When should I schedule my child's first visit to the dentist?

We recommend that you make an appointment to see us as soon as your child gets their first tooth or at 12 months of age, whichever comes first.

How is a pediatric dentist different from other dentists?

Pediatric dentists begin their education and training by completing dental school, they then go on to complete several years of additional specialized training. During training in the field of pediatric dentistry, our doctors gained extensive knowledge and experience in treating infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatric dentists enjoy working with children and we bring to each patient our expertise in childhood development and behavior. Our office is geared toward young visitors so you’ll find that our staff, as well as our office design, decorations, and activities all work together to provide a friendly and comfortable environment for children.

What happens during my child's first visit to the dentist?

The first visit is usually short and simple. In most cases, we focus on getting to know your child and giving you some basic information about dental care. The doctor will check your child’s teeth for placement and health; we will clean their teeth and apply Fluoride varnish. We will also answer any questions that you may have.

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

The best preparation for your child’s first visit to our office is maintaining a positive attitude. Children pick up on adults’ apprehensions and if you make negative comments about trips to the dentist your child will fear an unpleasant experience and act accordingly. Show your child the pictures of the office on the website. Let your child know that it’s important to keep their teeth and gums healthy and that the dentist will help him/her do that. Remember that your dentist is specially trained to handle fears and anxiety, and our staff excels at putting children at ease during treatment.

How often should my child visit the dentist?

We generally recommend scheduling checkups every six months. Depending on the circumstances of your child’s oral health, we may recommend more frequent visits.

Baby teeth aren't permanent. Why do they need special care?

Although they don’t last as long as permanent teeth, your child’s first teeth play an important role in their development. While they’re in place these primary teeth help your little one speak, smile, and chew properly. They also hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth. Also, your child’s general health is affected by the oral health of their teeth and gums.

At what age is it appropriate to use toothpaste to clean my child's teeth?

Once your child has a few teeth, you can start using toothpaste on the brush. Use only a tiny amount for each cleaning and be sure to choose toothpaste without fluoride for children under two. An adult should brush the child’s teeth until they are ready to take on that responsibility themselves, which usually happens around 7-8 years of age.

What causes cavities?

Certain types of bacteria live in our mouths. When these bacteria come into contact with sugary foods left behind on our teeth after eating, acids are produced. These acids attack the enamel on the exterior of the teeth, eventually eating through the enamel and creating holes in the teeth, which we call cavities.

How can I help my child avoid cavities?

Be sure that your child brushes their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Flossing daily is also important because flossing can reach spots between the teeth that brushing can’t. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, limit snacking, and maintain a healthy diet. And finally, make regular appointments so that we can check the health of your child’s teeth and provide professional cleanings.

What should I do if my child sucks his thumb?

The large majority of children suck their thumbs or fingers as infants, and most grow out of it by the age of four, without causing any permanent damage to their teeth. If your child continues sucking after permanent teeth erupt, or if they sucks aggressively, let us know and we can check to see if any problems may arise from the habit.

When should my child have dental X-rays taken?

We recommend taking X-rays around the age of four. The first set consists of simple pictures of the front upper and lower teeth, which familiarizes your child with the process. Once the baby teeth in back are touching one another, then regular (at least yearly) X-rays are recommended. Permanent teeth start coming in around age six and X-rays help us make sure your child’s teeth and jaw are healthy and properly aligned. If your child is at a high risk of dental decay, we may suggest having X-rays taken at an earlier age or more frequently.

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P: (425) 820-6633

E: office@kirklandkids.com