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Pediatric Dentist Falls Church

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Pediatric Dentist Falls Church

First Dental Visit

Learn why a child's first dental visit is important and special.

Pediatric Dentistry Services

Pediatric Dental Services

Comprehensive treatment and dental care for children.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are frequently asked questions and our answers about the best way to care for children’s teeth.

When should I schedule my child’s first visit to the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be seen by six months after their first tooth erupts, or at one year of age, whichever comes first.

What’s the difference between pediatric dentists and other dentists?

Pediatric dentists receive years of additional specialized training after completing dental school. During training (2-3 years), your doctor gains extensive knowledge and experience in treating infants, children, and adolescents. Like Dr. Saleh, most Pediatric dentists have a passion for working with children and bring to each patient their expertise and love. We strive to hire staff that shares our love for kids. Our office provides a friendly and comfortable environment for children of all ages and abilities. Schedule an appointment today.

What happens during my child’s first visit to the dentist?

The first visit is usually simple yet super important. We open our “home” to your family and make it your child’s dental home. The doctor will check your child’s teeth, position, and health, and will look for any potential problems with the gums and jaw. We will do a cleaning (manual or motorized toothbrushing) if necessary. We will also answer any questions you have about how to care for your child’s teeth as they develop. Schedule an appointment today.

How do I clean my baby's teeth?

We recommend you clean the gums after feedings with a damp, soft washcloth before teeth erupt. As soon as the first tooth comes in, you can use a soft bristles toothbrush with the smallest head.

What causes cavities?

Certain types of bacteria live in our mouths and produce acid when they encounter starchy and sugary foods. These acids attack the outer layer of teeth, and as they progress, they create holes/cavities in the teeth.  Learn about our preventative pediatric dentistry services.

How can I protect my child's teeth during contact sports?

Mouthguards are recommended for children active in sports. Ask us about having a custom-fitted mouthguard made to protect the soft(gums/lips) and hard tissues (teeth/bone).  Read more about how to Protect Your Child’s Teeth with a Sports Mouthguard

How can I prepare my child for their first dental appointment?

You can show your child pleasant imagery about the pediatric dentist/dental visit or read an age-appropriate book to help introduce your child to the dentist and upcoming dental visit. The best preparation for your child’s first visit to our office is maintaining a positive attitude. Children pick up on adults’ apprehensions. Your pediatric dentist is trained to handle fearful and apprehensive little ones, and our staff excels at calming and soothing them.

How often should we see the dentist?

The AAPD recommends seeing the pediatric dentist every six months to a year, depending on the child’s caries risk. We may recommend more frequent visits, depending on your child’s general and dental health. Schedule an appointment today.

Baby teeth will fall out. Why do they matter?

Baby teeth play an important role in the development of children (speaking, smiling, and chewing properly). They also hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth. If a child loses a tooth too early (due to trauma of cavities), nearby teeth may shift to the empty space and cause a change in the normal eruption pattern of permanent teeth. Most importantly, any infection in the mouth can travel from a child’s tooth through the bloodstream to the child’s system and cause catastrophic outcomes.

How much toothpaste should be when brushing teeth?

Once your child has his or her first tooth, you can start using toothpaste. Depending on your child’s caries risk (assessed by your child's pediatric dentist at the first visit), we will recommend fluoridated or non-fluoridated toothpaste. Use only a tiny amount of fluoridated toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice) for each cleaning. Have your child spit out the excess toothpaste. Help your child brush until they develop the manual dexterity to do it themselves.

What protects from getting cavities?
The short answer is a healthy diet, brushing and flossing, and seeing the pediatric dentist regularly. Avoid sugary/ starchy foods and drinks, limit snacking, and maintain a healthy diet. Fluoride toothpaste helps strengthen weak spots in teeth. Brushing helps remove and flush away food remnants that get stuck in the teeth. Floss can reach spots between the teeth that brushing can’t. Check with your pediatric dentist about a fluoride supplement that helps tooth enamel become harder and more resistant to decay. And finally, make regular appointments so that we can check the health of your child’s teeth,  provide professional cleanings, and evaluate the indications for sealants and other protective measures.  Schedule an appointment today.
When should my child have dental x-rays taken?

Around age six.  X-rays (dental imaging) help us see between the teeth and areas in the mouth and face that aren’t visible to the naked eye. They also help us make sure your child’s teeth and jaw are healthy and properly aligned.  We do our best to minimize exposure for every child and only take the necessary radiographs to diagnose and treat.