Experts in Pediatric Dentistry
Our office takes pride in our understanding of the special care needed by your child. Whether this is your child's first visit to a dentist, or if they have been in care for some years, we do all we can to help them (and you!) feel at ease.
Board Certified Pediatric Dentist
Dr. Berry loves working with children and educating parents about the importance of oral health care. As a mother of a wonderful baby boy, she understands how important it is for parents to know that their child is in caring and competent hands. Her cheerful & kind-hearted personality helps her patients feel at ease, making their first dental experiences fun and pleasant.
When Should My Child Start Seeing a Dentist?
As a general rule, you should schedule your child's first dental appointment once the first tooth has erupted. This usually occurs by 1 year of age. As soon as a child has teeth, those teeth are subject to decay. The primary concern in very young children is "Early Childhood Caries" also known as "baby bottle tooth decay," which can be avoided with early prevention and home care.
Following the first visit, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests follow up visits twice a year for preventative cleanings. Of course, at home care between visits is essential.
The Importance of Baby Teeth
Your child's baby teeth serve several important functions for their development and health:
- Pronunciation of sounds
- Proper chewing to facilitate digestion
- Establish and preserve space for each adult tooth
- Form buds from which the adult teeth develop
Though the baby teeth will eventually be lost, they do serve important functions for your child.
Your Child's First VisitYour Child's First Visit
During the appointment, Dr. Berry will review your child's medical and dental history. He will gently examine your child's teeth, gum tissue and jaw. The teeth will be cleaned and polished, followed by the application of a fluoride solution. At each step, he will let your child know what to expect, using pictures and easily understandable language.
We pride ourselves on a very friendly, inviting staff and we do all we can to help put your child at ease and make it a comfortable experience for him or her.
Despite our best efforts, this first visit to a dentist can sometimes be intimidating. We encourage you to talk to your child about what to expect before coming in, without using any language that might cause apprehension (e.g., needles or pain).
Part of a visit to our office includes motivating your child toward healthy diet and hygiene activities to get them off to a great start.
How to Care for Your Child's Teeth
Even though your child does not yet have teeth, home care should start at birth by regularly cleaning your baby's mouth with a soft infant toothbrush and water.
An important part of caring for you child's teeth is diet. Reducing the amount of sugary snacks and drinks will greatly help prevent tooth decay, as will teaching your child to drink from a cup after his or her first birthday. Consumption of sugary drinks from a bottle has been linked to "bottle caries" and should be avoided.