We have two dental hygienists who, along with Dr. Port, perform the cleanings for your child. Our office recommends “cleaning/preventative” visits every 6 months unless the doctor discusses other arrangements. These visits allow us to monitor growth and development, help prevent tooth decay or detect tooth decay before it causes pain, and maintain good overall health. We are also developing a relationship with your child that will help to prevent anxiety and, in the long run, lead to better overall health.
Age 1 Dental Visit
Age one dental visits help promote good oral health. The academies of the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) all recommend that a child visit the dentist for the first time 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth or by age one, whichever comes first. This visit allows us to help educate parents about their child’s oral health and how to prevent oral disease. The goal of our office is to prevent dental decay and age one dental visits are one of the ways to accomplish this goal.
Digital x-rays use 80% less radiation than traditional “film” x-rays and allow for a clearer image than any other type of x-rays. Dr. Port follows the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association when she determines what x-rays your child may need. We will only obtain x-rays when necessary to diagnose or evaluate an area and we always strive to explain what we are looking for on the x-rays to our parents. Some of the things x-rays allow dentists to view are the surfaces of the teeth not able to be viewed during the exam, the health of bone in the jaws, development of un-erupted teeth and evaluate between the teeth for decay. We are happy to answer any questions you have about x-rays and your child.
Dental sealants are thin coatings that when painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) can prevent cavities (tooth decay). Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from cavities by covering them with a protective shield that blocks out germs and food. Not all teeth are candidates for sealants and Dr. Port will let your know if she feels your child would benefit from having sealants placed. Sealants need to be monitored, so we check them each time your child comes in for a cleaning and exam and we will retouch/repair sealants if they become worn down or have come off. If you have questions about sealants please don’t hesitate to ask.
We provide all services your child may need to restore their teeth to good health. Our office uses both silver and white fillings. We also utilize stainless steel crowns when necessary. Dr. Port will discuss what treatment options are the best for your child’s needs and will gladly answer any questions you have regarding any recommendations made.
Prepare your child for his or her first visit by taking a positive approach. Try to convey good feelings about dental visits and express to your child that visiting the dentist is a part of growing up. Please do not say: “the dentist isn’t going to hurt you”. Instead say: “the dentist is going to sparkle your teeth and count them and show us how to keep them healthy”.
Please do not use the dental visit as a punishment. Some parents may think it is funny to tell their child that if they are bad while at the dentist then the dentist will give them a shot or pull out their teeth. This only scares the child and makes for an unpleasant first visit. Expect that your child will do well and chances are they will.
Parents are encouraged to accompany their child during the visit. We ask that during the appointment the parent remain a “silent partner” since it can be difficult for a child to pay attention to more than one person at a time.
Please understand that crying can be a normal reaction for young children.
Dr. Port has extensive experience in treating children with a wide range of special needs. She feels that her training at the University of Tennessee and the University of Michigan have prepared her well to be able to help your child. Children with special needs are invited to remain a patient of our office as long as they want, even into adulthood. Our office has many different special needs patients. We have patients who are on the Autism Spectrum, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, emotional delay and anxiety disorders, ADHD/ADD and multiple genetic disorders. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss the special needs of your child prior to your appointment.