When should I bring my child to the Hutchinson dentist?


Your child’s baby teeth are important teeth. That’s why Grant D. Ringler DDS, your Hutchinson, KS dentist, likes to see little ones by age 1 or within 6 months of when that first little tooth appears. Learn what happens at the first dental visit and what services Dr. Grant Ringler, Dr. Melissa Barnhart and Dr. Justin Barnhart offer families.

Caring for baby teeth

A baby’s bottom central incisors usually appear between the ages of 6 and 10 months. Other teeth soon follow, adding an important item to parents’ long lists of responsibilities. Mom or dad should wipe little mouths clean with a moistened washcloth or gauze after eating. Toothbrushing with a smear of toothpaste begins at one year, with supervised hygiene continuing until a child has good dexterity and discipline to brush and floss on his own.

These young teeth ensure a child eats and speaks properly as he or she grows.  Equally important, baby teeth provide proper pathways for adult teeth to erupt into the mouth correctly aligned, avoiding restorative and orthodontic procedures later. In effect, baby teeth are placeholders, facilitating proper bite and alignment.

As such, the doctors and staff at Dr. Ringler’s office look forward to seeing youngsters with mom or dad for their initial visits. The first time in the dental chair, on a parent’s lap, gives the child a secure sense that going to the dentist is just fine.

In babyhood, the dentist simply checks the mouth for proper development and evidence of decay and counts the teeth. Mom or dad receive teaching on proper hygiene techniques, nutrition and something called “baby bottle decay”–a real hazard to young teeth when milk or juice pools around the gums at bedtime.

As a child grows, dental appointments are more involved–featuring digital x-rays as needed, orthodontic evaluation by age 7 and information on the importance of athletic mouthguards to protect against oral injury. The individualized treatment plan often includes restorations as needed and in-office fluoride treatments to strengthen the mineral matrix dentists call tooth enamel.

Plus, your Hutchinson children’s dentist recommends plastic sealants to coat back most molars. A liquid painted on molars and cured with a special light, sealants stay on guard for up to 10 years.

Be vigilant

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry urges parents to take active roles in their children’s oral health. Dental decay reaches epidemic proportions when kids don’t see their Hutchinson dentist, but with 6-month cleanings and exams, young smiles flourish.

If your child has started getting his or her first teeth, contact the office of Grant D. Ringler DDS for a pediatric dental visit. Great care now means great smiles down the road.