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Your child’s first dental visit should be around age 1. The first dental visit is usually short and involves very little treatment. Depending on your child’s age, we may ask you to sit in the dental chair and hold your child during the exam.
We will gently examine your child’s teeth and gums. X-rays will be taken if indicated. We will clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride varnish to help protect the teeth against decay. Most importantly, we will review with you how to clean and care for your child’s teeth. We suggest you prepare your child for his or her first visit by reading books with them about going to the dentist, preparing them with what the dentist will do and speaking positively about your own dental experiences.
We are most concerned with preventive care for your child. Dental sealants are bonded to the chewing surfaces of the permanent molars to protect them against cavities. Most of the time, cavities are due to a diet high in sugary foods and inadequate brushing. Dr. Cucchiara will review tips for cavity prevention and proper healthy nutrition with you and your child.
About Baby Teeth
The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are the 2 bottom front teeth at around 6-8 months old. The 4 upper front teeth are usually next to erupt, followed by the remaining 16 baby teeth appearing in pairs periodically until your child is about 2 ½ years old. Between the ages of 5 and 6 the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some do not. Dr. Cucchiara will be able to tell you when to expect the teeth to start loosening up and falling out. Don’t worry if some teeth are a few months early or late as all children are different.
Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth but they are necessary for proper biting, chewing, and speech. For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.
Dr. Cucchiara will diagnose any orthodontic problems that your child might have (overbites, crooked teeth, underbites and open bites) and make the proper referral to a specialist. She can help counsel you and your child to eliminate oral habits such as finger sucking and tongue thrusting. Age 7 is the most appropriate time for referral to an orthodontist.
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