Pediatric Dentistry in Grand Rapids, Kentwood, East Grand Rapids, MI
We Love Children!
We take care of patients from age 1 1/2 to age 99 and can use nitrous oxide and oral sedation for patients of all ages.
At approximately 18 months of age, a toddler should have their first oral examination using the knee-to-knee position. For this exam, a parent will sit in a chair facing Dr. Zwier knee-to-knee. The parent will hold the child facing the parent. The child’s head is lowered onto Dr. Zwier’s knees while the parent holds the toddler. The exam is done only with an overhead light and a mouth mirror. If the child cries, it is OK because the mouth tends to open wide. Dr. Zwier just wants to visually inspect the teeth very briefly.
At age three, a child should come in with a patient to observe the patent’s appointment.
By the age of three and a half, the child should have their first cleaning.
How to prepare your child for the Dentist in East Grand Rapids
To prepare for your child’s visit, we have created an activity kit to familiarize your child with their teeth and help them look forward to their dental visit.
Getting to know your teeth is fun! Get comfortable with your teeth with our Dynamite Dental Fun Kit.
- Around 18 months- Knee-to-knee exam
- 3 years old- Come watch mom or dad
- 31/2 years old- First visit with mom and dad. Parents should ask their child if the child wants to go first or do they want to watch mom or dad go first.
What happens when my child’s teeth start coming in?
Your child’s first tooth erupts between ages 6-12 months, and the remainder of their 20 primary or “baby” teeth typically erupt by age 3. During this time, gums may feel tender and sore, causing your child to feel irritable. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. In East Grand Rapids, it is also common for parents to buy teething rings for their child.
Your child’s primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood, and their permanent teeth begin erupting at age 6 and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth, or 32 including wisdom teeth. As your child’s teeth come in, we hope to be your very own East Grand Rapids’ dentistry guide.
Adopting Your Child to Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits
As new teeth erupt, examine them every two weeks for lines and discoloration caused by decay. Remember that sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth, so take care that your child brushes their teeth after feeding or eating. As your East Grand Rapids dentistry guide, we will help you along the way. We recommend brushing four times a day for optimal oral hygiene: after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and at bedtime. Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. When a baby’s tooth erupts, parents should brush the tooth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. For children younger than two, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by your dentist or other health professional. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing procedures with your child.
Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your doctor will discuss with you the right time to start flossing. If you notice signs of decay, contact us immediately; we can help you through any problems that may arise.
- Watch for pregnancy gingivitis on yourself!
- Avoid x-rays in first trimester and use caution throughout the rest. Emergency x-rays should only be used for toothaches.
- Teeth typically come in at 6-12 month: Wash with warm cloth.
- After 3-4 teeth come in, start brushing with water only (Parents do the work, let them help as they learn).
- Establish healthy habits early on (Brushing twice a day).
- Start using toothpaste with fluoride at age 2 (be careful they do not swallow it).
- Start flossing between the two baby molars in each of the four quadrants of teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
What age is Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentistry treats children and adolescents for all their dental care. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children start seeing the dentist by age 1.
What is the difference between a dentist and a pediatric dentist?
Pediatric dentists go through the same schooling as a general dentist. However, pediatric dentists have two to three years of specialty training following dental school.
Why is pediatric dentistry important?
Pediatric dentistry is important to help children build good oral health care habits. Not only does regularly seeing pediatric dentists help children keep their teeth clean and healthy, but pediatric dentists are trained in helping children feel safe and comfortable when going in for a visit.