Updated: May 17
Why is it important for my child to see the dentist at a young age?
According to dentist Dr. Fadi Ibsies at Smile Linn Dental in West Linn, Oregon, you should bring your child to the dentist for their first check-up when they are three years old to check for proper development and functions. Most children have all 20 of their baby teeth by age three.
According to Dr. Fadi Ibsies, it is important to bring your child in at an early age to catch and diagnose any potential bad habits your child may have such as tongue thrusting and thumb sucking. Your dentist can intervene as needed to help prevent long-term damage.
The first visit to the dentist for your child should be fun and non-invasive. This helps your child become familiar with your dentist. It also helps your child associate trips to the dentist with pleasant experiences which can help prevent dental phobias.
During your child’s visit, a dental evaluation will be performed. The dentist or dental hygienist will evaluate your child’s home care and provide instruction for improvement if needed. Topical fluoride is recommended and can be applied to help strengthen your child’s teeth. Fluoride supplements can be prescribed if necessary.
The dentist will also evaluate your child’s teeth to determine if they have any cavities. According to Dr. Fadi Ibsies, it is very important to have any cavities treated right away. Baby teeth are much thinner than permanent teeth making untreated cavities much easier to penetrate the nerve of the tooth, which can result in severe pain and the need for more extensive treatment or even premature tooth loss.
Things to look for when searching for a dental office to treat your children:
Does the office see your entire family, so you have a good working and trusting relationship?
Is the dentist and staff friendly and fun?
Does the office cater to children and treat children on a regular basis? Look for things such as laughing gas (Nitrous Oxide) being offered, toys/prizes, children’s home care kits, and televisions to watch cartoons.
Is the dentist available to treat emergencies?
Can the dentist make a referral to a specialist if necessary (example: for children with special needs or orthodontic care)?
Does the dentist allow you to be present during the exam and treatment?
Does the dentist & their team make sure to answer all of your questions before and after your child is seen?
Important information parents should know:
Your child should brush twice daily for 2 minutes. Only use fluoridated toothpaste once your child learns to spit the toothpaste out instead of swallow it. Parents should assist younger children with brushing and supervise older children.
If your child has a tooth knocked out or a piece of tooth broken off, place the tooth or piece of tooth in a container filled with milk and call your dentist immediately. Often times the piece can be bonded back on or the tooth can be re-implanted and stabilized.
Only give your child water to drink in their bottle at night. Other liquids such as milk, juice, and soda can quickly lead to "baby bottle tooth decay".
It is often a good idea to place protective sealants on children's teeth to help prevent cavities.
In order to get a cavity, you must have three things: a tooth, certain cavity-causing bacteria, and sugar. Remember that even if your child doesn't eat much candy or drink much soda but instead has fruit and juice, these contain natural sugars that must be removed from the teeth surfaces to prevent cavities.
Baby teeth are important because they allow for proper functions including chewing and speaking during the child's early years and also act as important "space holders" for the adult teeth which will replace them.
If your child is having a dental problem, needs a new dentist, or hasn't seen a dentist in the last 6 months, please give West Linn Dentist, Dr. Fadi Ibies a call at Smile Linn Dental (503) 607-2222.