Dentistry for Children
We enjoy working with all of our young patients and understand that they have unique needs when visiting the dentist. We never try to push young children so that they end up scared of the dentist’s office. We want for their visit to to be as enjoyable and comfortable as possible, and for them to build life-long relationships with the dentist’s office.
At our office in Gladstone MO, we encourage moms and dads of small children to bring them along to the parent’s scheduled dental appointment so that the little one can easily see what goes on at the appointment, and become acquainted with our team and office.
We also advise that your little one’s very first visit be between 24 months and 36 months of age. At that age we will start to observe the growth and development of their teeth.
When New Teeth Arrive:
Your child’s first tooth erupts between ages 6-12 months and the remainder of their 20 primary or “baby” teeth typically erupt by age 3. During this time, gums may feel tender and sore, causing your child to feel irritable. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring.
Your child’s primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood, and their permanent teeth begin erupting at age 6 and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth, or 32 including wisdom teeth.
“Big Grins” Pre-School Visit
Our pre-school, gentle-dental visit will make your child excited to see the dentist. Your child will enjoy a fun-filled hour with the dentist and our staff. We enjoy welcoming your child to the basic sights and sounds of a checkup appointment. Our children’s hygienist is absolutely wonderful with children; and in an interactive and lively visit, she’ll prove to them that going to the dentist is a truckload of fun.
Bring Your Pre-Schooler In for a Visit About Braces
The majority of young parents of today didn’t wear braces when they were teens. In fact, if they saw an orthodontist it was because their teeth were really crowded and crooked. Sometimes this had to do with the cost of orthodontic treatment. But, most of the time it was because parents didn’t recognize that a child’s teeth were bad, and their dentist didn’t raise the issue unless the parents asked about braces.
In those days, if there wasn’t enough space for all your teeth, dentists simply pulled a few adult teeth. Of course, today, we realize that doing so was short-sighted and harmful to the balance of the bite.
Just within the last ten to fifteen years did we became aware of the chronic oral health consequences of misaligned teeth. Orthodontic dentistry is no longer just for good looks. There is much more than that to worry about. Misalignment and malocclusion can bring on chronic headaches and full-blown migraines. A misaligned bite can cause ringing in the ears and vertigo (dizziness). Completely healthy teeth can start to chip and wear away, producing a ragged-edged smile.
Worst of all, malocclusion usually isn’t something a parent can just “see”. It lurks in the background continuously exerting strain and pressure on the jaw joint, the teeth and the chewing muscles. Then, one day, your ace student can’t take the English test because of a migraine. Or, he can’t hit jump shots anymore because he has developed vertigo.
There are some real benefits in starting orthodontic treatment when children are much younger. The children usually don’t have to wear braces for a long period of time during those awkward teenage years. It is also much easier to expand the palate and allow room for all of the adult teeth to have the proper space to come in. In most of those cases, young children will not get braces, however they will have their palates expanded by an appliance. This will make their arches wider. It allows space in the mouth for all of the child’s adult teeth to properly grow.
Our dental practice has developed relationships with some excellent orthodontists in the area and can refer you and your child to an orthodontist if an exam reveals crowded or crooked teeth, or issues with the palate. We can help you choose the best orthodontist that meets the needs and temperament of your child.
Didn’t Fluoride Eradicate Cavities in the 60’s?
Scientists in the 1960’s found that fluoride helped build a stronger defense against the teeth’s enemies like bacteria and acids and sweets. And, yes, when fluoride was added to a city’s drinking water, the incidence of cavities dropped sharply. It was even predicted at one time that there would come a time when we wouldn’t need dentists anymore.
However, even the scientists of the 60’s couldn’t predict the development of Mountain Dew, Power Aid Energy Drinks and Gummy Worms. There is no way they could have foreseen that the average teenager would now eat their own weight in refined sugar every year. And, finally, even those scientists with a dark pessimistic vision of the 21st century, couldn’t imagine the power that high-fructose corn syrup would wield against fluoride, regular toothpaste and even daily flossing.
Tips For Your Family’s Oral Health:
• Limit frequency of meals and snacks.
• Encourage brushing, flossing and rinsing.
• Watch what your child drinks.
• Avoid giving your child sticky foods.
• Make treats part of meals.
• Choose nutritious snacks.
Good oral hygiene in your home is very important and really needs to start at a very early age. We take the time to instruct moms and dads and kids on good flossing and brushing methods for them to enjoy good dental health for life.