Children’s Dentistry Flagstaff

Your child’s first visit

The first “regular” dental visit should be just after your child’s second birthday.The first dental visit is usually short and involves very little treatment. We may ask you to sit in the dental chair and hold your child during the examination. You may also be asked to wait in the reception area during part of the visit so that a relationship can be built between your child and your dentist. Please know that in this office no treatment or procedure is ever “forced on a child”.  If they are having difficulties we will either reappoint and in some cases refer to a special “kids dentist” (Pedodontist).  Be assured we always do what is in the best interest of your child.

We will gently examine your child’s teeth and gums. X-rays may be taken (to reveal decay and check on the progress of your child’s permanent teeth under the gums). We may clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay. We will make sure your child is receiving adequate fluoride at home. Most important of all, we will review with you how to clean and care for your child’s teeth. 

Note: Flagstaff’s water in NOT fluoridated. Use of fluoride results in 50% less cavities than people that grow up without fluoride.

What should I tell my child about the first dental visit?

We are asked this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way you would before their first haircut or trip to the shoe store. Your child’s reaction to his first visit to the dentist may surprise you.

Here are some “First Visit” tips:

  • Take your child for a “preview” of the office.
  • Read books with them about going to the dentist.
  • Review with them what the dentist will be doing at the time of the first visit.
  • Speak positively about your own dental experiences.

During Your First Visit the Dentist Will:

  • Examine your mouth, teeth and gums.
  • Evaluate adverse habits like thumb sucking.
  • Check to see if you need fluoride.
  • Teach you about cleaning your teeth and gums.
  • Suggest a schedule for regular dental visits.

What about Preventative Care?

Tooth decay and children no longer have to go hand in hand. At our office we are most concerned with all aspects of preventive care. We use the latest in dental sealant technology to protect your child’s teeth. Dental sealants are state-of-the-art plastics that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay-prone back teeth. This is just one of the ways we will set the foundation for your child’s lifetime of good oral health.

Fluoride-There is no fluoride in Flagstaff water or any other of Northern Arizona’s towns. We recommend children in Flagstaff start Fluoride vitamins at 3 months old to cut the average number of cavities by 50 % lifetime! The dosage of fluoride for your child’s healthy dentition is age dependent.

Cavity Prevention

Most of the time cavities are due to a diet high in sugary foods and a lack of brushing.Limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly, of course, can help. The longer it takes your child to chew their food and the longer the residue stays on their teeth, the greater the chances of getting cavities.

Every time someone eats, an acid reaction occurs inside their mouth as the bacteria digests the sugars. This reaction lasts approximately 20 minutes. During this time the acid environment can destroy the tooth structure, eventually leading to cavities.

There is no fluoride in the water in the city of Flagstaff, Arizona. Well water in Flagstaff‘s surrounding areas usually has no Fluoride but a water analysis is recommended to be sure. Dr. Bacon or Dr. Lerud can recommend and write a prescription for the right amount of Fluoride for your child.

Consistency of a person’s saliva also makes a difference; thinner saliva breaks up and washes away food more quickly. When a person eats diets high in carbohydrates and sugars they tend to have thicker saliva, which in turn allows more of the acid-producing bacteria that can cause cavities.

Tips for cavity prevention

  • Limit frequency of meals and snacks.
  • Encourage brushing, flossing and rinsing.
  • Watch what your child drinks.
  • Avoid giving your child sticky foods.
  • Make treats part of meals.
  • Choose nutritious snacks.
  • Daily Fluoride

The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are usually the two bottom front teeth. You will notice this when your baby is about 6-8 months old. Next to follow will be the 4 upper front teeth and the remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear periodically. They will usually appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2 1/2 years old.

At around 2 1/2 years old your child should have all 20 teeth. Between the ages of 5 and 6 the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some don’t. Don’t worry if some teeth are a few months early or late as all children are different.

Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth but they are important to chewing, biting, speech and appearance. For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.

Your child’s first adult tooth that they will have starts forming at birth! Incorporating Fluoride ASAP in the form of drops can decrease decay by 50%! 

Dentistry in Dr. Bacon and Dr. Lerud‘s Office

Flagstaff Dentists Dr. Bacon and Dr. Lerud and their staff are experienced, friendly and dedicated to caring for your individual needs. If you would like to have your child’s teeth cleaned and checked, please call Flagstaff Office Phone Number 928-774-1168.