Caring Dentistry for Children in Seattle, Washington
Children’s dentistry at Junction Dental comes naturally to us. We have a gentle, caring staff who love children. Dr. Peter Iversen and the rest of the staff make it a priority to connect with kids, and help them feel comfortable in our office. Learn more about dentistry for children and what your child can expect when he or she comes in for a dental appointment.
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What Happens at the Child’s First Dental Appointment?
The first dental appointment is an important one. We introduce ourselves to the child and begin a relationship that we hope will grow into a level of trust. The parent and child introduce themselves to us. We learn more about the child’s personality and what keeps him or her engaged. We try to understand how tolerant the child is with a dental exam and treatment. If possible, we will perform a complete dental exam along with X-rays. (X-rays typically begin at age 5 years and up, unless there is an urgent need.) The dental exam includes checking for tooth decay, looking at the child’s bite, and examining the jaw, gums, and oral tissues for problems. In addition to the exam, we’ll remind the child about good practices for taking care of teeth at home.
How Old Should a Child Be for a First Dental Appointment?
We believe it’s good to begin early. Your child should come for a first dental appointment when the first teeth begin to erupt, or around 1 year old.
How Often Should Children Go to the Dentist?
From ages 1-3, it’s adequate to make an appointment for your child once every year. When most of the baby teeth have erupted and they begin contacting each other, the child can come in every 6 months.
What is Different Between Children’s Dentistry and Dentistry for Adults?
Children need a lot more patience and trust-building from us. We practice something called “Tell-Show-Do.” This method really helps the child understand what is happening when we use a tool inside their mouth. It makes going to the dentist more interesting and less scary. We slowly find out what level of tolerance the child will have with dental treatments.
Because children’s attention spans are usually shorter than adult attention spans, we try to keep their appointments shorter. While the child is sitting in the dental chair, there is an overhead TV with Disney+ available for them to watch.
What Unique Dental Risks Do Children Face?
Because children have small teeth and may have difficulty maintaining good oral health with regular flossing and adequate brushing, there is a risk for rapid cavity progression. We like to catch problems early before they become major problems. We also stress the importance of taking good care of your teeth.
Your child’s diet has a significant impact on his or her oral health. Children should avoid frequent consumption of acidic drinks, sugary drinks and foods, as well as food that sticks to teeth, such as gummy treats. We recommend that kids drink mostly milk and water to remain hydrated.
At first, parents need to be the main caregiver when it comes to oral health. As the child’s dexterity develops and he or she becomes more independent and responsible, the parent can transition into a coaching role.
Schedule Your Child’s Appointment at Junction Dental
Get your child great dental care from dental experts in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Iversen and the rest of the dental staff will gently help your child maintain good oral health and establish a trust that will last throughout the childhood years. Call us at (206) 935-5522 to schedule an appointment, or contact us online. We look forward to meeting your child.