Introduction

Taking your child to the dentist for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience for both of you. But it doesn’t have to be! By following these tips, you can help your child feel comfortable and excited about their first dental visit.

Start talking about the dentist early.

Don’t wait until the appointment day to start talking to your child about the dentist. Explain what the dentist does and why it’s important to see them regularly. You can even read books about going to the dentist together.

Make it a fun experience.

Try to make your child’s first dental visit as fun and positive as possible. Let them choose a special outfit to wear and bring their favorite toy along. You can even role-play going to the dentist at home to help them get used to the idea.

Be prepared.

When you arrive at the dentist’s office, take some time to explore the waiting room and let your child see the dentist’s tools. It will help them feel more comfortable with their surroundings.

Answer your child’s questions.

Be honest and answer all of your child’s questions about the dental visit. Don’t sugarcoat things or try to downplay the experience.

Be patient and supportive.

It’s important to be patient and supportive during your child’s dental visit. Let them know that you’re there for them and that everything will be okay.

Conclusion

Taking your child to the dentist for the first time is an important milestone in their oral health journey. By following the tips in this article, you can help your child have a positive and stress-free experience. Remember to start talking to your child about the dentist early, make the visit fun and positive, be prepared, answer their questions, and be patient and supportive. By following these tips, you can help your child develop a healthy smile and a lifetime of good oral health habits.

Don’t hesitate to contact our office. We are here to help you and your child have a positive experience.

When should I schedule my child’s first trip to the dentist? Should my 3-year-old be flossing? How do I know if my child needs braces?

Many parents have a tough time judging how much dental care their kids need. They know they want to prevent cavities, but they don’t always know the best way to do so. Here are some tips and guidelines.

When Should Kids Start Brushing Their Teeth?

Good dental care begins before a baby’s first tooth appears. Just because you can’t see the teeth doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Teeth begin to form in the second trimester of pregnancy. At birth, your baby has 20 primary teeth, some of which are fully developed in the jaw.

Here’s when and how to care for those little choppers:

Even babies can develop tooth decay if good feeding habits aren’t practiced. Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle might be convenient, but can harm the baby’s teeth. When the sugars from juice or milk remain on a baby’s teeth for hours, they can eat away at the enamel, creating a condition known as bottle mouth. Pocked, pitted, or discolored front teeth are signs of bottle mouth. Kids with severe cases might develop cavities and need all of their front teeth pulled (permanent teeth will grow in later).

Parents and childcare providers should help young kids set specific times for drinking each day because sucking on a bottle throughout the day can be equally damaging to young teeth. Babies as young as 6 months are encouraged to switch from a bottle to a sippy cup (with a straw or hard spout). By 12 months of age, they’ll have the motor skills and coordination to use the cup on their own.

When Should Kids See a Dentist?

The ADA recommends that children see a dentist by their first birthday. At this first visit, the dentist will explain proper brushing and flossing techniques and do a modified exam while your baby sits on your lap.

These visits can help find problems early and help kids get used to visiting the dentist so they’ll have less fear about going as they get older. Consider taking your child to a dentist who specializes in treating kids. Pediatric dentists are trained to handle a wide range of issues associated with kids’ dental health. They also know when to refer you to a different type of specialist, such as an orthodontist to correct an overbite or an oral surgeon for jaw realignment.

If a child seems to be at risk for cavities or other problems, the dentist may start applying topical fluoride even before all teeth come in (this also can be done in the pediatrician’s office). Fluoride hardens the tooth enamel, helping to ward off the most common childhood oral disease — dental cavities (also called dental caries).

How Can We Prevent Cavities?

Cavities happen when bacteria and food left on the teeth after eating are not brushed away. Acid collects on a tooth, softening its enamel until a hole — or cavity — forms.

Here’s how to keep cavities away:

As your child’s permanent teeth grow in, the dentist can help prevent decay by applying a thin wash of resin (called a sealant) to the back teeth, where most chewing is done. This protective coating keeps bacteria from settling in the hard-to-reach crevices of the molars. But make sure that kids know that sealants aren’t a replacement for good brushing and regular flossing.

