Pediatric Care & Sealants
At Pinnacle Dental, we love it when our patients bring their children in to see us, and we welcome the opportunity to take care of the whole family.
The AAPD recommends bringing your child to the dentist by “first year or first tooth,” but you are welcome to bring your child along for an appointment so they can get to know us and become familiar with our office. You can also ask to talk to Dr. Kottman about how to take care of your child’s oral health before it’s time for that first dental visit.
Dental Care for Babies and Toddlers
It may come as a surprise when you bring your baby in for their first dental check-up and discover that they have cavities. The truth is that even though babies are born without the bacteria that cause cavities, germs passed from adult caregivers can start the process. That’s why it’s especially important for parents to get any cavities in their own mouths taken care of.
The staff at Pinnacle Dental can give you more information on ways to keep your baby’s teeth healthy, including how to clean them. You can start caring for your baby’s gums right away, by using a moistened washcloth or towel to gently wipe them down twice a day. Once the first baby teeth come through, you can start brushing them with a soft, small-headed toothbrush. Brush gently all around the baby teeth using only a barely-visible smear of toothpaste. Once your child is 3 years old, you can increase this amount to the size of a pea. When your child can hold the brush, let them brush as you watch and then follow up after them until they can spit and rinse without help.
If you see any signs of decay (brown or white spots, or pits on the teeth), or if you or your pediatrician notice any problems, Dr. Kottman would be happy to see your child for an examination.
It’s a good idea to bring your children in twice a year for dental cleanings. It’s important to teach children how to brush and floss correctly at an early age, and dental cleanings will be effective in removing food deposits and plaque buildup on childrens’ teeth. With good oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits, your children will have bright, healthy smiles.
At Pinnacle Dental, we encourage parents to bring their children along for their own appointments, so the children can get to know us and our office. When it’s time for their first dental appointment, Dr. Kottman and a hygienist will examine their teeth for any problems, clean them, and apply a protective fluoride varnish.
Fluoride varnish helps prevent or slow down tooth decay, especially when it’s used from an early age. It’s made with fluoride, which strengthens tooth enamel and is toxic to the bacteria that cause cavities. While it cannot completely prevent cavities, fluoride varnish can stop tooth decay from getting worse.
After your child has their teeth cleaned, fluoride varnish is applied to the top and sides of each tooth with a small brush. It hardens once it comes in contact with saliva – so your child’s teeth might feel a little ‘fuzzy’, but they won’t be able to lick the varnish off. Your child will be able to eat and drink right away after their appointment.
At Pinnacle Dental, we usually recommend sealants for all fully erupted permanent 6-year and 12-year molars. A sealant protects the teeth, especially the chewing surfaces of back teeth, preventing food and bacteria from sticking in the pits and grooves that are most susceptible to tooth decay. Sealants can last for years with the proper care (good oral hygiene and avoiding biting hard objects), so your child will be protected during their most cavity-prone years.
Pinnacle Dental uses BPA-free plastic for our sealants. They’re quick and comfortable to apply, and can be done after your child’s teeth are cleaned.
Be sure to talk to our hygienists or Dr. Kottman about dental sealants to keep your child’s smile healthy.
If you have a one year old or a baby whose first tooth is coming in, call us at Pinnacle Dental to discuss how we can help you maintain your baby’s oral health.