A Guide to Pediatric Dentistry
New parents and their babies experience many new things, such as going to the dentist for the first time. Even if you are confident and comfortable about your oral health, you may have questions about dental care for little ones. If you aren’t sure when your child should see the dentist and you want to know what to expect from a visit, we’ll offer some crucial information on oral care for children.
Why Baby Teeth Are Important
Many parents don’t take the health of their kids’ baby teeth seriously. They may assume that, because those teeth will eventually fall out, it doesn’t matter if they’re in bad shape. That’s a big misconception; baby teeth are crucial to a child’s current and future oral health. These teeth help children grow into chewing and eating solid foods, and their proper placement is integral to their speech development. When baby teeth become ridden with cavities, they may harbor bacteria that linger long enough to damage the adult teeth that grow in. Let our dentists help care for your child’s oral health at every stage of life.
Planning Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Parents should take their children to the dentist when their first teeth come in. The ADA (American Dental Association) says that most children get their first teeth at about six months of age. No matter when your child starts teething, though, it’s best to schedule an appointment before their first birthday. Furthermore, if you see anything abnormal, such as bleeding, lesions, or white spots in your child’s mouth, call us right away.
Counteracting the Effects of Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Usage
When children suck strongly on their fingers, a thumb, or a pacifier, it may affect the shape of the mouth or the straightness of the teeth. These problems typically correct themselves if the child grows out of the habit by three years of age, but they may become worse when the permanent teeth start coming in. With early dental care, we can give your child a healthy smile and straight, strong teeth.
Why It’s So Important to Establish a Dental Care Routine in Early Childhood
According to information from the AAPD (American Association of Pediatric Dentists), about 20% of children under the age of five are affected by tooth decay. By detecting potential problems early on, your child’s dentist can treat them promptly and effectively.
Our pediatric dentists will check for injuries, tooth decay, and other issues during each visit, and we’ll track changes as your child ages. It’s our goal to help each of our patients have a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.
Teach Proper Oral Hygiene
Once a child can hold a toothbrush, they’re ready to learn how to care for their teeth. During the learning process, parental supervision will establish good oral care habits. The simplest way to teach children good habits is to set an example. By letting your child watch as you brush, floss, and rinse your own teeth, you’ll model good habits that can last a lifetime.
Pediatric Dental Procedures
To provide the highest level of care, pediatric dentistry includes tooth repair, oral exams, gum disease management, and other preventive approaches. We offer services including:
- Cleanings. Professional dental cleanings are as crucial as at-home care. Our gentle professionals will put your child at ease.
- Fluoride treatments. Fluoride is an excellent way to fight tooth decay in older children.
- Sealants. We use sealants for children whose permanent and primary teeth are deeply grooved. The treatment protects these teeth from decay.
- Fillings. Before filling a cavity, we’ll remove the damaged pulp. Then, we’ll use an amalgam or tooth-colored filling to fill the hole.
- Crowns. If a primary tooth has a cavity that’s too big for a filling, we’ll apply a crown to prevent additional damage.
- Mouth guards. Protecting teeth during sports is essential. Mouth guards lessen the effects of a hit to the face, and at night, they can reduce the damage caused by bruxism (tooth grinding).
No matter what kind of dental care your child needs, we’re here to help. Call us today for an appointment.
Preparing for Your Child’s First Office Visit
Proper oral care is important even before a child’s first tooth appears. Clean your baby’s gums with a clean cloth and water, especially after a bottle or breastfeeding. While it’s possible to use soft toothbrushes designed for babies’ mouths, it’s best not to use fluoridated toothpastes for children under the age of two.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) says that fluoride can cause a condition called fluorosis in young children. Fluorosis may lead to discoloration, spotting, and pitting in children’s teeth. Establishing a gum cleaning routine will get your young child used to oral care and help them be comfortable during their first office visit.
Other ways to prepare for your child’s first dental visit include:
- Showing them videos about going to the dentist, so it isn’t a completely new experience
- Filling out forms before the visit so your family doesn’t have to wait too long in the lobby
- Writing down a few oral hygiene questions for the dentist
We’re here to make your child’s first dental visit a welcoming and comfortable one. Call or click today to schedule an appointment.
What to Expect During Your Child’s Dental Visit
During your child’s first office visit, you will remain in the room. If they tend to squirm and are reluctant to sit still, we may encourage them to sit on your lap so they’re more at ease. We’ll perform an examination, looking for signs such as tooth decay and frenum issues that may affect speech patterns and the development of teeth. Then, we’ll clean your child’s gums and teeth while advising you on how to provide proper oral care at home. Finally, we’ll answer your questions and address any concerns you might have.
We’re Here to Improve Your Child’s Dental Health
Most dentists recommend scheduling checkups every six months, but it’s important to ask your child’s dentist what they recommend for your family’s unique needs. New parents have a lot to think about, and our pediatric dentists can guide them and their children toward a lifetime of consistent oral health.