We recommend making an appointment to see the dentist as soon as your child gets their first tooth. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be seen by six months after their first tooth erupts or at one year of age, whichever comes first.
All dental specialists (pediatric dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, and others) begin by completing dental school, then continue their education with several years of additional specialized training.
While training in pediatric dentistry, Dr. JC gained extensive knowledge and experience in treating infants, children, and adolescents.
Dr. JC loves working with children and personalizes treatment based on your child's development and behavior. Our family-friendly office will make you feel comfortable at every appointment.
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.
Dr. JC will examine your child's teeth and look for any problems with the gums and jaw. If necessary, we may do a bit of cleaning. We'll also answer any questions you have about how to care for your child's teeth as they develop and provide you with materials with helpful tips to build healthy oral habits.
Maintaining a positive attitude is the best preparation for your child's first visit to our office. Children pick up on your apprehensions, and if you make negative comments about trips to the dentist, you can be sure that your child will act accordingly.
Show your child pictures of the office and team on our website. Let them know the importance of keeping their teeth and gums healthy and that Dr. JC will help. Our office is specially trained to handle fears and anxiety, and our team excels at putting children at ease during treatment.
We recommend scheduling checkups every six months. We may recommend more frequent visits depending on your child's oral health.
Although they don't last as long as permanent teeth, your child's first teeth play an important role in development. While in place, these primary teeth help your little one speak, smile, and chew properly. They also hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth.
If a child loses a tooth too early (due to damage or decay), nearby teeth may encroach on that space, resulting in crooked or misplaced permanent teeth. Also, your child's general health is affected by the oral health of the teeth and gums.
Even before your baby's first tooth appears, we recommend you clean the gums after feedings with a damp, soft washcloth. You can start using a toothbrush as soon as the first tooth erupts.
Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head. You can find one designed for infants at your local drugstore.
You can use toothpaste on the brush once your child has a few teeth. Use a tiny amount of fluoridated toothpaste for each cleaning, and make sure they rinse and spit out toothpaste after brushing.
Children naturally want to swallow toothpaste after brushing, and too much fluoride toothpaste can cause teeth to stain. You should brush your child's teeth until they are ready to take on that responsibility, usually by age six or seven.
Certain types of bacteria live in our mouths. When these bacteria come into contact with sugary foods left behind on our teeth after eating, it produces acids.
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.
Ensure your child brushes their teeth at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Flossing is also important to reach spots between the teeth that brushing can't. Check with Dr. JC about a fluoride supplement, which helps tooth enamel become harder and more resistant to decay.
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.
Sealants cover the pits and fissures in teeth that are difficult to brush and more susceptible to decay. We recommend sealants as a safe, simple way to help your child avoid cavities, especially for molars, which are hardest to reach.
Even children's sports involve contact, and we recommend mouthguards for children active in sports. If your little one plays baseball, soccer, or other sports, ask us about having a custom-fitted mouthguard made to protect the teeth, lips, cheeks, and gums.
Most children suck their thumbs or fingers as infants, but most grow out of it by age four without any permanent damage to their teeth or alignment.
If your child continues the habit after their permanent teeth erupt, let us know, and we can check to see if any problems may arise from the habit.
We recommend taking X-rays around the age of four. The first set consists of simple pictures of the front upper and lower teeth, familiarizing your child with the process. Once the baby teeth in the back touch one another, we recommend yearly X-rays.
Permanent teeth start coming in around age six, and X-rays help ensure your child's teeth and jaw are healthy and properly aligned. If your child is at a high risk of dental problems, we may suggest having X-rays taken at an earlier age.
Schedule Your Kid's Dental Visit
Are you ready to give your child a lifetime of healthier smiles? Dr. JC and our team are here to help! Contact our Washington, DC, office to schedule a checkup and start your child’s dental care journey. We can’t wait to meet you!