Along with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, most dentists recommend a child has his or her first dental visit between 12 and 18 months. Some even go by the rule “first visit by first birthday.” As a rule of thumb, when your child’s first teeth erupt, it’s time to start thinking about making an appointment (most babies don’t get their first teeth until about 6 months).
By Judith Nembhard
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Is it really safe for my child to have dental X-rays?
With contemporary safeguards like lead aprons and high-speed film, the amount of radiation received in dental X-rays is extremely small. The mythbuster here is that X-rays present a far smaller risk than an undetected or untreated dental problems like tooth decay or other anomalies. Modern equipment restricts the beam to the area of interest, and many offices even use digital X-rays, which lower radiation exposure to 1/12 of that of regular dental X-rays.
What can I do about my child’s toothache?
Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly, rinsing your child’s mouth with warm salt water and dislodging any impacted food or debris with dental floss. If your child’s face is swollen, you can apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in cloth, but be sure not to put heat or pain medication directly on the gum or aching tooth. If pain and swelling persist, contact a dentist as soon as possible.
My child accidentally knocked out a permanent tooth. What should I do?
Recover the tooth, and, holding it by the crown (top) and not the root, rinse it gently with cold water. Do not clean or handle more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If it can’t be reinserted, place the tooth in a clean container with cold milk. Go immediately to your dentist. The faster you act, the better your chances of saving the tooth.