A Dentist for Your Toddler: When, Why, and What to Expect
At Newtown Dentistry, we are changing the way toddlers think about dental visits. We go to great lengths to make their visits a pleasant—even fun—experience. We believe that proper dental care is really not that complicated and is made much easier with an early, enjoyable start.
Your toddler’s dentist appointment starts with a visit to our interactive, kid-friendly space—complete with an indoor treehouse. From there, the Newtown Dentistry kids’ team treats your toddler with a patient-centered care approach guided by child development and psychology—and the unique needs of your young child.
Establish a “Dental Home” for Your Toddler
What is a dental home? The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have a dental home—a practice they regularly visit—to ensure that care is consistent, comprehensive, and centered on their individual needs. It is recommended that parents establish a dental home by the time their child is 12 months old in order to build a foundation of good dental health. A dental home has many benefits for your toddler, including:
- Enhanced comfort with a dentist they know and see regularly
- Improved quality and consistency of care from the same dentist
- Lower likelihood of developing dental anxiety or phobias later on
4 Areas of Focus for Our Toddler Dental Care and Treatment
When you bring your toddler to Newtown Dentistry for Kids, you can expect an experience focused on making them (and you!) feel comfortable and safe. Specifically, we focus on four areas of care and treatment:
We help you make the best choices for your toddler’s dental health. We teach families about proper toddler dental care (brushing, flossing, etc.) and share a wealth of information and advice on everything from choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste to stopping thumb sucking.
Our pediatric practice places a huge emphasis on prevention—preventing cavities, injuries, and other common oral health issues. Not only do we provide extensive information and advice for your home care, but we also provide in-office fluoride treatments, sealants, and advanced cavity detection technology to stop problems before they start.
Using advanced intraoral cameras, 3D dental imaging, and other innovative technologies, we catch potential dental problems early on. We identify issues such as malocclusion (bad bite), jaw irregularities, and tongue and lip ties, and get an early start on the appropriate treatments.
In addition to prevention, we treat all common toddler dental issues, from cavities, sensitive teeth and gums, and teeth grinding to dental trauma.
Your First Visit with Your Toddler’s Dentist
Whether it’s a dental appointment for your 2-year-old or your 4-year-old’s first dental visit, we go to great lengths to make your child’s visit to the dentist a fun, fear-free experience so they look forward to coming back. Their first visit includes:
A Thorough Dental Exam
During your toddler’s visit, the dentist conducts the following checks:
- Looks for signs of tooth decay
- Inspects gums for anything unusual
- Evaluates the bite
- Looks at the jaw alignment
A Detailed Question-and-Answer Discussion: Getting To Know You
A significant amount of time on the first visit with your toddler’s dentist is dedicated to a detailed conversation getting to know you and your toddler, discussing your questions and concerns, and providing advice and information on how to best care for your child’s teeth, including:
- How bacteria works in the mouth
- Bedtime routine establishment
- Brushing techniques
- Proper amount of toothpaste
- When to introduce flossing
- Breast/bottle feeding
- Use of sippy cups
- How cavities occur
- Sources of fluoride
- Questions about fluoride
- Pacifier use
- Thumb/finger sucking
Developmental milestones and expectations
A Simple Dental Routine for Your Toddler
Establishing a simple, consistent dental routine with your toddler will go a long way in helping your child maintain healthy oral habits for a lifetime. To keep your toddler’s teeth healthy, follow this simple checklist.
- Brushing: Use a toothbrush specifically made for children, one with small, soft bristles and an easy-grip handle. Always use a small amount of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice for children under 3; a pea-sized amount for older children). Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day. Toddlers should be supervised while brushing until they learn to spit out toothpaste.
- Flossing: Floss at least once a day. Older toddlers can learn to floss using pre-strung flossers.
- Dental Checkups: See the dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning.
- Nutrition: Limit sugary snacks and drinks to help optimize your toddler’s oral health. Sugar can linger on the surface of the teeth and contribute to the development of cavities. Treats are best in moderation, followed by tooth brushing and flossing.
Complimentary eBook on Kids’ Dental Care and Treatment
Including a host of tips, recommendations, and insights into your child’s individual dental development, we’ve put together a free eBook titled “What Parents Need to Know About Pediatric Dentistry in the First Year (and Beyond)” to help you get started on the right path to good oral health for your toddler. Download it here.
If you are looking for a dentist for your toddler, contact us for more information or make an appointment here.