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How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Visit to the Dentist

Is it about time to take your child on their first visit to the dentist? Prepare for a painless visit with these tips and recommendations!

When Should I Take My Child on Their First Visit to the Dentist?

Experts recommend that you take your child to the dentist six months after their first tooth comes in or after several teeth have emerged. This typically occurs between six and twelve months old or before your child’s first birthday. Some parents are surprised at this recommendation. Taking your child to the dentist early has the following benefits:

  • Your child will get used to visiting the dentist. This can get harder as they get older.
  • You will learn ways to care for your child’s teeth now that set them up for a healthy future.
  • Your dentist will have the opportunity to spot and correct early signs of dental issues.

Just like you, your child should visit the dentist every six months after their first visit.

How Can I Prepare My Child for Their First Visit to the Dentist?

1. Talk About It

Using positive words and phrases, tell your child about their upcoming visit and explain what is going to happen. Maintain an upbeat attitude and avoid phrases like, “it won’t hurt,” which will only introduce the idea of pain and make your child anxious. Instead, choose phrases like, “the dentist will look at your teeth so you can have a healthy smile.” As much as possible, paint a picture of the dentist as a routine visit that can be a fun, exciting change of pace!

You may also be able to find a helpful picture book about going to the dentist at your local book store.

2. Take Them on Your Next Visit

If you do not struggle with anxiety about going to the dentist yourself, you may want to consider bringing your child along to show them how a confident, cool, calm, and collected adult handles a visit to the dentist. Your child takes their cues from you, so this is a great way to reinforce your positive words with positive actions!

3. Practice Teeth Exams

To prepare your child for the dentist examining their mouth, give them a few teeth exams ahead of time yourself! You can “play” dentist with your child and teach them how to play it with their stuffed animals or dolls too.

4. Schedule for a Good Mood

You know your child and the times of day that are ideal for a positive mood. Be sure to schedule your child’s first dentist appointment during a good time, and avoid feeding your child sugar or caffeine prior to their appointment.

5. Promise a Treat

There is nothing like a promised reward to keep a child positive during their visit to the dentist! Make plans with your child to go to the park, get a new toy, or eat a favorite snack after the appointment, just make sure the snack isn’t too sweet.

What Should I Expect at My Child’s First Visit to the Dentist?

The dentist will examine your child’s teeth and perform some gentle cleaning if needed. They will also provide you with advice for home cleaning and best practices for use of baby bottles and pacifiers. If your child’s baby teeth appear to be stuck and affecting their adult teeth, the dentist may elect to take x-rays, but these are typically not recommended for young children.

Ready to schedule your child’s first visit to the dentist? Give us a call at (907) 376-3884 to book their appointment.

Your twice-annual dental checkups with Valley Dental Clinic include a thorough dental cleaning to remove hardened tartar and polish minor surface stains. Many people with stained teeth, will opt to have us perform a dental bleaching procedure to give safely give them back a bright, white smile.

If you enjoy dark foods and beverages on a regular basis, it is possible for your teeth to lose their luster and cause the whiteness to fade. This is even more likely to happen if you use tobacco on a regular basis.

Brushing your teeth with a brand of whitening toothpaste available in stores, is an easy way to help mitigate any staining issues between regular dental cleanings and whitening procedures. It’s important that you only use a brand that has earned the American Dental Association’s, Seal of Acceptance. This seal signifies that the whitening toothpaste has been rigorously tested by the ADA to meet their guidelines for safety and effectiveness.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the hydrogen peroxide whitening agents in whitening toothpaste are only strong enough to improve minor surface stains and to prevent minor stains from penetrating deeper into tooth enamel.

Should you develop more advanced stains on your teeth, you should contact Valley Dental Clinic at 907-376-3884 to better understand your whitening options.

Tooth extraction is a serious dental treatment that requires the proper recovery. If you don’t fully recover after your appointment, consequences can occur, like extreme pain and discomfort and dry socket. So, to help you take care of your mouth following tooth extraction, Dr. Robert Robinson and our team recommend doing the following things:

-Keep the pain and discomfort down by taking the pain medication your dentist prescribed to you. We also recommend icing outside the extraction area to reduce the swelling. You can ice the area for 10 minutes at a time.

-Promote healing by biting firmly but gently on a gauze pad. This will reduce bleeding and allow a clot to form. Make sure to change the pad before it is completely soaked with blood or after you’ve used it for three or four hours.

-Rest for the first 24 hours and limit your activity for the first couple of days. As you lie down, prop your head up with pillows to reduce the bleeding.

-Avoid rinsing, spitting, using a straw, and smoking.

-Eat soft foods the day after the extraction, like soup, pudding, yogurt, and applesauce. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as the extraction site heals.

-Keep your mouth clean by brushing and flossing your teeth each day. It’s also important to brush your tongue. As you clean your smile, avoid brushing the extraction site. Brushing it can infect the area.

For more information about how to properly recover following tooth extraction, please call 907-376-3884 and talk to a member of our Valley Dental Clinic team. We are happy to give you the tips and information you need to properly recover after a tooth extraction in Wasilla, Alaska. We look forward to helping you!

Long term issues with tooth decay or chronic gum disease can often compromise the roots of your teeth and even cause a reduction in the bone structure that anchors your teeth to your jaw. This can seriously impair your ability to chew food, cause problems with your speech and have a negative impact on your quality of life.

Fortunately, Dr. Robert Robinson can fit you for a custom set of dentures to effectively restore the full function and appearance of your teeth. Some people might only need to have your upper teeth or lower teeth restored by dentures, while for other people it’s best to have all of their teeth replaced by dentures in a single session.

There might be a few healthy teeth in your mouth that will need to be extracted to allow your new dentures to fit firmly in place. After Dr. Robert Robinson has extracted any remaining teeth he will make an impression of your mouth. This will be sent to a dental lab where your new permanent dentures are made.

Your dentures will be custom fit to the unique shape of your mouth. However, many people with dentures like to use denture adhesive for an extra secure hold. Denture adhesive also has the added benefit of helping to block out food particles from getting between the base of the dentures and your gums.

If you have several compromised teeth or you thinking about being fitted dentures, you should call Dr. Robert Robinson at 907-376-3884 to schedule an appointment.

Have you heard that most wisdom teeth need to be removed? Do you wonder if that claim is true? Fortunately, not everyone’s wisdom teeth needs to be pulled, but many people will have trouble with at least one wisdom tooth. Still, do you ever wonder whether or not your wisdom teeth will be removed—or whether or not you’ll recognize the symptoms of a problematic wisdom tooth?

Luckily, there are a few signs you can watch for. One of the most common indicators of a problematic wisdom tooth is pain. Generally, this discomfort is caused by your wisdom teeth growing beneath your molars. The pain can also be caused by a tooth erupting from your gums. This discomfort should not be ignored because your wisdom teeth can damage your other teeth and even shift the position of your teeth.

Clearly, if your wisdom teeth grow beneath your molars, you should have them removed. Similarly, your wisdom teeth will need to be removed if they grow in sideways or only erupt partially. Still, please remember that not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed.

If you’re interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to give Valley Dental Clinic a call at 907-376-3884. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and create a plan that best fits your unique needs. Dr. Robert Robinson and our entire team look forward to hearing from you soon.

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