Dentistry for Children
We love working with our young patients and realize that they have unique needs when seeing the dentist. We never try to push kids so they find themselves afraid of the dentist’s office. We’d like for their appointment 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 really encourage moms and dads of young children to take them along to the parent’s routine dental appointment so that the child can easily see what happens at the visit, and become accustomed to our staff and office.
We also recommend that your little one’s first visit be between 24 months and 3 years of age. At that age we can begin to monitor the growth and development of their mouth and 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.
“Smiling Child” Pre-School Appointment
Our pre-school, gentle-dental visit will make your child excited to see the dentist. Your child will get acquainted with Dr. Platt, Dr. Dale and the team. We get a lot of satisfaction out of acquainting your child with the basic sights and sounds of a checkup appointment. Our children’s hygienist is absolutely wonderful with children; and with her captivating energy, she’ll prove to them that going to the dentist is a truckload of fun.
Pre-School Orthodontics Dental Checkup
Many parents of young children didn’t wear braces when they were teens. In fact, the reason any kid back then had braces was because their teeth were severely crooked and misaligned. Some families didn’t have enough money for braces. In most cases it was because the child’s teeth looked pretty normal compared to other kids, and their dentist didn’t bring it up unless the parents asked about braces.
In those days, if there wasn’t enough space for all the teeth, the dentist simply pulled some permanent 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 find out about the debilitating long-term health effects of malocclusion (a mismatched bite). Orthodontic dentistry isn’t just for making a teenager’s teeth look straight and pretty anymore. 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.
Dr. Platt and Dr. Dale have 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. They can help you choose the best orthodontist that meets the needs and temperament of your child.
Cavities Went Away in the 70’s… Didn’t They?
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 ’60s 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.
Correct oral hygiene in your home is very important and needs to start at a rather young age. We take the time to teach moms and dads and children on correct brushing and flossing methods for them to enjoy good dental health for a lifetime