At 12 Dentistry, we understand that a child’s first few dental visits set the tone for future visits. Dr. Ron Ko and his dental team approach each child with the goal of creating a fun, comfortable, and educational environment for them.
We want to start as early as possible to provide them with the skills and tools to become an excellent dental patient as an adult. With age-appropriate dental treatment, we can help minimize your child’s risk for cavities and teach them how to care for their smile properly.
Your Toddler's First Dental Visit
Dr. Ko likes to see children for their first dental visit when the first baby tooth appears or by age one. We’ll start slowly, showing them around our office and introducing them to our friendly, caring dental team.
If possible, we’ll perform a dental cleaning, but only if your child is receptive. We call this a “happy visit” for a reason, and by creating a fun, no-pressure experience, we hope to get them excited about seeing us again.
One good way to prepare your child is to bring them to one of your cleaning appointments or to have them accompany a sibling to their next visit.
Children's Dental Exams and Cleanings
It’s crucial to protect baby teeth because they lay the foundation for permanent teeth. Baby teeth hold space until permanent teeth are ready to erupt, so we want to protect them from cavities.
We recommend bringing kids for dental exams and cleanings every six months. We’ll check for signs of cavities in baby teeth during these appointments and fill them promptly if necessary.
Another important part of your child’s dental visits is introducing them to brushing and flossing and getting them accustomed to the concept of daily oral hygiene. We also encourage parents to use these appointments to talk to us about bottle-feeding or thumb-sucking concerns.
We understand that new parents have a lot of questions, and we welcome them all!
As your child matures, their dental needs change, and we’ll adapt their treatment accordingly. We'll continue to perform six-month exams and cleanings and may also recommend dental sealants and fluoride.
Dental Sealants Protect Healthy Teeth
Teeth like molars have a crater-like surface where plaque, food particles, and other cavity-causing bacteria collect. Placing a thin plastic coating called a dental sealant on these tooth surfaces seals out bacteria and protects these teeth from cavities for several years after we apply them.
We commonly recommend dental sealants for kids, but we may also recommend them for adults at high risk for cavities.
Fluoride for Strong, Healthy Teeth
Fluoride helps keep teeth strong and healthy to avoid cavities and help repair themselves if a cavity does develop.
Custom Mouthguards Offer Ultimate Protection
Children involved in athletics need to wear a protective mouthguard to shield their teeth and gums from injury. Instead of purchasing a generic version at your sporting goods store, let us prepare a custom-fitted mouthguard that provides the ultimate protection. A well-fitting mouthguard is comfortable to wear and will encourage your child to remember to use it at every game and practice.
Schedule an Appointment for Children's Dentistry
We love welcoming kids of all ages to 12 Dentistry! If your toddler's ready for their first dental visit or your older child is due for their routine checkup and dental cleaning, we would love to meet them. Please call our Puyallup, WA dental office to schedule an appointment to get started.