Setting the Stage for a Lifetime of Perfect Smiles

Embarking on the journey of parenthood can leave new parents with questions about their baby’s dental care. Establishing a positive, long-lasting connection between your child and their oral health is essential, and it all starts with timely dental visits.

At what age should my children start seeing a dentist?

We encourage you to bring your little one for their first dental checkup either six months after their initial tooth appears or before their first birthday. These early appointments aim to monitor your child’s oral well-being, foster a warm relationship between your child and our dental professionals, and address any habits that may compromise their dental health. We encourage coming in to visit to familiarize your child with a positive experience versus waiting for any questionable complications.

It is not uncommon for young children to feel hesitant during their first few appointments, potentially refusing to have their teeth cleaned or examined. But don’t worry. Over time, our team will become familiar faces, and our office a welcoming environment where your child feels at ease. Soon, they may eagerly anticipate their dental visits.

At Perfect Smiles, we take great pride in treating our youngest patients with the utmost care and affection. Many children enjoy coming in to play dentist, dress up and play with some fun tools such as Mr. Suction or Mr. Thirsty, watch TV, select a treat from our treasure chest, dress up as a dentist or as we would say “Dr. (Insert your child’s name)” and engage in friendly conversations with our warm and inviting dental team. Call us today to set your child on the path to a lifetime of exceptional oral health.

What our patient’s say

Bobbi V.

“My kids are excited about going to the dentist thanks to their amazing staff, friendly environment and how they are treated here. The staff is always smiling, very professional, they take the time to explain what it is they are doing, and always make conversation with my boys. I would highly recommend Perfect Smiles to anyone! I won’t go anywhere else!” – Bobbi V.

Dawn P.

“We had a great appointment on Saturday. My 5 year old did great and the staff definitely helped this. From letting him get comfortable in the chair to choosing which toothbrush he wanted, she went slow enough that he was reassured. I’m very pleased with how they help him and how they interact with him as well.” – Dawn P.

Becky S.

“They were amazing with my daughter! Due to my poor dental history due to bad genetics, my poor daughter had to be seen for similar problems…cavities. Despite the brushing twice a day, limited sugar and almost never having juice, she had still gotten a cavity. The hygienist (Katie) was amazing and very sweet. She explained everything to my daughter, breaking down each step as it happened. Katie made my daughter feel comfortable during a potential scary first filling visit. It made my mommy heart smile! I’ve been going there for 3 years and now my daughter is a patient. I HIGHLY recommend this dental office! I have been going there for 3 years and would never go anywhere else.” – Becky S.

What happens at the first dental visit?

As your child celebrates their first birthday, it’s time to introduce them to the world of dental care. While they may not yet grasp the significance of dental appointments, these early visits are crucial for establishing a comfortable routine, guiding parents on at-home care, and enabling our team to examine, clean, and eventually take X-rays of your child’s teeth.

During their initial appointment, our friendly staff will warmly greet your child and acquaint them with the chair and the tools we’ll use for cleaning and examination. We’ll take the time to learn about your little one’s interests, assess their habits, provide recommendations based on the questions we will ask such as the water source in your home, and also we may apply fluoride if you approve. Remember, it’s perfectly normal for the first few appointments to be less than perfect; cooperation often comes with familiarity.

Our primary objective is to create a positive experience for your child, which means we’ll never force them to do anything they’re uncomfortable with, including sitting in the dental chair. Instead, we’ll explore alternative methods to help them feel at ease, such as allowing them to sit on a parent’s lap during the examination. By fostering enjoyable appointments, we aim to develop a strong, lasting commitment to your child’s oral health journey.

Call or text Perfect Smiles at 833-205-4048

How can I prepare my child for a first dental appointment?

Preparing your child for an upcoming dental appointment is essential for alleviating any anxiety they (or you) may feel. Open communication about what to expect can help ease their concerns and foster a positive experience. Be mindful of your own feelings toward the dentist too; if you exhibit any apprehension, your child may develop a similar attitude.

Emphasize that a dentist is not only a doctor for their teeth but also a teacher who shows them the ways to maintain excellent oral health for a lifetime. Positive habits start at a young age, and we are here to help. Should your child express any worries, reassure them that the dentist’s primary role is to address existing issues and help prevent future problems. Once you make an appointment at our office, we will send some information which will include a book and videos you can play on your phone that will help you prepare for their first visit with our team. Our aim is to cultivate positive experiences, ensuring that dental appointments are enjoyable for both you and your child.

