Children’s Dentistry Keeps Growing Smiles Healthy
Most dentists will agree that regular dental care should begin by one year of age, with a dental check-up at least twice each consecutive year for most children. Some children may need more frequent evaluations and care. For instance, teenagers lose interest in brushing and need to be reminded of good oral hygiene maintenance and habits, while orthodontic patients need regular cleanings to prevent decalcification.
Facts About Baby Teeth
Proper care of a child’s baby or primary teeth (also known as deciduous teeth) is very important as these teeth hold space for the future eruption of permanent teeth.
If a baby tooth becomes decayed or is removed too early, the space necessary for the permanent teeth is lost and can only be regained through orthodontic treatment.
Infected baby teeth can cause the permanent teeth to develop improperly, resulting in stains, pits, and weaker teeth.
Thumb-Sucking and Dental Health
Generally, thumb-sucking before the age of two is normal and harmless. When thumb-sucking is not stopped by the appropriate age (generally by the age of five), then parents should discourage the act. Prolonged thumb-sucking may contribute to crowded and/or crooked teeth development and bite problems.
Diet and Dental Care for Children
Our dentist recommends the following to ensure your child eats correctly to maintain a healthy body and teeth:
- Ask your pediatric dentist to help you assess your child’s diet.
- Do not routinely stock your pantry with sugary or starchy snacks.
- Buy “fun foods” just for special times.
- Limit the number of snack times; choose nutritious snacks.
- Provide a balanced diet, and save foods with sugar or starch for mealtimes.
- Do not put your young child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice.
- If your child chews gum or sips soda, choose those without sugar.
- Stop using children's toothpaste at age 5 and use adult formulations.
Children’s Dentistry FAQs
Now you know a bit more about baby teeth, thumb-sucking, and diet and dental care for children, which make up the foundation of your little one’s oral health. With that being said, it’s natural to still have questions on your mind. If you’d like to speak with our family dentist in Pepper Pike directly, don’t hesitate to contact our office or request an appointment! On the other hand, if you’d like to do more research before reaching out, then keep reading for the answers to a few frequently asked questions.
When Should I Schedule My Child’s First Visit to the Dentist?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should be brought in for their first visit by their first birthday (or sooner if their first tooth emerges before then). Not only will this ensure that their oral health is in pristine condition, but it will also provide you with a valuable opportunity to speak with our team about any questions you have pertaining to your child’s teeth and gums, like how to handle thumb-sucking, when to begin using toothpaste, etc.
What Happens During My Child’s First Visit?
Your child’s first visit with our team is centered around getting to know you and your little one. Our dentist near you will gather some basic information about dental care, conduct a dental exam, and perform a gentle cleaning. If any potential problems are detected, then we will discuss them with you. Otherwise, we will answer any questions you have and provide you with best practices on caring for your child’s smile until their next appointment.
How Can I Prepare My Child for Their First Dental Appointment?
The last thing you want is for your child to develop dental-related anxiety, causing them to dread their biannual appointments. Fortunately, the below best practices can help set them up for a positive experience:
- Avoid negative words, like pain, needle, and scared.
- Introduce the concept of “going to the dentist” through picture books and fun videos.
- Buy toy dental tools and have them practice saying “ahh…” (You can let them do it to you as well or perform a dental checkup on their doll).
- Talk to them about the importance of taking good care of their teeth and gums, and that the dentist will help them do that.
How Much Does My Child’s Dental Appointment Cost?
Is your child coming in for a routine cleaning or sealants? Do they have dental insurance benefits? Are they getting X-rays? The answer to each of these questions will determine the cost of their appointment. Don’t worry – we go above and beyond to ensure there are no surprises. If your child is under your dental plan, we will handle filing the claim and maximizing your benefits. If there isn’t any coverage available, then you can take advantage of affordable financing.
Have more questions? Don’t hesitate to contact our team! Whether you want to learn more about a specific service or would like to schedule an appointment, our fantastic staff is here to help!