David B. Harte, DMD | Kimberly A. Harte, DMD | Lily Liu, DMD | 480 Adams Street, Milton MA, 02186

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Here at Harte Dental, we follow the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association to schedule children for their first dental visit when the first tooth appears. If your child has still not started teething by their first birthday, we recommend to go ahead and schedule the first visit around the time of the first birthday.

Why so early? And what can parents expect from this first visit? Read on to find out more.

Establishing a Dental Home
A major reason pediatricians and dentists recommend the first visit before age one is to establish a "dental home." By bringing a child in before anything has gone wrong, parents can ensure that in the event that something does go wrong, they already have an established relationship with an office. On our end, it's also hugely helpful to meet your child and understand what "normal" looks like for them so that if any dental problems arise, we're able to quickly diagnose and treat them.

Helping Kids Get Comfortable
Childhood dental experiences play an outsize role in shaping overall perceptions and feelings about dental care. Unfortunately, too many children visit the dentist for the first time when they are already in pain and requiring treatment, and sadly many of these kids will go on to associate the dentist with fear and trauma for the rest of their lives.

The first few dental visits for an infant or toddler, our goal is not to do much in terms of treatment. Rather, we seek to help kids gradually get used to coming to the dentist, to see it as a healthy and even fun routine in their lives--a place where they can enjoy themselves, where people will not hurt them, and where they may even pick up a prize or two! Later, if these patients do need treatment, they are much less likely to be apprehensive about receiving needed care.

Screening for and Preventing Decay
Did you know that teeth can get cavities as soon as they're in the mouth? Certain types of feeding behaviors can put infants at higher risk to develop early chilldhood caries (ECC), an extremely aggressive form of decay seen in young children. By seeing infants when the first tooth erupts, we hope to help parents develop good habits with their babies to prevent ECC. We also apply fluoride varnish to baby teeth to keep them cavity-free.


     Early Childhood Caries in its beginning stages

It's never too late!
Even if you have children at home who are older than 1 year old and have not yet had their first dental visit, it's never too late! Call and make an appointment today to get them on track to a healthy mouth for life.

Further Reading
First Tooth Facts - American Academy of Pediatrics
 

March 06, 2018
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Here at Harte Dental, we like prevention...and we also like to have fun!

That's why every quarter, we have a drawing for members of our No Cavity Club. In the past, we've given away toys, gift cards, and other prizes for both adults and children. This quarter, we have two prizes available:

We will hold a drawing for these adult and child-size mountain bikes right as the weather starts to get warm. To get an entry ticket, all you have to do is receive a cavity-free diagnosis from one of our doctors during a  New Patient Exam, or a routine exam for existing patients.

So whether you're due, overdue, or new, come by and join our many patients in the running to take these bikes home!

February 15, 2018
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photo source: CDC

March is our Sealant Project! As part of the American Dental Association's Give Kids a Smile initiative, we are offering sealants for FREE for the entire month. Sealants are a quick, easy, pain-free way to prevent back teeth from developing cavities. Read on for more information, 

Why sealants?
Our teeth have lots of pits, valleys, and fissures on their chewing surfaces. If you've ever looked in your mouth after eating Oreos, you know that it's easy for food to get stuck into those grooves. If these grooves are too deep, our saliva can't wash out that food and cavities can develop as a result. When permanent back teeth grow in around age 6 and age 12, dentists cover the grooves with a clear or tooth-colored material to "seal" off the deepest parts of the grooves.

Do sealants hurt?
Sealants are completely painless. Patients getting sealants don't have to be given any shots, and can eat immediately afterward. After getting sealants, most patients completely forget that they're there!

Are sealants safe? What about BPA?
You may have heard that sealants contain a dangerous substance called Bisphenol-A (BPA), but the amount contained in sealants is less than the BPA we're exposed to just by breathing air. The benefit of preventing cavities more than outweighs the microscopic BPA exposure they can cause.

Don't wait-- give us a call today to schedule your appointment!

For more information, see the following websites:
National Institutes of Health - Seal out tooth decay!
Centers for Disease Control - Sealants
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry - Use of Pit and Fissure Sealants





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