Pediatric Dental Care

At Burlingame Dental Arts, our SW Portland kids’ dentists believe that a child’s dental care should begin as early as possible to ensure the proper development of his or her oral health. Our gentle and compassionate dentists have a passion for working with kids, and we can’t wait to welcome your family to Burlingame Dental Arts as we start the exciting journey of quality oral health for a lifetime!

When Should You Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Appointment?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends that a child’s first dental appointment occur by the age of 1, or within 6 months of the first tooth eruption. If parents have a particular concern about their child’s oral health, they should schedule an appointment as soon as possible with one of our dentists. This first visit will allow you to introduce your child to our Burlingame dental office in a comfortable and relaxing manner. We strive to make our office a welcoming place for kids, so if treatment is required, we can make your child’s first dental visit a positive experience.

When Will Your Baby’s Teeth Come In?

Your baby is born with all 20 primary teeth below the gum line. The teeth will start to come through between 6 and 12 months.  By the age of 3, your baby will have a full set of baby teeth.

Why Are Baby Teeth So Important?

Baby teeth are important to your child’s overall health and well being, as they help your child to chew, speak, and smile. Baby teeth hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. If your baby has premature tooth loss, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and other permanent teeth don’t have space to come through. This can cause teeth to be crooked or crowded. That’s why it is important to start off infants with good oral care to help protect their teeth as they grow older.

How Should You Care for Your Child’s Teeth?

Teaching your child how to care for their teeth at an early age can help instill a lifetime of healthy habits. Children should brush their teeth for 2 minutes two times a day.

Check out this video from Mouth Healthy brought to you by the ADA on “How to Teach Your Child to Brush His Teeth.”

How Should You Prepare for Your Child’s First Dental Visit?

Before your child’s first dental visit, talk to them about what to expect so it doesn’t seem so scary on the day of the appointment.  It may help to read books or watch videos about first dental visits to help your child be less fearful. You can practice opening and shutting your mouth, and pretending that you are the dentist examining and counting their teeth.

For parents, you may want to fill out the patient forms ahead of time, so on the day of the appointment, you can focus on your child’s needs. You may also want to make a list of questions to talk to the dentist about your child’s teething, sucking his or her thumb or using a pacifier too much.

What To Expect During The Visit?

A child’s first visit is typically very relaxed for both the parent and patient. Our team will collect your child’s medical and oral health information, and give them a chance to meet the staff, look around the office, take a seat in a dental chair, and encourage them to have as much fun as possible.

If your child appears relaxed, we will conduct a comprehensive dental examination, in addition to providing parents with tips on the best oral hygiene practices and diet for protecting their child’s oral health. During this visit, a professional cleaning, fluoride treatment, and any necessary x-rays can also be completed. However, any and all of these services can be postponed to a later appointment if your child appears fussy or uncomfortable.

For toddlers, dental examinations are conducted while on a parent’s lap using a technique referred to as “Knee-to-Knee,” which parents can also use at home when brushing their child’s teeth.

At Burlingame Dental Arts, our team dentists work hard to ensure your child’s first visit is a positive and exciting experience. We make a point to always use words and terms that are positive and non-frightening while offering explanations about treatments using language easy for your child to understand. Our relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff, and compassionate care will help make your child right at home.

What Happens If Your Child Won’t Sit Still During The Exam?

Don’t worry if your child won’t sit still during the exam and teeth cleaning. This is normal behavior, and our dental team is very experienced in dealing with children of all ages. While some kids behave better without a parent in the room, others require mom or dad’s comforting face in order to feel relaxed during their appointment. Parents are always given the option to do what is most comfortable for them and their kids.

How You Can Ensure Your Child Has A Positive Experience?

To help ensure your child has a positive and enjoyable experience, we recommend that parents:

Do’s

  • Arrive at least a few minutes early for your appointment to give your child a chance to become comfortable with our office.
  • Prepare your child in advance to meet new people and talk about how exciting this can be.
  • Share fun and exciting stories with your child about visiting the dentist.

If your child was referred to our office, please bring any x-rays and referral forms that were provided to you to the appointment.

Don’ts

  • Send your child to his first appointment with a friend or family member. Not only would our staff love to meet you, but first impressions matter to kids. It’s better if your child feels comfortable knowing that mom or dad is nearby.
  • Make promises to your child that you can’t keep, such as “this won’t hurt” or “this won’t be scary.”
  • Share stories with your child about how scared you were as a kid visiting the dentist. While you might think these types of stories will help your child relate, it only reinforces the idea that there’s something they should be frightened of.

Give Burlingame Dental Arts a call at (503) 218-4285 to schedule a dental appointment for your child.