Our commitment to providing compassionate dental care for kids is very important to the team members at McDonough Center for Family Dentistry. We believe it is essential for children to have positive experiences when they visit a pediatric dentist, and we understand that dental visits are sometimes scary for children. That’s why we’ve added these fun touches throughout our pediatric dentistry office to help kids feel at ease when they are in our care:
- Children’s play area with video games, toys and coloring books
- Cute cartoon characters, caricatures and “bobbleheads” throughout the office
- TVs on the ceiling so kids can watch their favorite show while in the dentist chair
- Comfy blankets and pillows
- Treasure chest stocked with prizes
We’re dedicated to making dental care for kids easy, educational and enjoyable – we want your child to look forward to seeing their pediatric dentist at McDonough Center for Family Dentistry.
See a Pediatric Dentist at McDonough Center for Family Dentistry
If you’re looking for an experienced and compassionate pediatric dentist for your child, contact McDonough Center for Family Dentistry. We provide excellent dental care for kids of all ages, from infants to teenagers, by making them feel at ease from the moment they enter our practice. When it comes to dental services for children, we know that first impressions are important. During our initial visit with your child, we will help instill a positive attitude by using age-appropriate vocabulary and interjecting some playfulness into our care, helping your child feel comfortable while we explain what to expect while they’re in our care.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend that you take your child to see a pediatric dentist before their first birthday. If you have any questions regarding our practice or how to provide proper dental care for your kids, contact McDonough Center for Family Dentistry today.
Advice from a Pediatric Dentist
The Importance of Regular Check-ups
Regular check-ups are an essential element of overall oral health and dental care for kids. You should arrange an appointment for routine dental services for your children at least every six months. During a check-up, our team will clean and polish your child’s teeth thoroughly and our pediatric dentist will carefully examine the entire mouth, checking for potential problems involving the gums, teeth and tongue. The dentist will also track your child’s developing bite, ensure proper jaw alignment and assess any spacing issues regarding permanent teeth. Depending on the age of your child, we may take X-rays to check for any hidden decay and to review the position of permanent teeth still developing in the gums.
The check-up also offers an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns, such as thumb-sucking and pacifier habits as well as nursing decay, with our board-certified pediatric dentist and trained staff. At the conclusion of each pediatric dentistry visit, we will recommend a program of routine preventive dental care for your kids, including regular flossing, brushing, fluoride use and proper nutrition.
Ten Reasons You Should Protect Your Child’s Baby Teeth
Most parents don’t schedule dental services for children with baby teeth, simply because of the notion that “They’ll fall out anyway!” Here are ten reasons you should keep baby teeth healthy:
- To guide the proper eruption, or growth, of permanent teeth
- To allow for proper chewing and good nutrition
- To promote functional speech development
- To avoid an abscess, which can lead to hospitalization
- To help prevent damage to developing adult teeth
- To avoid the unnecessary extraction of a permanent tooth bud
- To prevent bacteria cultures that may facilitate lifelong problems
- To avoid tooth decay that can spread throughout the mouth via saliva
- To provide proper formation of the shape of the mouth
- To boost your child’s self-esteem and confidence
Dental Care for Your Kids: Frequently Asked Questions
When is it appropriate for my child to see a pediatric dentist for the first time?
When considering dental care for your kids, remember that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends scheduling their first visit by their first birthday. The initial eruption of a baby tooth happens within the first six to 12 months, and serves as a good indicator of when you should schedule your child’s first visit.
Why must my child see a pediatric dentist so early? What kind of problems can I prevent by scheduling dental services for my children?
Dental problems can appear early in life, so complete, preventive dental care for your kids at an early age is vital. A potential concern for babies is early childhood caries, also known as “baby bottle tooth decay” or “nursing caries,” which can put newly-erupted teeth at risk for decay once a child’s diet incorporates other elements than breast milk. Additionally, children with healthy teeth are able to chew food more easily for better nutrition.
How can I prevent tooth decay that can occur from nursing or using a bottle?
According to pediatric dentistry research, breastfeeding should be stopped after the first primary (baby) teeth begin to erupt or when new sources of nutrition, such as baby food, are introduced into the child’s diet. Your pediatric dentist will also advise that you not allow your child to drink any kind of juice from a bottle or fall asleep sipping a bottle filled with anything other than water.
When should I stop feeding my child with a bottle?
Pediatric dentistry experts recommend weaning your child from the bottle when he or she is 12-14 months of age.
Should I worry about my child sucking on his/her thumb or other fingers?
Thumb-sucking is a normal habit for infants, and most kids stop around the age of two; however, thumb-sucking after age three may affect the dental care of kids, as it can create crooked teeth, bite problems and other issues. We recommend seeking assistance and recommendations from your pediatric dentist if it becomes a prolonged habit.
When is the best time to start brushing my baby’s teeth?
To ensure proper dental care for your kids, you should begin as soon as possible. From birth, you should clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or with a soft cloth and clean water. As soon as the first teeth erupt, begin brushing twice a day using kid-formulated fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate toothbrush. For children under the age of two, use only a “smear” of toothpaste to brush the teeth. Between the ages of two and five, begin using a “pea-size” amount of toothpaste and help your child brush his or her teeth by either doing it yourself or providing supervision. And don’t forget to schedule dental services for your children before their first birthday.
What does a pediatric dentist recommend to ease teething pain?
Between the age of six months to three years, children may have tender, sensitive gums when their baby teeth first appear. To ease the pain, pediatric dentistry experts recommend parents simply rub the baby’s gums with clean fingers or give the child something to chew on, such as a teething ring, a cold, wet washcloth, or a cool, child-friendly spoon.