Children's Dentistry in San Jose

At Advanced Dentistry by Design, Dr. Victor D. Woodlief and his entire team are passionate about protecting children’s smiles.

As a parent, one of your top priorities is to ensure that your son or daughter gets a healthy start in life. Because there are so many connections between oral health and overall well-being, an essential aspect of meeting this goal is making sure they have proper dental care. At our San Jose dental office, that means caring for their teeth and ensuring that every experience they have in our office is positive.

When to Start Brushing Baby Teeth

Did you know that you should start caring for your baby's oral health even before their first teeth arrive? Use a warm washcloth to remove excess breast milk or formula from their gums keeps bacteria from building up in their mouth.

You should begin brushing their teeth as soon as the first baby tooth arrives. Using a soft-bristled, infant toothbrush, you can gently brush their baby teeth with or without a toothpaste that is safe to swallow. This helps them get acclimated to the feel of a toothbrush in their mouth and removes plaque and bacteria buildup from their small teeth.

Parents will need to teach children to brush their teeth on their own around the age of three years old. If your child can spit, you can also incorporate a fluoride toothpaste into their brushing routine. You should continue to help your child brush and floss their teeth until around the age of seven or eight years old. Check-ins and periodic supervision after that are a good idea to ensure that your child is brushing and flossing effectively enough to remove the plaque and bacteria buildup from their teeth. 

Your Child's First Dental Visit

The arrival of your son or daughter's first baby teeth is an exciting time! Most parents have a lot of questions about home care and their little one's oral development. Once your child’s first tooth appears, it's time to schedule their initial dental appointment with our San Jose children's dentist. This first visit is an excellent opportunity to introduce your little one to the dental office and our team. This step is a milestone for your child, and we will make sure it is a fun and relaxed experience that they enjoy.

Your child’s first visit is a great time to discuss their oral development with Dr. Woodlief. He will go over how to develop healthy at-home habits, good nutrition for oral health, and answer any questions you may have.

Baby Teeth and Why They Are Important

Many parents wonder why it is so important to care for baby teeth that are going to fall out soon. This is a great question!

Believe it or not, your little one's baby teeth are doing many essential jobs:

  • Helping your son or daughter learn to eat and enjoy solid foods
  • Guiding and holding space for incoming adult teeth
  • Assisting your child in forming their first words

When baby teeth are lost too soon due to trauma or tooth decay, it can cause concerns for your child's oral development. Starting your son or daughter off with early dental visits helps them feel comfortable visiting the dentist. Building good oral habits at home with regular brushing and flossing will set them up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and a beautiful smile.

As Your Child Grows

As your child gets older, Dr. Woodlief may recommend additional preventive dentistry services in San Jose to keep your son or daughter healthy and comfortable.

  • Pediatric dental cleanings - Cleanings remove the plaque and bacteria buildup that causes tooth decay or gum disease (Yes - children can develop gum disease)
  • Bitewing x-rays - X-rays allow Dr. Woodlief to monitor oral development and detect cavities as early as possible
  • Fluoride treatments - Fluoride builds and strengthens small developing teeth
  • Dental sealants - Sealants are a thin plastic coating that covers the chewing surface of back teeth and guards against tooth decay and cavities

At Advanced Dentistry by Design, we always move at your child’s pace and work within their boundaries and attention span so that they maintain their positive attitude toward dentistry. We make their appointments interactive, educational, and fun with the intent of helping your son or daughter develop a solid foundation for their oral health.

Preparing Your Son or Daughter for the Dentist

As the big day for your little one's first dental visit approaches, there are many things you can be doing at home to help them prepare. Reading stories about the dentist or talking about their upcoming appointment positively will help get them excited to meet their San Jose dentist.

Dr. Woodlief also encourages parents to bring their little ones to their own cleanings and checkups. This helps kids understand that the dentist is not scary, but rather a fun and welcoming place. It's also essential not to project your feelings about the dentist onto your child, especially if you've had your own tough experience in the past.

Be sure to use only child-friendly terms like "happy teeth" or "sugar bugs" when talking about the dentist to your child, leaving out terms like "shot" or "pain."

Early Intervention Orthodontics

Did you know that your child should have their oral development evaluated around age seven? While early intervention orthodontics is not necessary for all children, taking corrective action at a young age is better than waiting. Early treatment can help your son or daughter avoid the need for more serious and complex orthodontics in the future. 

During your child's evaluation, we determine if the upper and lower jaws are both developing correctly. Providing treatment during this phase of your child's growth can help eliminate crowding, correct specific bite issues, and avoid the need to extract permanent teeth in the future.

Our focus on functional orthodontics uses palatal expanders, partial braces, full braces, and spacers to create an ideal bite and appearance for your child’s teeth. Correcting an underbite or overbite early on is much easier for some children than waiting until adolescence for treatment.

Restorative Dentistry for Children

Few children will escape the need for at least one filling, but a cavity-free smile is possible! Proper home care, regular dental cleanings, and preventive treatments, including fluoride and sealants all help reduce the number of cavities children have today.

If your son or daughter does need a filling, count on Dr. Woodlief and our San Jose children's dental team to make sure that it is a comfortable and anxiety-free experience for your child.

Contact Us for Reliable and Gentle Pediatric Dentistry

At our San Jose dental office, we welcome patients of all ages, making dental care more convenient for the whole family. We would love to meet your child, and we look forward to welcoming your family!