Is there anything more precious than the smiles of our children?
As a dentist, I have a particular appreciation of the health and appearance advantages that children have with good oral habits and regular dental care. Yet, as a Mom, I know how fabulously wonderful those smiles make us, as parents, feel!
As I’ve watched my two boys grow from babies to adolescents, I’ve come to have an even deeper appreciation for the smiles they give and how easily their smiles inspire the same from others. As with every member of our team, your child’s smile is as important to us as it is to you. This is why we offer a complete care environment to tend to every stage of growing smiles.
Here are some tips to help your child be committed to his/her oral hygiene at home, look forward to their dental checkups, and know their growing smile’s needs are in good hands!
FIRST VISITS: Within six months of when your child’s first tooth appears, it is beneficial to begin dental checkups. During this time, we can help you properly care for your infant’s or toddler’s mouth. We will also advise you on the:
•Use of fluoride
•Dealing with pacifier use or thumb sucking
•Avoiding accidents that could damage the face and teeth
•Preparation for teething
•Guidance on diet for better oral health
TOTS & PRESCHOOLERS: It’s important to remember that “baby” teeth play a valuable part in a child’s speech, self-image, and how permanent teeth will emerge. Pre-school aged children are susceptible to cavities, with many cavities occurring as early as age 2. With proper measures, your child can avoid developing cavities.
As your child grows, YOU are one of the biggest influencers when it comes to your child’s commitment to a healthy smile. We advise brushing your teeth together, devoting 2 minutes twice a day to proper brushing techniques. This will help your child pattern your own commitment to a lifetime of healthy smiles!
Too, speak positively about their upcoming dental checkups. Rather than say “We have to go to the dentist,” say “We get to go to the dentist!” We strive to make every child feel special during their dental visits. We offer a special play corner in our reception area as well as provide fun, take-home items when their visit is complete. Those always bring a smile!
GROWING SMILES: During each phase of your child’s development, we support their growing needs. Particular features include:
– Sealants: This material is applied to penetrate the grooves and pits of a tooth’s chewing surface. This provides added protection in avoiding cavities, particularly for back teeth where it’s more difficult for a toothbrush to reach and clean sufficiently.
– Mouthguards: While many parents want mouth guards for their children who play contact sports, keep in mind that mishaps can also occur during biking, swimming, tennis, etc. A custom-fitted mouth guard is an inexpensive way to prevent or greatly lessen the potential for tooth breaks, chipped teeth, knocked out teeth, and even jaw fractures and concussions. (See article in Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140501101133.htm) Although the boil-&-bite versions help, children tend to be more compliant in wearing mouth guards when the fit is custom and not as bulky.
– Braces (Tooth Realignment): When “adult” teeth begin to emerge in still-growing mouths, it may appear more jam-packed than is actually the case. The developing jaw typically tolerates these permanent teeth with sufficient alignment. However, some emerging teeth may come in misaligned, causing a domino effect for other existing or emerging teeth. Misaligned teeth can lead to a long list of problems that go far beyond appearance. Headaches, migraines, clenching/grinding, ear ringing, dizziness, and other problems can occur when the bite doesn’t fit properly. Our orthodontic specialist. Dr. Delgado, can provide a complimentary exam to determine your child’s risk for these problems. If they exist, she can provide traditional braces or Invisalign Teen (which eliminates the brackets and wires that make wearing braces a challenge for some adolescents).
– Extractions, Crowns, Fillings, Etc.: Although we strive to provide support that helps your children avoid the need for repairs to their smiles, we also know that most children require a repair here or there as they grow. They may develop a cavity, need a tooth crowned to protect it from loss, or need an extraction. With all patients, we are very proud of our reputation for a gentle touch and providing optimal comfort, regardless of the procedure. Please assure your child, should such a need occur, that they are in good hands. Just as we would want for our own children, we want your child to know they will be kept comfy throughout their procedure.
– Wisdom Teeth Extractions: When children are at ease in a dental office, it can be comforting (to the parents as well as the child) to provide all procedures rather than referring them to another office for certain needs. Because wisdom teeth can lead to the crowding of teeth and are not necessary for proper chewing, many parents opt to have them removed from growing mouths before problems begin. We are fortunate to have an on-staff oral surgeon for these needs who also provides both oral and I.V. sedation for the added comfort of your child. Rest assured that we make safety a high priority at all times. Any patient undergoing sedation is closely monitored by a trained staff member and advanced safety equipment throughout care.
Having a healthy, confident smile is not only an advantage to appearance. Research has shown that good oral health is a strong element of having good overall health. Like you, we want your child to enjoy all the advantages that a healthy, happy smile provides.
Consider beginning with a consultation that allows your child to see our office prior to their first visit. This will also help them get to know the friendly, caring faces that will hopefully be a part of their smiles for a lifetime!
Call 586-739-2155 to schedule.