Infant Dentist At Dumont, NJ

Infant Dentist

An “infant” dentist, or pediatric dentist, is a dental professional that is dedicated to treating infants and children up to the age of 18. They undergo 2-3 years of additional training beyond dental school to prepare them to work with infants, children, teens, and children with special needs.

At Palisades Dental Care, Dr. Melissa Alter is our pediatric dentist. She will work with you and your child to help them feel relaxed and comfortable during their dental visits because we believe that positive dental care early on may prevent dental anxiety as they get older.

When should I bring my baby to the dentist for the first time?

An infant’s first dental appointment should take place after the first tooth has broken through, but before they turn 1-year old.

When should I bring my baby to the dentist for the first time?

At the first appointment, we want to get to know you and your child. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s dental health or dental care, we encourage you to bring them up. We will also need to know more about your child’s overall health. We want this to be a pleasant experience for you and your child.

We will interact with them to help them feel comfortable, then Dr. Alter will examine your child’s jaw and teeth to ensure they are developing properly. If your child isn’t able to or doesn’t want to sit in the chair alone, we encourage you to sit in the chair and hold them. She will check for cavities, injuries, and other issues. Once the exam is over, we will clean your child’s teeth and give you some tips for daily care.

It’s important to remember that it is perfectly normal for your child to wiggle and/or cry during the exam. We understand that this can be overwhelming for children, especially for their first time. We will work with your child to help soothe them.

How to Ensure a Good Visit

There are a few things to keep in mind when scheduling appointments for children, whether it’s their first appointment or not:

Benefits of Choosing a Dental Home

At Palisades Dental Care, we have several dentists on staff to work with patients from the time they are infants through adulthood. There are certain benefits to choosing a pediatric dentist over a general dentist for your infant.

Comprehensive Pediatric Dental Care

Though a general dentist is qualified to treat patients of all ages, only a pediatric dentist has 2 to 3 years of additional training beyond the standard 4 years of dental school. In addition, they have experience in working with younger patients all day, while a general dentist may only see a younger patient every now and then.

The sooner you get your child in to see Dr. Alter and the team at Palisades Dental Care, the sooner they can get the care they need to support their oral health.

Special Tools/Equipment

A child’s mouth is much smaller than an adult’s mouth. Therefore, a pediatric dentist uses smaller tools/equipment designed for smaller mouths.

Awareness of Childhood Issues

Since a pediatric dentist undergoes 2 to 3 years of additional training, they are aware of dental issues that are unique to children. For example, if you put your baby to bed with a bottle at night, they could develop what is known as baby bottle tooth decay. Another common issue is open bite due to prolonged thumb sucking.

A pediatric dentist can detect these issues immediately so that they can be addressed, and your child can avoid long-term consequences.

Let Us Care for Your Child's Teeth

If you are in or near Dumont, New Jersey, let us care for your child’s teeth. Dr. Alter practiced general dentistry for a few years before deciding to pursue her passion in pediatrics. She completed her Pediatric Dental training and served as Chief Resident at St. Barnabas Hospital on the east coast before making her way to Palisades Dental Care. She looks forward to getting to know you and your child and helping them see that dental care doesn’t have to be scary.


Many parents have questions about bringing their infants and toddlers to the dentist. Some of the questions we get most often include:
An infant should visit the dentist for the first time after the first tooth appears, but no later than their first birthday.

A 1-year-old may not have many teeth, but there are things that a pediatric dentist can do for them:

Establish positive oral hygiene habits
Look for dental issues including open bite or baby bottle tooth decay

Palisades Dental Care

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