We Love Kids!
Kids get special treatment at Advanced Family Dentistry. We have an awesome play area in our waiting room where kids of all ages can draw on the walls using IdeaPaint technology, not to mention a lot of really cool toys. Dental visits are tailored specifically toward children and include bubbles, balloons, a ride in our imaginary rocket, and a bag full of goodies to take home!
Dr. Opp makes sure that he provides the very best dental care to the youngest members of our community. In fact, part of his community outreach efforts involve talking to elementary school kids about dental health, so don’t be surprised if he shows up in a classroom near you!
My First Exam
We encourage you to schedule your baby’s first dental visit before his or her first birthday, ideally when the first tooth appears (between six and 12 months of age). Dr. Opp will perform a very gentle examination of your baby’s mouth and gums and recommend an optional fluoride varnish to promote the growth of healthy teeth.
Tooth & Gum Care for Children
Even though newborns have a long way to go before developing teeth, it’s still important to keep their gums clean and healthy.
- Use a soft toothbrush made specifically for infants (or simply a clean cloth or gauze pad and water) to clean your child’s gums after each feeding. This will help prevent “baby bottle tooth decay” (the damage caused to emerging teeth from milk or juice residue) as well as plaque (a sticky film of bacteria that can cause cavities, gingivitis, and periodontitis).
- If you bottle feed, be sure to remove the bottle when your baby falls asleep.
- Thumb- and finger-sucking is perfectly normal at this age.
- For optimal oral health, we suggest that you schedule a dental appointment for your child by his or her first birthday—ideally when the first tooth arrives. Please read more about what to expect during your child’s first dental visit.
Ages 6 months to 2 years
Follow these instructions as soon as your child’s teeth begin to appear (usually around 6 months).
- Use a soft child’s toothbrush and just a smear of toothpaste to gently brush the emerging teeth.
- Continue to prevent “baby bottle tooth decay” by ensuring that your child does not fall asleep with a bottle. Children should be weaned at 12 to 14 months of age.
- Teething will create tender gums and, in some cases, an irritable temper, which may be soothed with gum massage, a cold washcloth, or a teething ring. Please consult Dr. Opp if your child is experiencing abnormal pain during teething.
- Thumb- and finger-sucking is still perfectly normal at this age.
Ages 2 to 5 years
Help your child develop oral hygiene practices that will last a lifetime.
- Use a soft child’s toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste, and either perform or assist in your child’s brushing for maximum effectiveness.
- Thumb- and finger-sucking beyond age 3 can cause problems with tooth and bite alignment, inhibit mouth growth, and more. Dr. Opp and his team are happy to suggest ways to address a prolonged thumb-sucking habit.