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Children’s Dentistry – Salem, OR

Helping Little Smiles Shine

Your child’s smile is probably one of your favorite things in the entire world, and you’d do just about anything to keep it healthy and strong as your little one becomes not so little. As such, it's important to visit us for children's dentistry in Salem, OR, including regular dental checkups and cleanings in addition to introducing oral hygiene techniques at an early age.

When you bring your child to Cochell Family Dentistry, our family dentists will examine their teeth, gums, bite, and jaw as well as look for early signs of problems that may develop in the future. With this knowledge, they can provide a number of conservative interceptive treatments in order to prevent sizeable issues later.

Just like with most adults, we recommend that all children have at least two checkups and cleanings per year. Has your child been to the dentist yet? It may surprise you as to what age children should see a dentist. Our recommendation is the same as that of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Both state to bring your child in within six months after their first tooth appears but no later than the child's first birthday!

And of course, if you ever have any questions about taking care of your child’s teeth, we’re always happy to answer them. To learn more about your child’s dental care or schedule their next appointment, contact us today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Children's Dentistry 

A little boy getting a children's dentistry exam

When it comes to getting high-quality healthcare for your child, including dentistry, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. To help you have all the information you need to keep your little one's smile healthy and happy, we've put together answers to the children's dentistry FAQ's that we hear the most. But if you have questions about anything else, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We're happy to help!

What Should I Do If My Child Has a Toothache?

First, check to see if their discomfort isn't stemming from something relatively minor such as having something stuck between their teeth. Once you've determined that they have a true toothache, give us a call to schedule the first available appointment. Then give them over-the-counter children's pain reliever as directed and hold a cold compress to the outside of their face in 10-minute intervals.

If they have any swelling or a fever, they may have a serious infection that requires antibiotics. If you can't see us within a few hours, consult your pediatrician or go to an urgent care center instead.

Are Thumbsucking and Pacifier Habits Harmful For a Child's Teeth?

Generally speaking, thumbsucking and pacifier use are only problematic if they continue past age 4 or so. In many cases, a child will naturally abandon these habits on their own. At each of your child's checkups, we'll evaluate their teeth and jaws for signs of developmental problems that can occur with extensive thumbsucking or pacifier use and discuss various solutions as needed.

When Should I Take My Child To the Dentist For Their First Checkup?


The American Dental Association recommends that you schedule your child's first checkup within 6 months of getting their first tooth, or around their first birthday. If your child is older than one, just give us a call to schedule them as soon as possible.

Are Baby Teeth Really That Important To My Child?

Yes! Baby teeth are very important for several reasons. First, some of the baby teeth remain in the mouth until age 12, which is quite a while. Every child needs a full complement of healthy teeth at every stage to help them speak, eat, and smile with ease. It's also important for their self-confidence and social skills.

In addition, the baby teeth directly affect the development of the permanent teeth. If the baby teeth are damaged by cavities or other problems and have to be taken out too soon, the permanent teeth may not come in properly.

How Do I Make My Child's Diet Safe For Their Teeth?

Diet and nutrition are very important for your child's oral health. Unfortunately, modern foods often contain far too much sugar, even healthy foods like breakfast cereal and yogurt. Each time your child consumes sugar, acid is produced in their mouth that wears away at their enamel and leads to tooth decay. If your child has too much sugar or consumes it too frequently (or both), the risk of cavities is very high.

While it's fine for kids to enjoy sweet foods and beverages as a treat, having it at every meal and snack can be a big problem. Instead, focus on whole foods that are low in sugar. Examples include nuts, cheese, plain (sugar-free) yogurt with fresh berries, hard-boiled eggs, tuna salad, meat and cheese roll-ups, and celery with peanut butter.

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