An Inviting Children’s Dentist in Gig Harbor, Washington 

Dr. Kvinsland and Dr. Skifstad have a gentle touch with kids. Dr. Kvinsland has a natural ability to win the trust even the most sensitive children. All ages are drawn to his excellent listening skills, attention to detail, and ability to relate to them one on one. Dr. Skifstad has a calmness that helps children feel important and cared for. Parents are confident in our doctors and the entire Kvinsland Dentistry staff, professionalism, quality dental care, and excellent communication. If you are looking for a new children’s dentist in Gig Harbor, Washington, please do not hesitate to visit us!

Your Child’s Oral Health is Our Number One Priority at Kvinsland Dentistry 

A child typically begins growing their primary teeth at around six months of age. However, the majority of children in the U.S. do not visit a dentist until they are two and a half years old. According to The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the recommended timeframe to begin your child’s oral health journey is within six months of the eruption of their first tooth or by age 1. This is due to the importance of maintaining primary teeth until they naturally fall out.

These baby teeth are essential to many developmental functions, including learning speech patterns and chewing properly, impacting a person’s lifelong oral health. When you are looking to set up your first visit with a children’s dentist in the Gig Harbor, WA area, contact the office of Kvinsland Dentistry!

Tips for Your Child’s First Dentist Office Visit

A child’s first visit to the dentist’s office is a new experience and can be uncomfortable for some children. The first trip to the dentist can be a positive experience by providing adequate advance notice and age-appropriate strategies.

We have helped children with sensory sensitivities and are happy to work with you ahead of time to learn about your child and brainstorm what strategies before, during, and after the appointment can help the day be most successful.  

Useful Ways to Prepare your Child for the Children’s Dentist 

  • Normalize the Process: Everyone goes to the dentist; treating it as a normal activity with your child will help them build confidence. Have your child go with you and watch when you have your dentist appointments
  • Impart Information: Be honest, calm, and reassuring when talking to your child about the dentist. Talk about what to expect, what the office will be like, and how your child’s teeth will feel afterward. There are plenty of age-appropriate books out there about visits to a children’s dentist; consider reading one of these together.
  • Build Excitement:Roleplay dentist visits with your child and speak about the visit in a positive way. Consider a fun outing after your dentist visit to create positive associations.
  • Manage Your Emotions: Be aware that your own fears of the dentist may translate to your child. If you have your own fears, work to hide them or entrust another adult with the task of preparing your child for his or her visit.

What Your Child May Expect from Their First Dentist Office Visit 

Talk to your child early and often about what to expect at their first children’s dental appointment; they can expect the following:

  • During the appointment, Dr. Kvinsland or Dr. Skifstad will introduce themselves and get to know your child as a person. Ask them about things they like to do, animals, sports, books, and more – establishing a relationship with your child from day one. Of course, they will also check your child’s teeth and talk to them about the importance of teeth and keeping teeth strong.
  • If the child is cooperative, the dental assistant will take x-rays of his or her teeth to give our dentists an idea of any treatments that might be needed.
  • The dental assistant will show their tools to your child. We will let them clearly see, touch, and ask questions about each tool, so nothing is a mystery.
  • The dental assistant will clean your child’s teeth, just like they do an adult’s. The paste used to clean your child’s teeth will be a child’s flavor: typically bubble gum, strawberry, or another gentle flavor.
  • The dental assistant will floss your child’s teeth.
  • If the child is cooperative, he or she will get a fluoride treatment. Some children are not ready to sit still and not swallow on cue, which our professionals will consider. If the fluoride treatment is successful, your child will not be able to drink or eat for 30 minutes after the appointment.

Children’s Dentist FAQ 

When Should I Bring My Child in for Their First Dentist Visit? 

The earlier, the better. Kvinsland Dentistry has found that a “happy visit” around age 3 works best. We will do as much of a cleaning and exam as the child is comfortable with and then follow the child as time goes on. Establishing good dental health habits early helps for long-term dental health.  

Why Should We Restore or Place Fillings on Baby Teeth?

It is unwise to leave any amount of decay on baby teeth. Decay can easily move to other baby teeth or even to permanent teeth. It can also cause pain and expensive orthodontic problems that could be avoided. We recommend carefully restoring all decayed teeth, baby and permanent to optimal health.  

Why are Dentist Appointments Every Six Months for Children? 

Regular visits help a child get comfortable with Dr. Kvinsland and our staff. These visits are important to consistently evaluate your child’s growth and take early corrective measures if needed. Regular exams and cleanings help prevent decay and avoid costly problems later on. Regular dental visits are part of leading a healthy and normal life for your child and establishing long-term healthy habits.

Why Should My Child Have Fluoride? 

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element and has been shown to decrease the chance of getting cavities dramatically. Many of our adult patients who grew up with regular dental care and fluoride supplementation have few or no dental problems.  

When Should My Child Begin to Brush Their Teeth 

  • Brushing should begin before children can do it themselves.
  • A wet cloth or gauze effectively cleans gums, removes plaque after nursing, and establishes a good habit early on.
  • Gentle brushing with a soft bristle brush begins with the first tooth and flossing when most primary teeth are in.
  • Children can brush on their own with careful supervision at age six or seven. And by eight or nine, they can floss on their own.
  • The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says, “a good rule of thumb is: When children are accomplished enough in caring for their own needs that they can get up, bathe and dress themselves and comb their hair without your help – then they are ready to accept full responsibility for their mouth-cleaning program!”