What Dental Problems Can Happen?

If you are prone to tooth decay or gum disease, your kids might be at higher risk as well. So sometimes even the best brushing and flossing habits can’t prevent a cavity. Be sure to call your dentist if your child complains of tooth pain, which could be a sign of a cavity that needs treatment.

New materials mean pediatric dentists have more filling and repair options than ever. A silver-colored material called amalgam (a special mix of metals) was once the substance of choice for most fillings in permanent teeth. But now, other materials like composite resins are becoming popular. Resins bond to the teeth so the filling won’t pop out, and also can be used to rebuild teeth damaged through injury or conditions like a cleft palate. Because resins are often tooth-colored, they’re considered more attractive.

But in cases of fracture, extensive decay, or malformation of baby teeth, dentists often opt for stainless steel or ceramic crowns. Crowns maintain the tooth while preventing the decay from spreading.

In some rare instances, usually when a more complicated dental procedure is to be done, a dentist will recommend using general anesthesia. Parents should make sure that the professional who gives the medicine is a trained anesthesiologist or oral surgeon before agreeing to the procedure. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist questions.

Regular checkups and good dental hygiene can help prevent the need for this kind of extensive dental work. Also, encourage your kids to use a mouthguard during sports, which can prevent serious dental injuries.

What Is Orthodontia?

As kids get older, their bite and the straightness of their teeth can become an issue. Orthodontic treatment begins earlier now than it used to, and braces have changed too. The embarrassing old gear — a mouth filled with metal wires and braces — is in the past. Kids as young as age 7 now wear corrective appliances, and plastic-based (sometimes clear) materials have replaced metal.

Orthodontists know that manipulation of teeth at a younger age can be easier and more effective in the long run. Younger children’s teeth can be positioned with fairly minor orthodontic devices, preventing major treatment later on.

Looking Ahead

As kids grow, plan on routine dental checkups anywhere from once every 3 months to once a year, depending on your dentist’s recommendations. Keeping sugary foods in check, encouraging regular brushing and flossing, and working with your dentist will lead to good dental health.

source:

kidshealth.org

We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions so get an appointment.

Halloween is sneaking up on us, which means it is the time of year for children to collect bags of free candy and build a stockpile of sweets that will last all winter. We enjoy sweets and celebrating holidays with our family too, but we want to provide some helpful hints to get through the sugary Halloween holiday with the healthiest mouth possible.

Time It Right

Save Halloween candy (and other sugary foods) for after mealtimes. This lets our saliva production (that has increased during the meal) rinse away extra food particles and also cancels out the acids produced by bacteria in your mouth.

Choose Candy Carefully

Most of us are aware that the acidic sugars in sweet snacks can lead to cavities. Parents can help lower the chance of tooth decay by sorting out the candies that are most sticky or slow to dissolve (i.e. licorice, Laffy taffy, suckers) – these types of candy tend to cling to teeth and also cause an acidic oral environment for an extended amount of time. A better example would be chocolate or ones that melt or dissolve easily because they are more readily washed away from teeth by your saliva.

Limit Your Stash

It’s tempting to keep that candy around, but your teeth will thank you if you have a plan to minimize the amount of candy available. One great idea is to have your family pick their favorites and then donate to rest.  Operation Gratitude is one example of a wonderful organization that takes donated candy and then sends it overseas to our troops.

Another quick idea is to put excess chocolate in your freezer, where it will keep for up to six months. This helps prevent having candy out in plain-sight where it is tempting to snack on all day long. This candy grazing habit would keep the oral environment too acidic for too long, and your saliva wouldn’t be able to keep up.

Drink More Water

Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay; if you choose bottled water, look for kinds that are fluoridated. Also, try to minimize sugary beverages consumed throughout the day, this includes sodas, sports drinks, and flavored waters. When teeth are coated by sugary beverages, the risk of tooth decay is increased.

