Riverpark Dental

First Visit

At Riverpark Dental, we work with the parents and guardians of the toddler to gather information needed to administer the most comprehensive, complete, and comfortable dental care for your child. Our goal for your first visit is to provide a fun and relaxing experience that is complete with a tour of our office and a no-cost consultation with one of our dentists.

Infant Toddler

To ensure we can have the best view into your baby's mouth and that they are safe in your arms, we provide what is called a "lap to lap" examination; whereby, you are holding your baby on your lap and the baby's head lay on the dentist's lap, ensuring comfortability for you and your child and gives us the ability to diagnose optimally.

Establishing your Child’s Dental Home

Reputable sources like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry all say a child needs to have a “dental home” by their first birthday! When children have a dental home, which is a continuous relationship being developed between the dentist and the patient, they are more likely to have the right preventative and oral health treatment. At Riverpark Dental, we know it is important to provide all aspects of oral care and deliver treatment in a complete, coordinated, readily accessible and family-centered way.

It is important that the dentist and the parents can collaborate to create the perfect initial visit for your child. Before the visit, the child should know when and where they are going and how long they will be at Riverpark Dental, and that our team will explain all procedures and answer any questions. It is wise to be cautious of any language used that may cause unnecessary fear and anxiety for your child- such words include needle, drilling, pulling, or hurting. As a practice, we make it a non-negotiable to use words that convey the same message but will not scare the child from dental care.

Oral Health Education Program for Babies and Parents

Your baby's teeth and gums are consistently checked and you learn techniques regarding how to ensure your baby has the best start to their oral care.

Teeth Eruption

The child’s first teeth to erupt are the lower front teeth (lower central incisors), and next to erupt are the upper front teeth (upper central incisors), occurring at around 6-8months. The growth pace and order of primary teeth are variable, but all 20 should have risen by age 3.

Baby bottle tooth decay

The condition called baby bottle tooth decay is a serious form of decay caused by prolonged exposure of toddler’s teeth to sugary contents such as milk and formula. It can occur when the toddler is put to bed with a bottle containing something other than water. As the sugary liquid marinates around the toddler’s teeth, bacteria then have the opportunity to create tooth enamel attacking acids. If your toddler is not sleeping comfortably without a bedtime bottle, the bottle should contain only water. On the other hand, your toddler may not be able to sleep comfortably without the bottle’s usual contents, and in this case the solute should be diluted with water over a period of 2-3 weeks.

WHEN SHOULD I START BRUSHING?

Begin daily brushing as soon as the baby's first tooth erupts. A pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste can be used after the child is old enough not to swallow it. Proper brushing removes plaque from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces. Place toothbrush at a 45 degree angle; start along gum line with a soft bristle brush in a gentle circular motion. Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower. Repeat the same method on the inside surfaces and chewing surfaces of all the teeth. Finish by brushing the tongue to help freshen breath and remove bacteria.

WHEN SHOULD I BRING THE BABY FIRST?

Start dental visits between six and twelve months of age.

FLUORIDE

Fluoride is an element which has been shown to be beneficial to teeth. However, too little or too much fluoride can be detrimental to the teeth. Little or no fluoride will not strengthen teeth to help them resist cavities. Excessive fluoride ingestion by toddlers can lead to dental fluorosis, which is a chalky white to even brown discoloration of the permanent teeth. Many children often get more fluoride than their parents realize. Being aware of your toddler's potential sources of fluoride can help parents prevent the possibility of dental fluorosis.

Some of these sources are:

  • Too much fluoridated toothpaste at an early age
  • The inappropriate use of fluoride supplements
  • Hidden sources of fluoride in the child's diet

2- and 3-year olds may not be able to spit out fluoride-containing toothpaste when brushing. As a result, these youngsters may ingest an excessive amount of fluoride during tooth brushing. Toothpaste ingestion during this critical period of permanent tooth development is the greatest risk factor in the development of fluorosis.

Excessive and inappropriate intake of fluoride supplements may also contribute to fluorosis. Fluoride drops and tablets, as well as fluoride fortified vitamins should not be given to infants younger than six months of age. After that time, fluoride supplements should only be given to children after all of the sources of ingested fluoride have been accounted for and upon the recommendation of your pediatrician or pediatric dentist.

Certain foods contain high levels of fluoride, especially powdered concentrate infant formula, soy-based infant formula, infant dry cereals, creamed spinach, and infant chicken products. Please read the label or contact the manufacturer. Some beverages also contain high levels of fluoride, especially decaffeinated teas, white grape juices and juice drinks manufactured in fluoridated cities.

Parents can take the following steps to decrease the risk of fluorosis in their children's teeth:

  • Use baby tooth cleanser on your toddler's toothbrush
  • Place only a pea sized drop of children's toothpaste on the brush when brushing
  • Account for all of the sources of ingested fluoride before requesting fluoride supplements from our dentist
  • Avoid giving any fluoride-containing supplements to infants until they are at least six months old
  • Obtain fluoride level test results for your drinking water before giving fluoride supplements to your baby (check with local water utilities)
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