For Kids in Arlington Heights, IL
First Dental Visit by Age 1!
The ADA and AAP recommend that children see the dentist for their first check-up, no later than their first birthday. At Dental Clinique, we feel that it is very important to educate our parents on oral hygiene habits for children. This helps the child stay healthy and feel comfortable visiting the dentist at a young age! We have found that children who visit the dentist at an early age, are much less likely to have dental anxiety later in life.
What happens at the first visit?
Our specially trained dentist in Arlington Heights, IL will do a full exam on your child and address any concerns you may have. Depending on your child’s level of comfort, we may clean your child’s teeth and provide a fluoride application. Our team members at Dental Clinique will discuss nutrition and oral hygiene recommendations with you, so that you can work with your child to develop healthy habits.
At your first visit, you should expect to discuss:
- Your child’s medical history
- Development of their teeth
- Your child’s bite
- Oral habits (pacifier or thumb)
- Bottle/breast feeding habits
- How to prevent trauma
- Your child’s diet
- Hygiene practices
- Fluoride use
- Your child’s risk for cavities
- Future growth and development
At a young age, prevention is key! Never let your child go to bed with a bottle or breastfeed at will during the night. You should also keep your child’s intake of juice or sugary drinks to a minimum. The American Dental Association (ADA) discourages the use of sippy cups for an extended period of time. It recommends that children start drinking from a cup by age 1.
Why is the first visit important?
All aspects of our dental office in Arlington Heights, IL are specially designed to accommodate children! This reduces any fears and provides you and your child with a comprehensive exam. Creating a relaxing environment helps children to establish a positive feeling towards dental care.
Primary (baby) teeth near Arlington Heights, IL usually start erupting around six months of age. However, this can occur earlier or later. The primary teeth are usually shed in the same order that they erupted into the mouth, around six years of age. Around age 12, the primary teeth will most likely all be shed and the permanent teeth will replace them.
They’re not JUST baby teeth!
Many people don’t understand the importance of baby teeth. These primary teeth are necessary for children to chew and speak properly. They also hold the space for the permanent teeth to come in. If a primary tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth can drift into the empty space. This makes it difficult for the other permanent teeth to erupt into the mouth.
It is important to remember that cavities are contagious. The bacteria (usually Streptococcus mutans) are transmitted from one person to another and from one tooth to another. If a primary tooth has an untreated cavity or infection, it can spread to the adjacent teeth and cause unnecessary damage.
Healthy snacking is important to help fight against dental caries (cavities) in Arlington Heights, IL. To snack healthy, please remember a few basic rules:
- Avoid sugary and starchy snacks. Starchy snacks break down into sugars, once they are in your mouth. Sugars encourage the plaque and bacteria in your mouth to release more acids, which damage your teeth.
- Avoid gummy, sticky snacks. These foods stick to the teeth and cause more damage. Even healthy snacks, such as raisins and dried fruits, can cause tooth decay. Avoid gummy vitamins and choose the chewable versions. You should also avoid fruit snacks and sticky candy.
- Avoid acidic drinks. Tooth decay begins when the pH level of the mouth has been lowered. Since many sports drinks and soft drinks contain added phosphoric acids, they should be avoided. These beverages not only break down the tooth, they also reduce the amount of calcium in the teeth and bones! Most fruit juices are also highly acidic and promote tooth decay.
- Cut down on snacking between meals. This will help prevent plaque from producing acid and will reduce the time that your teeth are exposed to harmful acids. Choose non-sugary and low-fat options when snacking, such as:
- Raw fruits and vegetables
- Whole grain crackers
- Nuts and nut butters
- Unbuttered popcorn
- Chocolate, instead of sticky and sugary candy
How to Prevent Cavities
- Effective oral hygiene: Make sure that your child brushes every morning and night for two minutes. If their teeth are touching, they should be flossing every night.
- Visit the dentist every 6 months: Children with an established dental home have fewer cavities.
- Dental sealants: Protective sealants in Arlington Heights, IL can help prevent cavities on the chewing surface of your child’s adult molars.