When it comes to your child’s oral health, prevention is key. Encouraging your children to cooperate with their pediatric dentists helps them secure a healthier smile for many years to come.
Besides practicing good oral hygiene and eating a balanced diet, preventing future dental issues starts with regular dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays. For further treatments, sealants and fluorides also protect teeth from harmful bacteria.
The benefits of beginning dental cleaning at an early age cannot be overlooked. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should visit the pediatric dentist when their first tooth grows in or by their first birthday. This age is perfect to start teaching children about proper brushing, nutrition, feeding, and other dental habits. Prevention is the best way to maintain a child’s oral health. Our pediatric dentist recommends taking precautions even before the first tooth erupts.
The pediatric dentist sets the stage for your child’s dental health, possibly for the rest of their life! The first visit is when your child is introduced to the dentist and dental hygiene. If the child is uncomfortable, stressed, or crying, the dentist will have a hard time operating. Left uncorrected, this behavior and mentality toward the dentist could negatively affect a child’s dental health.
An effective pediatric dentist will help the child feel at home when they visit the dental office. One way to reduce dental anxiety is to introduce the child to the pediatric dental chair, the doctor, the staff, and the instruments that are to be used. If your child has never been to the dentist’s before, you’re welcome to bring them in to look around and get used to the environment.
Not all general dentists understand how to communicate with young children. To avoid tantrums and tears, take your child to a pediatric dentist who is trained to work specifically with children.
Professional prophylaxis, or teeth cleaning, is strongly encouraged for many reasons. During those early dental appointments, children and their parents will be instructed on the proper oral hygiene techniques that are appropriate for the child’s age. In addition to that, regularly removing plaque, stain, and calculus build up from oral cavity helps maintain the health of the mouth.
And most importantly, good habits start early. Introducing dental procedures to a young child helps them feel more comfortable in the dentist’s office when they are older.
Fluoride helps strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. Drinking fluoridated water and brushing with fluoridated toothpaste on daily basis is one of the most effective ways to reduce dental caries in children.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends brushing teeth with appropriate amounts of fluoride toothpaste twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush. The recommended amount of fluoride is based on the child’s age. For children under age of three, no more than smear or size of a rice and for children from age three to six, a pea-sized amount is sufficient, but no more than that.
Pit and fissure sealant is when a material placed into the pits and fissures of the tooth that bonds to the tooth preventing cavity-causing bacteria accessing their source of nutrients. As a result it can help prevent cavities along the line, especially on permanent molars. A dental sealant is ideal for children and is quick and painless when applied.
If it becomes necessary for your child to have a tooth filled, we will make sure that we take every precaution to make them feel safe and secure during this procedure. Cavities can spread easily, so it is necessary to have fillings since your child will not start losing primary teeth until around the age of 6.
Even though children eventually lose their baby teeth, it’s important to get cavities filled because cavities can be painful and dangerous. A cavity left untreated could result in infection, decay, gum disease, more cavities, cracked teeth, or worse. Having healthy baby teeth and gums is important for the growth and development of adult teeth.
Sometimes your child might lose a primary tooth before he or she is supposed to. In the event that this happens, a space maintainer may be necessary in order to ensure proper growth and placement of surrounding teeth. A space maintainer is custom-made by a dental professional and can be metal or acrylic, fixed or removable; it all depends on each individual case. We can discuss all available options with you to determine what works best for your child.
For more information on the pediatric services offered by New Generation Dentistry in Mission Viejo, schedule a consultation with us today.