Caring for children is a regular part of our practice, and we are honored that so many Tustin families trust us with their children’s dental health. We take that trust very seriously and work hard to ensure that kids get started on the right path to learn good habits and become active participants in their dental care.
Learning good self-care habits is important for more than just pretty smiles; it also teaches children to have responsibility for their bodies and that what they do has a very real effect on their own health. Research has shown that what happens in our mouths has a direct effect on the health of the rest of our bodies. When children learn to take good care of their teeth, we usually see that this leads to better overall health choices.
Your Child’s First Appointment
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be seen by the time their first tooth makes an appearance or by their first birthday. We agree with that recommendation.
At this age, the primary reason for a dental examination is to meet the child, begin to introduce him or her to the office so it becomes a normal part of life (reducing fears and anxieties later in life), performing a quick examination to make sure that everything looks good, and discussing dental care and addressing concerns with the parents.
Some of the topics that we typically discuss at this first appointment are:
- How to care for those first few teeth and your baby’s gums
- Good dietary habits for strengthening teeth and avoiding cavities
- Extended bottle and pacifier use and thumb sucking (and what you can do)
- Anything else you might be worried about!
Growing With Your Child
As your child gets older, the appointments will become more involved. We’ll perform x-rays, cleanings, and more thorough examinations. Prevention is a priority at our Tustin, CA dental office, and we’ll work with you and your child to teach healthy habits and create a brushing and flossing routine that your child can stick with.
We’ll discuss any concerns we have about the way your child’s teeth are developing, and we’ll also discuss treatments that strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities including fluoride and sealants.
Around age 8, your child will probably be ready to become responsible for his or her own self-care. We’ll coach your child on good brushing and flossing technique to get him or her ready for this transition. Once your child is brushing and flossing independently, you should continue to periodically check in to make sure that good habits are still being followed.
Like adults, kids can have emergencies too. Call our office if your child injures a tooth or is experiencing dental pain so we can care for your child promptly, relieve the pain, and plan for treatment.
Call our office today to schedule an appointment for your child with Dr. Keith Reber. We think your child will enjoy visiting us!