Protect your child's teeth by starting dental checkups early.
Research has shown that if a child receives four preventative visits before the age of three years old, early childhood cavities are greatly reduced.
Advantages of seeing a dentist early
Drs. Rubin and Sentelle recommend you start bringing your child in for a dental exam and cleaning around age one to help prevent cavities. From there on out, every six months… just twice a year.
We want to catch the cavities early if they are developing.
Tooth decay can begin as soon as the first tooth appears (typically around 6 months old). It’s important to identify any issues or problems with your child’s teeth, and be able to discuss any diet or hygiene issues that may be causing those cavities. Because primary teeth (or baby teeth) are softer than the permanent teeth, they are more susceptible to cavity-causing bacteria. When one tooth is affected by a cavity, the teeth adjacent become more vulnerable as well! By seeing a pediatric dentist twice a year we can watch, catch and treat cavities to keep your child healthy!
Tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic disease in U.S. children. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that up to 40% of children now experience dental cavities prior to entering kindergarten.
Starting good dental habits at home!
Following these easy tips between dental visits will help ensure an “A+” report on your next dental exam and cleaning!
- Start by providing your kids with a well-balanced diet!
- Choose nutritious snacks. See our tooth snack guide below for helpful tips!
- Buy “fun food” just for special times.
- Don’t put your young child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula or juice.
- If your child chews gum or drinks soda, choose sugar-free options.
- Floss on a regular basis.
- Brush effectively twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. (Be careful your child does not swallow toothpaste after brushing.)
- Have sealants applied, when appropriate.
- Assure proper fluoride through drinking water, fluoride products or fluoride supplements.
Common questions we get asked about pediatric dental exams
Why should my child see a pediatric dentist instead of a general dentist?
General dentist are not trained in treating children in depth like pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentist attend 2 more years of dental school to be a pediatric dentist. Just like you wouldn’t bring your child to an internist instead of a pediatrician.
Why do baby teeth need to be fixed, they are going to fall out anyways?
When baby teeth have decay, it is still an infection in the body and this can infect other areas in their body. It can also spread to other teeth, even their permanent teeth growing above it. Even if the cavity doesn’t hurt, it can start to hurt and sometimes it’s too late to fix and we will need to take the tooth out and loose space for the permanent tooth.
My child is so little, how will you do a New Patient exam or cleaning on them?
It is important for your child to come in for their first visit at 1 year for the doctors to take a look in their mouth to catch anything early and to discuss oral health with the parent. Prevention is very important in our practice, if we wait for the child to cooperative fully, it could be too late to catch some things. Kids can get decay as early as 2 years old. Diet is a major reason for decay, not from candy and sweets, decay can be caused from milk, breast milk, and carb snacks like goldfish. Our office is okay with children that don’t want to lay down or cooperate. We understand that they are young. We will have the parent hold them and we will take our time and discuss oral hygiene with the parent and do an oral exam to see clinically as much as we can. When the child comes at an early age it also gets the child used to coming to dentist and they will be more comfortable as they get older.
Do you take x-rays and are they safe for children?
We do take digital x-rays – they are 70% less in radiation than regular x-rays.
Are parents allowed in the back with their children for their visits?
Yes, parents are always allowed in the back with their children. They don’t have to come in the back during their visit if they would prefer to stay in waiting room. We have an open door policy and parents are always welcomed in the clinical area.
Got more questions? We're here to help!
Ready to schedule your child’s dental cleaning appointment? Call (214) 618-5200 during our office hours and our team will be happy to book an appointment and answer any additional questions.