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When should I take my child to the dentist for their first visit?

Unfortunately, most children don’t see the dentist for the first time until well after they’re two years old. Many kids dentists experience doesn’t happen until far later.

The American Dental Association recommends that your children should first visit the dentist office when their first tooth forms and begins to poke through the gums. 

The impacts of starting your children on a path to proper oral health are staggering and can lead to a lifetime of good habits that impact more than just their teeth.

The Importance of Children’s Dentistry

Many people underestimate the importance of baby teeth since they think they’re just temporary and will be replaced by their children’s permanent teeth. While it’s true that baby teeth are eventually going to fall out naturally and be replaced by permanent adult teeth, the importance and care of them isn’t a temporary thing.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) stresses on the importance in proper care of our children’s primary (baby teeth) until they fall out naturally because they serve an extremely important role in the health of our permanent teeth including:

  • Helping our children chew, digest and properly maintain good nutrition. 
  • Aiding in proper speech development
  • Creates a good foundation for children’s permanent teeth
  • Builds confidence in your child when they feel good about their smile

How can you ease your child’s anxiety about the dentist

When you begin taking your child to the dentist when they’re young and their first tooth is erupting, they’ll quickly get used to seeing the dentist and will probably be too young to become anxious. As you wait longer and longer to take your child to the dentist for their first dentist, they may become anxious or nervous about their first visit. 

There are a few things you can do to ease your child’s nervousness and apprehension about visiting the dentist and preparing them for their first interaction with a dentist and hygienist. Some of the things you can do include:

  • Take your child with you for your next dental checkup. First, ask your doctor if your child can accompany you during your next appointment so they can see what happens during a routine dental exam.
  • Allow your child to learn about the dentist. There are thousands upon thousands of resources available to allow your child to learn about how friendly the dentist is and what happens when they visit the dentist. From YouTube videos for children about dentists to kids books about dentists for kids, there is a bounty of educational tools to inform your children.
  • Play dentist with them. You and your child can pretend and “play” dentist at home. You can go through exercises and count your teeth, and pretend to examine your teeth. By doing this you can reduce the stress involved with seeing a dentist for your child.
  • Participate in dental care with your child. By brushing teeth and taking care of their oral health with them they can establish a solid foundation of fun and interactive oral care which they can carry with them into adulthood.

Are you ready to schedule your child’s first dentist appointment?

Our team and Dr. Noll loves to help children with their dental health and they’re always excited to see new younger patients at the office. When you schedule your child’s first dentist appointment make sure to use some of the tips above, so they feel comfortable and confident in their first exams. To schedule their first dental exam, call us at 717.243.9020 or contact us

At-Home Emergency Dental Kit – Preparedness

As we’re beginning to enter our second week of the COVID-19 Quarantine and practicing our social distancing, we wanted to send out a quick reminder that this quarantine is no excuse to skip on oral hygiene. There are links between our oral health, heart health, and systemic health which have been proven to affect our overall general well-being. While we do our best to stay home and “bend the curve” of this virus, we need to control the things we can control, oral health being one of them.

Below are a few items that you can do from home to maintain good oral health:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Use a mouth rinse after brushing twice a day
  • Floss your teeth once a day

Another way to promote good oral health, as well as good diet habits, is to monitor sugar intake, especially sugary drinks. We know it can be hard to keep our kids and family from loading up on sugar and snacks when we’re all home for extended periods of time, but reducing your intake of sodas, fruit juices, and other sugary drinks and snacks can not only have a positive impact on your oral health but is also a healthy choice overall.  

You can also put together an emergency kit to limit exposure of going out before calling the dentist. This emergency dental kit should include:

  • Temp dental cement from any pharmacy
  • Tylenol 
  • Ibuprofen 
  • Ambasol 
  • Orajel
  • Floss
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouth rinse
  • ortho wax to place on a tooth that lost a filling or fractured to reduce air exposure or rough edges

There are some dental issues that may be uncomfortable but aren’t considered a dental emergency. Procedures that are considered Non-Emergency include:

  • Initial or periodic oral examinations and recall visits, including routine radiographs 
  • Routine dental cleaning and preventive therapies 
  • Orthodontic procedures other than those to address acute issues (e.g. pain, infection, trauma) 
  • Extraction of asymptomatic teeth 
  • Restorative dentistry including treatment of asymptomatic carious lesions 
  • Aesthetic dental procedures

If you have temporary crowns:

Temporary crowns coming off, while worrisome, pose no harm if there is no pain. The tooth is strong, and if there is no pain it is ok to wait until the office can see you. Or you could try to recement with the temp cement. If permanent crowns coming off, you can do the same thing.

As long as there is no pain, there is no immediate worry. But also could try to recement with temp cement as well.

Chipped or broken teeth:

Chipped teeth are a worry as well, but the emergency aspect is dictated by pain. A fractured tooth needs to be addressed but if no pain we could wait to have the doctor see it when the office is open, not an after-hours emergency. 

Dental Problems and Procedures that are considered True Dental Emergencies

A true dental emergency is one that is potentially life-threatening and requires immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding, or to alleviate severe pain or infections including:

  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Cellulitis or a diffuse soft-tissue bacterial infection with intra-oral or extra-oral swelling that potentially compromises the patient’s airway
  • Trauma involving facial bones, potentially compromising the patient’s airway

Urgent dental care focuses on the management of conditions that require immediate attention to relieve severe pain and/or risk of infection and to alleviate the burden on hospital emergency departments. These should be treated as minimally invasively as possible. 

  • Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation 
  • Pericoronitis or third-molar pain 
  • Surgical post-operative osteitis, dry socket dressing changes 
  • Abscess, or localized bacterial infection resulting in localized pain and swelling. 
  • Tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing soft tissue trauma 
  • Dental trauma with avulsion/luxation 
  • Dental treatment required prior to critical medical procedures 
  • Final crown/bridge cementation if the temporary restoration is lost, broken or causing gingival irritation 

Other urgent dental care: 

  • Extensive dental caries or defective restorations causing pain 
  • Manage with interim restorative techniques when possible (silver diamine fluoride, glass ionomers)
  • Suture removal 
  • Denture adjustment on radiation/oncology patients 
  • Denture adjustments or repairs when function impeded
  • Replacing temporary filling on endo access openings in patients experiencing pain
  • Snipping or adjustment of an orthodontic wire or appliances piercing or ulcerating the oral mucosa

If you’re experiencing any dental emergencies that we covered in the information above, you can call us at 717.243.9020 to talk to our treatment coordinators or after-hours doctors. It is important to follow the instructions of health officials at this time to ensure we’re all doing our part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

We’re here to help our patients in the Carlisle Area with their dental issues during this trying time. Please call us at 717.243.9020 to discuss any oral health issues or questions you may have. 

  • Address:
    701 S West Street, Carlisle, PA 17013
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  • Phone: + 1 (717) 243 9020
  • Email: info@nollfamilydentistry.com

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