Children's Dentistry in Fairfax VA
Serving the Fairfax, VA community
Are you looking for a dentist who has compassion and the understanding to treat your child? It’s important to find a gentle, caring professional who’ll put your child’s needs first. We know that every child has unique needs and reacts differently to dental visits. Our goal at Dr. Fairfax & Associates Family Dentistry is to get to know your child to better understand their needs and help them feel safe and secure.
If you’re looking for your child’s first dental home, please give our Fairfax dental office a call. We get a lot of satisfaction out of working with kids, and we’d love to welcome you and your child to our dental family. Please contact our dental office, and we’ll be happy to arrange a convenient appointment for you and your child to stop by for a visit and meet our team.
- When should I first bring my child to the dentist?
- Why are baby teeth so important? Don’t they just fall out anyway?
- How can I prepare my child for their first dental visit?
- What happens during my child’s first visit?
- Will you treat my child at the first appointment?
- How can you help my child avoid dental anxiety?
- What services do you offer for children?
- Why would you recommend supplemental fluoride or dental sealants?
- My child needs a mouth guard for sports. What do you recommend?
- Will insurance cover my child’s dental care?
- What should I do if my child has a dental emergency?
When should I first bring my child to the dentist?
At Dr. Fairfax & Associates, we like to see kids starting at about age one. You may not see the evidence of it yet, but a lot is already taking place with their oral health. When we monitor your child from an early age, we can help them avoid a lot of dental problems that might go unnoticed until later when we don’t have as many options for conservative treatment.
Why are baby teeth so important? Don’t they fall out anyway?
That’s a great question! It’s a common misconception that baby teeth don’t matter because they are eventually lost. The fact is that primary (baby) teeth play an essential role in your child’s oral health until their adult teeth are ready to emerge.
Without baby teeth holding space, adult teeth wouldn’t have space to erupt correctly and can come in at all sorts of odd angles leading to alignment issues in the future. Just as importantly, healthy baby teeth also help your child eat their first solid foods and to speak clearly.
How can I prepare my child for their first dental visit?
Here are a few things you can do before you arrive for your child’s appointment to help prepare them:
- Search online or visit your library for children’s books that help your little one understand (on their level) what the dentist is all about.
- If they have an older sibling who has a dental appointment, bring your younger child with you so they can get used to us and the office setting before it’s time for their first visit. Or, bring your child to your next checkup.
- Keep your negative thoughts about dentistry to yourself; the last thing you want is to frighten them even before they reach our office.
When preparing your child for their first visit, also be careful how you refer to the process. Avoid using any words or descriptions that would scare or confuse your child. A fun way to get them ready for the visit is to “check” their teeth and then let them check yours.
What happens during my child’s first visit?
You should make your child’s first dental appointment when their first baby teeth come in, but no later than age one. The first visit is exciting, but as a parent, you may be a little hesitant about the process – What is going to happen during the visit? Will your little one react positively?
We make the first “Happy Visit” fun and stress-free by turning it into a fun adventure. Years of experience have taught us that we can provide your child with the best experience by speaking to them on their level and providing constant reassurance.
When we show your child around our office, we'll use terms they can understand and convey a positive attitude about the time they spend with us. We'll count their teeth, take pictures, and give them a ride in the dental chair. Depending on his or her age, we’ll show them how to brush their teeth. If your child needs to feel more secure, we can have them sit on your lap during their exam.
Will you treat my child at the first appointment?
During the first visit, we will often just look at and count their teeth, discuss home care, and proper oral hygiene techniques. Our team knows how to keep these visits light and fun so that children don’t develop any fears or worries about their next visit.
Most children will have their first "official" dental visit, including a complete exam and cleaning, around two and two and a half years old. Again, we keep it fun, friendly, and child-centered so that children can approach their subsequent visits with confidence. Give us a call today!
How can you help my child avoid dental anxiety?
Dr. Fairfax and our team make every effort to put your child at ease and ensure that they're completely comfortable with us. Many adults who have dental anxiety had a negative experience as a child that could easily have been prevented with the proper approach and concern for a child's unique needs. Our team gets tremendous satisfaction from knowing that we're doing everything possible to help kids get a positive start with their dental care.
We love working with kids, so there’s one less thing for you to worry about! We take our time with kids and will never try to treat a child who’s not ready. We’ll plan their treatment based on their comfort level, and work toward a point where we've earned enough trust for them to feel comfortable with procedures like cleanings.
What services do you offer for children?
We like to see children around the age of one-year-old for their first visit. As your child gets older, Dr. Fairfax may recommend some additional services to help build and protect small teeth:
- Dental fillings
- Supplemental fluoride
- Dental sealants
- Protective mouth guards
All of these services are meant to keep baby teeth healthy until they’re ready to fall out on their own. As adult teeth begin to emerge, fillings, sealants, and mouth guards will protect them. Your child only gets one set of adult teeth, and protecting them from the moment they emerge helps set the stage of a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Why would you recommend supplemental fluoride or dental sealants?
Both fluoride and sealants are beneficial for further protecting your child’s healthy smile:
- Fluoride – Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps teeth remineralize and strengthen as they develop. We may recommend fluoride treatments for your child during their routine cleanings and checkups.
- Dental sealants – Dental sealants are thin coatings of composite material that we use to cover the uneven chewing surfaces of teeth like molars. Sealants help protect these vulnerable areas from tooth decay, which minimizes cavities for your child.
My child needs a mouth guard for sports. What do you recommend?
If your child participates in sports, Dr. Fairfax is happy to discuss the right protective wear for your child. Because sports injuries or accidents account for 40 percent of dental emergencies, it's important to be proactive about protecting your child's mouth and teeth from injury.
Unlike generic “boil and bite” versions you purchase at a sporting goods store, we customize your child’s mouthguard from durable material, so that conforms to your child’s smile. Sports guards that fit well are also more comfortable, so your child is more likely to wear them.
Will insurance cover my child’s dental care?
Obtaining quality dental care for your child should never be complicated or stressful. Most dental insurances cover the cost of preventive care for children, and we’ll be happy to work out the details with you. We accept most PPO plans, including Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Carefirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, Delta Dental, Cigna, and Aetna.
We’re also pleased to offer an in-house dental membership plan that, for an annual fee, includes preventive treatment and discounts on services. There’s no waiting period, no deductibles, and no annual maximums. Just let us know that you’re interested in our plan so we can get started.
What should I do if my child has a dental emergency?
If your child has a dental emergency, whether it’s a toothache or a sports injury, call our Fairfax, VA dental office right away at (703) 273-1033. We understand how upsetting this can be for both you and your child, and we will arrange an appointment as soon as possible and give you instructions for handling the situation until you get to our dental office.