How can I help my child through the teething stage?

Teething is a natural phase in a child’s development when new teeth begin to “erupt” (break through the gum tissue). This stage typically begins around six months of age and lasts until about three years old. Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and each baby may develop differently without any cause for concern.

Teething can be an uncomfortable experience for little ones, often presenting symptoms that resemble a cold. Your baby may become fussy, irritable, and tearful, and could also exhibit mild fever, drooling, a runny nose, or even rashes. You might notice them rubbing their cheeks, pulling their ears, or gnawing on anything they can find. These actions are their way of seeking relief from the discomfort.

To help your teething baby, you can offer them teething rings (avoid freezing them, as they may become too hard and cause injury), administer age-appropriate pain medication for relief, apply barrier creams and moisturizers to protect their neck and cheeks from drool-induced irritation, and gently massage their gums for a few minutes each day (be cautious of those little bites!). Most importantly, provide comfort and support by holding your baby when they display signs of teething discomfort. Together, you’ll navigate this developmental milestone with ease.

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

Although baby teeth are a temporary part of your child’s life, they play a significant role in their overall health and development. As such, it is crucial to give them the care and attention they deserve.

Baby teeth serve as placeholders, reserving the space necessary for your child’s permanent teeth to emerge. They are also vital for proper nutrition, speech, and food digestion. By fostering a solid foundation of oral care from an early age, you equip your child with the skills and habits needed to maintain their adult teeth – their lifelong companions that provide essential functions and contribute to overall well-being.

So, while baby teeth may be fleeting, their impact is long-lasting. Devoting the necessary care to these early teeth leads to a lifetime of exceptional oral health.

Is OrajelTM safe for babies?

Coping with a teething baby can be a challenging and distressing experience for parents. It’s essential to know that using adult OrajelTM, a well-known brand of oral pain reliever, to alleviate teething symptoms is not advisable. This is because of the presence of benzocaine, which can potentially cause a rare, yet sometimes fatal condition called methemoglobinemia. This dangerous condition significantly reduces the amount of oxygen carried through the bloodstream in babies, which can lead to permanent brain and tissue damage or even death if left untreated or if treatment is delayed. Instead, consider using OrajelTM Baby as a safer alternative.

Additionally, there are several other methods to try, such as other age-appropriate oral medications, refrigerated (but not frozen) teething rings, gentle gum massages, and providing extra comfort to your little one. By exploring these options, you can help ease your baby’s teething discomfort and create a safer, more comforting environment for them.

What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?

As your baby reaches the six-month milestone, the emergence of their first teeth is a delightful and exciting moment. However, as a parent, it’s crucial to take proper care of these new little pearly whites. Ensuring their cleanliness and health is essential for your baby’s overall well-being.

To maintain your baby’s teeth in pristine condition, consider using a finger brush or a soft-bristled baby toothbrush for gentle cleaning. Alternatively, a damp cloth can be employed to wipe their teeth clean after meals. This routine helps remove residual milk, preventing yeast infections and cavities from developing. By being attentive and proactive, you can provide the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles for your little one.

When should I begin using toothpaste on my child and how much should I use?

As your baby’s teeth begin to appear, it is essential to introduce a brushing routine using fluoridated toothpaste. Since young children are unable to spit out toothpaste, it is recommended to use a smear-sized amount until they reach the age of 3. By the time they turn 4 and can spit out toothpaste effectively, a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste is appropriate.

Children’s diets often consist of carbohydrates, sugars, and frequent eating, coupled with their limited cooperation and knowledge of proper oral care. This combination can place many children at a heightened risk of tooth decay. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends using fluoridated toothpaste as the standard for cavity prevention in children. By incorporating this practice into your child’s daily routine, you can help safeguard their oral health and pave the way for a bright, healthy smile.

How can I keep my child’s teeth healthy and avoid cavities?

When choosing snacks for your little one, steer clear of high-carb, high-sugar, and high-acid foods such as cookies, crackers, oranges, soda, and flavored water. Instead, opt for tooth-friendly snacks like cucumbers, avocado, cheese, watermelon, bananas, and peanut butter (if age-appropriate). To neutralize the acidity of foods like oranges, consider adding yogurt.

