Greenbrae Pediatric Dentist Providing Dental Care for Children
Your child’s teeth require special care, and that’s why Dr. Lea Shapiro places a special emphasis on pediatric dental services. Our caring, compassionate doctor and staff can help your child develop a positive relationship with the dentist -- something that will set her up for a lifetime of beautiful teeth and a healthy smile.
When to Begin Your Child’s Dental Care
We recommend that children have their first visit to the dentist around the time their first tooth erupts, or by their first birthday. It may seem early, but this initial visit is about more than checking for decay and other problems -- it’s about introducing your little one to the sights, smells, and sounds of the dental office. That’s why this first visit is usually short, and doesn’t involve much in the way of “treatment.” This appointment is also your chance to ask any questions you may have about keeping your baby’s mouth clean, like how to prevent baby bottle tooth decay or when to begin brushing little teeth.
For optimal dental and oral health, regular six month visits to the dentist should begin after this initial appointment.
Dental Checkups and Cleanings for Children
Your child’s checkups and cleanings may look a little different from your own, but all preventive appointments are focused on the same basic goal: keeping cavities and gum disease at bay. For little ones, that means thoroughly removing all plaque and tartar from existing teeth and discussing their dental hygiene habits. Because children are still developing their brushing and flossing techniques, they need frequent evaluation for good dental health.
By the time your child is about six years old, we can perform additional preventive treatments: dental sealants and fluoride treatments.
Dental Sealants and Fluoride Treatments
Children’s teeth are most vulnerable to cavities from age six to 14. Dental sealants and fluoride treatments can protect and strengthen tooth enamel to help prevent tooth decay during these cavity-prone years.
Dental sealants are thin, plastic coverings that are painted directly onto the chewing surface of the molars. The pits and fissures on the surface of these teeth are a prime location for the growth of cavity-causing bacteria -- but dental sealants shield vulnerable tooth enamel from the food particles, plaque, and acids that cause decay.
A fluoride treatment is a quick application after the checkup and cleaning that strengthens tooth enamel to prevent the formation of cavities. Dr. Shapiro will evaluate your child’s need for fluoride and recommend added exposure through supplements at home, as needed.
Many orthodontic issues are easiest to solve in early childhood, before the jawbone has finished forming. Your child’s dentist will evaluate your child’s bite and oral structures around the age of seven to determine whether or not early orthodontic treatment is necessary. If so, we can provide excellent referrals for local orthodontists.
Schedule Your Child’s Appointment Today!
It’s time your child was excited about visiting the dentist, and we know he or she will love Dr. Shapiro! Contact us to schedule an appointment for pediatric dentistry today. Our office is located in Greenbrae and proudly welcomes patients from Larkspur, Kentfield, Ross, San Rafael, and all nearby cities.