HOW IS A PEDIATRIC DENTIST DIFFERENT FROM OTHER DENTISTS?
All dental specialists (pediatric dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, and others) begin by completing dental school, then continue their education with several years of additional specialized training. During training in the field of pediatric dentistry, Dr. Yamoah gained extensive knowledge and experience in treating infants, children, and adolescents.
Pediatric dentists enjoy working with children, and bring to each patient our expertise in childhood development and behavior. Because our office is geared toward young visitors, you’ll find our staff, as well as our office design, decorations, and activities, all work together to provide an especially friendly and comfortable environment for children.
WHEN SHOULD I SCHEDULE MY CHILD’S FIRST VISIT TO THE DENTIST?
We recommend you make an appointment to see the us as soon as your son or daughter gets that first tooth. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be seen by six months after their first tooth erupts, or at one year of age, whichever comes first.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD MY CHILD VISIT THE DENTIST?
We generally recommend scheduling checkups every six months. Depending on the circumstances of your child’s oral health, we may recommend more frequent visits.
HOW CAN I PREPARE MY CHILD FOR THE FIRST DENTAL APPOINTMENT?
The best preparation for your child’s first visit to our office is to maintain a positive attitude. Children pick up on adults’ apprehensions, so if you make negative comments about trips to the dentist, you can be sure your child will anticipate an unpleasant experience and behave accordingly.
Show your youngster the pictures of the office and the All-Star Team on the website and schedule a virtual visit. Let your little one know it’s essential to keep the teeth and gums healthy, and that Dr. Yamoah will help to do that. Remember he is specially trained to handle fears and anxiety, and our staff excels at putting children at ease during treatment.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY CHILD’S FIRST VISIT TO THE DENTIST?
The first visit is usually short and simple. In most cases, we focus on getting to know your little one and giving you some basic information about dental care. Dr. Yamoah will check your child’s teeth for placement and health, and look for any potential problems with the gums and jaw. If necessary, we may do a bit of cleaning.
We will also answer any questions about how to care for your child’s teeth as they develop, and provide you with materials that contain helpful tips you can refer to at home.
WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD HAVE DENTAL X-RAYS TAKEN?
We recommend taking X-rays around the age of two or three. The first set consists of simple pictures of the front upper and lower teeth, which familiarizes the child with the process.
Once the baby teeth in back are touching one another, then regular (at least yearly) X-rays are recommended. Permanent teeth start coming in around age six, and X-rays help us make sure your child’s teeth and jaw are healthy and properly aligned.If your son or daughter is at a high risk of dental problems, we may suggest having X-rays taken at an earlier age.
WILL MY CHILD COOPERATE?
The first visit to the office can be a challenging and new experience for many children, especially if they have had a negative experience at another dental office. Do not be surprised or embarrassed if your youngster cries; this is a normal and age-appropriate coping skill.
Dr. Al and the All-Star team at Lake Cities Pediatric Dentistry are skilled at connecting with and assessing the level of cooperation of your little ones. Parenting styles vary significantly, so we will do our best to accommodate your preferences.
With regular dental visits, your child’s confidence and comfort will grow, which lays a critical foundation for lifelong dental health. At Lake Cities Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Al and the All-Star team are specially trained in child development and behavior management. Our goal is to build lasting relationships with our patients from infancy through college, and instill in them the skills and desire to have a lifetime of good oral health!
WHAT CAUSES CAVITIES?
Certain types of bacteria live in our mouths. When they come into contact with sugary foods left behind on our teeth after eating, acids are produced.These acids attack the enamel on the exterior of the teeth, and eventually eat through the enamel to create holes in the teeth, which we call cavities.
HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD AVOID CAVITIES?
Make sure your son or daughter brushes those teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Daily flossing is also worthwhile, because flossing can reach spots between the teeth that brushing can’t.
Check with Dr. Yamoah about a fluoride supplement, which helps tooth enamel become harder and more resistant to decay. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, limit snacking, and maintain a healthy diet.
Finally, make regular appointments so we can check the health of your youngster’s teeth and perform professional cleanings.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN MY BABY’S TEETH?
Even before your infant’s first tooth appears, we recommend you clean the gums after feedings with a damp, soft washcloth. As soon as that first tooth appears, you can start using a toothbrush.
Select a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head. You most likely can find a brush designed for infants at your local drugstore.
WHAT ARE DENTAL SEALANTS?
DOES MY CHILD NEED DENTAL SEALANTS?
Sealants cover the pits and fissures in teeth that are difficult to brush and therefore susceptible to decay. We recommend sealants as a safe, simple way to help your little one avoid cavities, especially for molars, which are hardest to reach
MY CHILD PLAYS SPORTS; HOW CAN I PROTECT HIS OR HER TEETH?
HOW CAN I PROTECT MY CHILD’S TEETH WHEN THEY PLAY SPORTS?
Even children’s sports involve contact, so we recommend mouth guards for children active in sports. If your little one plays baseball, soccer, or other sports, ask us about having a custom-fitted mouthguard made to protect the teeth, lips, cheeks, and gums.