Fight Decay After All The Sweets

Encouraging all these healthy habits for your family after Halloween candy consumption can help ensure dental health. Remind everyone to be extra diligent with their home-care and take extra precautions to fight dental decay during the holidays.

source:

goddardfamilydental.com

We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions so get an appointment.

Some kids can’t wait to get braces. Others are a little worried about what it will be like or how they will look. It can help to learn more about braces, which straighten your teeth and make your smile even better looking.

Tooth Talk

Lots of kids don’t have perfect teeth, so don’t worry if yours aren’t straight. Take a look at most of your classmates. Many of them probably don’t have straight teeth either. Sometimes teeth just don’t grow evenly.

Your teeth might be crooked, or your upper and lower jaws might not be the same size. If your upper jaw is bigger than your lower jaw, that’s called an overbite. If your lower jaw is bigger than your upper jaw, you have an underbite.

Your dentist might notice one of these problems during a regular visit and recommend that you see an orthodontist. This person, who also might be called a braces specialist, can determine whether you need braces.

Types of Braces

If your parents had braces, you may have seen pictures of them with their mouths full of metal. Today, braces are much less noticeable. Metal braces are still used, but you might be able to get clear braces or braces that are the same color as your teeth. There are even braces that go behind your teeth where no one can see them.

The wires that are used in braces today are also smaller and better than they used to be, and they’re made of a space-age material that straightens your teeth faster and easier. The rubber bands that go along with braces come in funky colors now, too. So you could have black and orange ones for Halloween!

How Braces Work

Braces straighten teeth by putting steady pressure on your teeth and by staying in place for a certain amount of time. Most kids just need regular braces with wires and rubber bands doing their jobs to keep pressure on the teeth. The wires on your braces help to move your teeth, and the rubber bands help to correct the alignment, which is the way your teeth line up.

If your teeth need a little extra help, you may have to wear head- or neck gear with wires attached to your teeth. If you do have to wear headgear, don’t panic! You probably will only have to wear it while you sleep or when you’re at home in the evening.

Everyone has to wear braces for different lengths of time, but most people usually wear braces for about 2 years. You’ll want to take special care of your teeth after the braces come off. You may need tow ear a retainer, which is a small, hard piece of plastic with metal wires or a thin piece of plastic shaped like a mouthguard. Retainers make sure your teeth don’t go wandering back to their original places. Your retainer will be specially molded to fit your newly straightened teeth.

After you get your retainer, your orthodontist will tell you when you have to wear it and how long – you might have to wear your retainer all day and all night for 2 years; you might have to wear it at night for 6 months, or you might have to wear it every other night for many years. It just depends on your teeth.

Life With Braces

Braces act like magnets for food, so you need to keep your teeth especially clean while you have them on. You’ll want to brush after meals and be extra careful to get out any food that gets stuck in your braces.

Your orthodontist also may give you a special flosser you can use to floss in and around your braces. When your orthodontist changes your wires, ask if you can do a quick floss (it’ll be easier without the wires).

You won’t have to go on any special diet when you have braces, but you’ll want to avoid some foods that are problems for braces. Stay away from popcorn, hard and sticky candy, and especially gum. Sugary sodas and juices can cause a problem, too, because the sugar stays on your teeth and may cause tooth decay. You can have these drinks, but be sure to brush afterward.

Because braces put pressure on your teeth, you might feel uncomfortable once in a while, especially right after the orthodontist makes adjustments. If you have pain, ask your mom or dad to give you a pain reliever.

If you ever have a loose wire or bracket, or a wire that is poking you, you should see the orthodontist right away to get it taken care of. If your orthodontist can’t find a problem, he or she may give you some soft wax that you can stick on the bracket that’s bothering you. Then it won’t rub against your mouth.

So braces can be inconvenient, but lots of kids have them and the year worth the trouble. When will you know for sure? On the day your braces are removed and you can see your new and improved smile!

 We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions so get an appointment.