Early Dental Care

A child’s teeth start forming before birth and begin pushing through the gums at around 6 months of age. Primary teeth are important because they allow your child to maintain a nutritious diet and they help your child develop healthy speech habits.

Of course, healthy and functional teeth will also give your child a positive self-image, even from a very young age. When you bring your child into our office for early dental care, you are giving them the best chance for simple dental needs and procedures. Early dental care provides your child with a head start for optimal nutrition, proper speech patterns, and healthy self-esteem.

When Should I Schedule My Child’s First Dental Visit?

A child’s first visit to the dentist should be scheduled 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth, or by his or her first birthday. As soon as they have teeth, they can benefit from dental care! Following their first exam, most children should see the dentist every 6 months for a regular exam and cleaning.

When you bring your child in for early dental care, we will help him or her become comfortable with the office and staff. We will reassure your child that dentistry can be fun and pain-free.

Common Early Dental Needs and How We Treat Them

Early Childhood Decay | The condition that was commonly known as baby bottle tooth decay or “bottle rot” is now known as early childhood tooth decay. Early childhood tooth decay can occur when a baby is put to bed with a bottle, when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby, or even from prolonged nursing at night. The name “bottle rot” was changed because experience has shown that a bottle is not as much of a problem as what is in the bottle—so prolonged night-time nursing, sippy cups and even bedtime drinks can cause the same type of decay.

We can help you monitor your child for signs of early childhood tooth decay. Addressing early childhood decay promptly can help minimize treatment needs and usually allows more options for how the decay is treated.

Gum Disease and Bad Breath | Gum disease is an inflammation of gum tissue that is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. It can be difficult to clean your little one’s teeth, which can result in chronic bad breath and sensitive gums. Bad breath can also be due to large tonsils, chronic nasal congestion (seasonal allergies, etc.), and what foods your child eats. Dr. Christensen can recommend tools and tips you need to reverse or prevent gum disease with diligent at-home care.

Habits | Tooth grinding, thumb and finger sucking, and pacifier sucking are all common habits that can lead to bite problems and tooth sensitivity. We can help you assess your child’s habits and suggest possible solutions.

Dental Anxiety | Our team is specially trained in creating a warm and welcoming space for your children. We want to give them a secure atmosphere with patient amenities and caring professionals. Dental sedation is also an option at Christensen Pediatric Dental.

Primary teeth (baby teeth) set a pattern for adult teeth, so it is important to take good care of them! To schedule your child’s next visit, give our office a call today.