's playroom.
Dr. Eco enjoys giving back to the community. "Give a Kid a Smile" is a volunteer program that educates grade school children in the St. Charles and Geneva area on the importance of good oral hygiene. Dr. Eco and her staff also provide free dental exam for schools with patient donations for homeless shelters in the Fox Valley area. If you are interested in this program, please contact our office.
Creating kid's smiles that last a lifetime!!!!