When selecting a new dentist, there are many choices. If you have children, it adds to the pressure of choosing a dentist that can see everyone in the family. Family dentistry is very much like general dentistry but includes children and adults of all ages.
While a general dentist may only choose to see adult patients and a pediatric dentist specializes exclusively in the care of children’s dental needs, a family dentist can see everyone in the family from newborns to grandparents. We understand that tots, teens, and adults have different dental needs and concerns, and at Dental Associates of Livingston we are proud to help keep everyone’s smiles in tip-top shape through the years.
Toddlers and young children need many different things from their dentist than patients in their 20’s or 70’s. It is important to bring your child in for their first dental exam by their first birthday. While he or she may not have many teeth yet, this early visit allows your dentist to evaluate their gums, teeth that are under the gums, and any “baby” (primary) teeth that have emerged.
Additionally, to help care for your child(ren)’s primary teeth we recommend the following:
- Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle as it can lead to tooth decay
- At around six months old, switch your child to a straw or hard-spout sippy cup instead of a bottle to avoid tooth decay
- Begin gently flossing once their teeth begin to touch
- At about age two, they should learn to spit after brushing, but avoid giving them water to rinse or swish with because it increases the likelihood of swallowing toothpaste
- At age three, they can begin brushing with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste
- Supervise all children under eight while brushing because they are still likely to swallow toothpaste
- At all ages, limit sugary and sticky foods like candy and dried fruit to limit the chances for cavities to develop
While many of the recommendations remain the same as secondary teeth begin to come in, we understand that as you (and your teeth) age, different issues may develop. Even though enamel is the hardest substance in the body, problems such as cavities, cracked, and sensitive teeth are common. Additionally, gingivitis, periodontitis, and oral cancer can develop as well, which is why regularly seeing a family dentist is so crucial to your overall health.
We happily see new patients and love to help keep everyone in the family’s smiles as healthy as possible. Your health and comfort are our highest priorities, and we carefully attend to each patient, addressing any concerns you have.
For questions about family dentistry or to schedule an appointment at Dental Associates of Livingston, please call us at (973) 500-4440!