Skilled and Compassionate Infant Dentistry in Highlands Ranch
Did you know that even before your child’s first tooth erupts, their smile needs routine oral hygiene and professional dental care? For these reasons and many others, our Highlands Ranch pediatric dentist recommends you take your infant or toddler in to see us, no later than the age of one.
At Sierk Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Jonathan Sierk provides exceptional dentistry for infants and toddlers throughout the Highlands Ranch and Douglas County communities. His commitment as your trusted pediatric dentist includes compassionate first visits, prevention, and treatment strategies to better support your child’s overall dental health. If you have questions about infant dental care or if it’s time for your child to visit our team for the first time, contact our office today!
When Should I Schedule a Dental Visit for My Child?
As an experienced pediatric dentist with many years in treating the smiles of infants, toddlers, children, and teens, Dr. Sierk encourages parents to bring in their children when they are infants. If your child is a little older, you should schedule a dental visit with us as soon as their first baby tooth emerges, no later than their first birthday.
Does My Infant Have to See a Pediatric Dentist?
While a general dentist can address the oral and dental health needs of young children, a pediatric specialist has completed extra training beyond dental school. This means that pediatric dentists have an additional two years of study, or more, making them fully equipped to care for children of all ages.
Our Highlands Ranch pediatric dentist continues to focus his extensive training on the diagnosis, management, and treatment of developing teeth and gums. His knowledge also extends to behavioral habits in children, physical growth and development, and professional dental care for children with special needs.
Dr. Sierk’s skill set, his staff, and even our office décor have all been selected to help your child feel comfortable and confident whenever they visit us. When you bring your child to our dental practice, you have invaluable peace of mind knowing their oral and overall health is being overseen by a caring professional who has the experience and credentials to do so.
Why choose a Pediatric Dentist
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD,) the Big Authority on Little Teeth, created a 60 second video that highlights the importance of taking your child to see a pediatric dentist.
Providing First Visits for Your Infant or Toddler in Highlands Ranch
We happily welcome infants and toddlers to visit Sierk Children’s Dentistry for their first appointment. Dr. Sierk likes to think of this appointment as an exciting and fun introductory visit, helping both you and your young one get a feel for a dental practice that is specifically designed to care for them.
If your child is comfortable, we’ll gently examine their gums, and count their teeth, keeping an eye out for early signs of decay. During the entire appointment, your child can remain comfortably in your lap.
Topics we cover during first visits include:
- Good oral hygiene practices to keep gums and new teeth healthy
- Possible fluoride needs
- Oral habit counseling for thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip sucking, and more
- Dental and oral health developmental milestones
- Teething and tooth eruption
- Proper nutrition
- Routinely-scheduled dental checkups
Our pediatric dentist likes to see children every six months so that our team can build up their comfort and confidence levels as early as possible. Once their baby teeth begin to emerge, we’ll monitor their development, and promptly treat any concerns we may find developing in their smile.
It is Dr. Sierk’s goal during first dental visits to provide all the tools you’ll need to promote healthy nutrition and hygiene habits. We help you understand how to best care for your baby’s smile until they can properly take care of it themselves.
5 Tips for a More Positive First Visit
- Schedule the appointment time accordingly. Don’t schedule an appointment during naptime. Instead, pick a time your child is usually well-rested and cooperative.
- Plan feedings ahead of time. Make sure your infant or toddler has had a light meal before their appointment so that they won’t get hungry during their visit.
- Save snack time for later. We recommend giving healthy snacks to your young one after their visit, so there won’t be any traces of food on your child’s teeth or in their mouth during their exam.
- Bring comforting items along. Arrive early to avoid rushing or adding further stress. If your young one has a favorite blanket, toy, or stuffed animal, bring it with you.
- Above all, keep a positive attitude! Children, even infants and toddlers, mimic the behaviors of their parents. They’re also very perceptive and sensitive to your energy and attitude. Try to maintain a positive and relaxed posture, and remember, Dr. Sierk and team are your allies for helping your child achieve a healthy smile for life!
Getting Started Early with Oral Health Care for Your Infant or Toddler
A growing child has many needs, including attention to their teeth and gums. Without a healthy smile, children as young as one may have a hard time chewing, biting, and processing nutritional foods – all things vital for helping them grow.
Supporting healthy smile development for your infant begins as soon as possible, and you can even start while pregnant. If you’re an expectant mother, make sure you are consuming a healthy diet, full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Taking good care of your teeth and gums with diligent oral hygiene and routine dental visits also helps you avoid the development of gum disease.
During Infancy & Teething
You should begin cleaning your baby’s gums as soon as birth! Just because your infant does not yet have teeth doesn’t mean that their oral health should be overlooked. During this time, keep their gums clean by gently rubbing them with a clean cloth. When your infant begins to teethe, their gums are often sore and irritated. You can help soothe this discomfort with teething rings and cool, damp cloths.
When Teeth Begin to Erupt
When baby teeth begin to emerge, additional oral care is a must. During this time in your toddler’s development, you can use a small amount of toothpaste on an infant-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush to clean any newly-erupted teeth.
This early brushing is essential for preventing pediatric cavities, also known as dental caries, which is, unfortunately, a common issue for children. When two teeth erupt side-by-side, you can begin gently flossing between them.
Contact Our Pediatric Dentist for Infant and Toddler-Friendly Dentistry!
We are the first stop on your child’s journey towards dental health. Visit our pediatric dental office in Highlands Ranch or call today to get started!