Keep in mind that parents play a significant role in preventing the spread of cavity-causing bacteria to their children, as cavities are contagious through bacterial transfer! Refrain from cleaning your child’s pacifier or eating utensils with your mouth and try to avoid kissing your child on the lips. By being vigilant and adopting these healthy habits, you can actively contribute to your child’s oral well-being.

Call or text Perfect Smiles at 833-205-4048

What is baby bottle tooth decay, and how can I prevent it?

Baby bottle tooth decay is a severe condition that occurs when a baby’s teeth are exposed to sugary liquids for extended periods, often during sleep and soothing a child. This can lead to cavities forming on all their teeth, causing significant discomfort and dental complications. To prevent this harmful situation, parents must be vigilant and avoid putting their little ones to bed with milk or any other sweetened liquids. Water is the only safe option, however we can help assist you with the next best option if water will not sooth your child’s needs.

While pediatricians often educate parents about the risks of baby bottle tooth decay, exhaustion or lack of awareness can still result in this preventable misfortune. When parents are well-informed and take the necessary precautions to protect their baby’s precious teeth, they are ensuring overall oral health that will last a lifetime.

What should I do if my child has a toothache?

When your child experiences a toothache, gently encourage them to show you the affected area. What should you do? Carefully inspect it for any visible signs of swelling, redness, or other abnormalities, and check if they have a fever. If fever is present, contact your pediatrician to arrange a visit.

Various factors can contribute to sensitivity or discomfort in your child’s mouth, such as teething, loose teeth, cavities, broken teeth, food impaction, and plaque buildup. To provide relief, assist your child in gently cleaning the area with a toothbrush and floss, taking care not to exacerbate any tenderness. Warm saltwater rinses can also promote healing: mix about a teaspoon of salt in a small amount of warm water, have your child swish the solution around the affected area for 30 seconds, and then spit it out. Repeat this process for a few days to alleviate discomfort.

Applying a cold compress to the outside of your child’s face near the source of pain and administering age-appropriate oral anti-inflammatory medication can also help. Even if the pain subsides, it’s essential to schedule a dental visit to ensure no further treatment is required. Contact our office for a professional evaluation and expert guidance on maintaining your child’s oral health.

What should I do if my child has a toothache or dental emergency after business hours?

We are here to help. We have a 24 hour dental emergency answering system which can be reached by phone call or text. You can find the contact information on our home page, and you will reach one of our very own team members that can assist you if your child is experiencing a toothache after hours. We will also be here to assist your child with same day care during office hours. We can assure you that we will see your child on the same day that you call us.

What if adult teeth come in behind the baby teeth?

It’s not uncommon for permanent teeth to emerge behind baby teeth that haven’t yet fallen out. Generally, this is not a cause for concern, as long as the baby teeth aren’t causing any pain and remain wiggly. If you notice anything unusual or worrisome, it’s best to consult a dentist for an examination.

As the permanent teeth continue to erupt, they will naturally aid in the resorption of the baby tooth’s roots, eventually leading to the baby teeth falling out within a couple of months. This phenomenon is most frequently observed in the lower front teeth, or incisors, between the ages of 5 and 7.

To ensure your child’s teeth develop properly, keep an eye on the affected area and maintain regular dental cleanings and check-ups. This will allow dental professionals to assess the situation and determine if any intervention is necessary, helping to keep your child’s smile healthy and bright.

What should I do if my child’s permanent tooth is knocked out?

Accidents can be frightening, but staying calm is important in these situations. If your child’s permanent tooth gets knocked out, attempt to reinsert it into the tooth socket gently. If that’s not feasible, keep the tooth moist by placing it inside the cheek or in a container with milk. Avoid touching the tooth’s root, as it contains essential fibers vital to the tooth’s survival.

Seek dental care as soon as possible, ideally within 5 minutes to an hour after the incident, to determine if the tooth can be saved. For baby teeth, reinsertion is not recommended, but a dental visit is still essential to ensure the area and underlying permanent tooth remain healthy.

Prevention is key: wearing a mouthguard during contact sports is the most effective way to protect against tooth loss due to accidents. By taking these precautions, you can safeguard your child’s smile and maintain their oral health.