As a children’s dentist in East Portland, Dr. Arend and her friendly staff at East Portland Dentistry believe that dental care should start early in a child’s life to ensure optimal oral health development. Parents often ask us how they can provide the best dental care for their children, so we’ve provided a few answers to some commonly asked questions below:
When Does a Child’s Oral Development First Begin?
An unborn baby’s oral development begins at about six weeks of pregnancy. At this early stage, the basic substance of the tooth takes root, so to speak. Between three and six months of pregnancy, the hard tissue surrounding the teeth forms. To help ensure healthy tooth development, the mother should consume foods rich in calcium, phosphorus, protein, and vitamins A, C, and D. Calcium-rich foods are particularly important, with three servings of dairy products are recommended daily. For those who do not tolerate dairy products well, an OB/GYN may recommend calcium supplements. Phosphorus is a mineral associated with the hardness of teeth and is plentiful in protein-rich foods such as meats, poultry, fish, nuts, beans, whole grains, and dairy.
Certain medicines should not be taken during pregnancy. Tetracycline, for example, can cause discoloration of the unborn baby’s developing teeth. Pregnant women should inform both their doctor and dentist of all medications—even over-the-counter drugs—that they are taking. The dental team at East Portland Dentistry will discuss medications with the OB/GYN to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
When Should I First Bring my Child to See a Children’s Dentist in East Portland?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends scheduling a child’s first dental appointment shortly after their first tooth emerges or by the age of one. This visit will allow you to introduce your child to our Portland dental office in a friendly and easy-going atmosphere, while providing Dr. Arend with the opportunity to assess your child’s oral development. Dr. Arend will look for the signs of early decay and evaluate the current state of your child’s oral health.
Early dental visits serve two purposes. One, they allow Dr. Arend to regularly monitor a child’s oral health development so that any irregularities can be spotted early on. Second, we want you and your child to become comfortable here, so if treatment is needed, we can make their first experience a positive one. When a child becomes comfortable with visiting a dentist at a young age, it eliminates the type of anxiety many kids experience when visiting a dentist for the first time at the age of 3 or 4.
When Will My Child Lose Their First Tooth?
Loss of the first primary (or baby) tooth usually takes place around 6 years of age, though it depends on each child’s development. Some children start loss of their primary teeth as early as 5 or as late as 8 years of age. During your regular visits, Dr. Arend will monitor the loss and development of your child’s baby and permanent teeth to ensure everything is developing correctly.
Can I Come Back to the Treatment Room During My Child’s Visit?
Absolutely! Though some children do better without the parent in the room, many kids need the extra assurance of having a parent with them throughout the appointment. We respect your right to choose what feels comfortable for your family.
East Portland Dentistry is conveniently located in Portland, Oregon across the street from the 122nd MAX station at 9 Northeast 120th Avenue, Portland, Oregon, 97220. Call 503-253-0226 to make an appointment!
Please call us at (503) 253-0226 for your personal appointment or click here to schedule an appointment via our website.