Dentistry for Children
We love working with our young patients and understand that they have distinct requirements when going to the dentist. We try not to push children so that they end up scared of the dentist’s office. We wish their appointment to be as fun and comfortable as it can be, as well as for them to develop life-long relationships with our dentist’s office.
Dr. Platt and Dr. Dale encourages parents of young kids to take them along to the parent’s routine dental appointment so the boy or girl can easily see what goes on at the visit, and become acquainted with our team and office.
We also recommend that the little one’s initial visit be between 24 months and 36 months of age. At this age we can begin to monitor the growth and progression 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.
“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 introducing your child to the basic sights and sounds of a checkup appointment. Our hygienist connects with kids easily; and with her captivating energy, she’ll have them believing that the dentist is way cooler than an X-Box 360… Okay, she can’t really do that…
Bring Your Pre-Schooler In for a Visit About Braces
Most parents of young children didn’t have braces when they were teens. Actually, a lot of them only had orthodontic treatment if their teeth were severely crooked and misaligned. Some parents couldn’t afford braces. However, it was usually because their parents didn’t think that their teeth were misaligned enough for orthodontic treatment, and their dentist didn’t raise the issue unless the parents asked about braces.
In those days, if your teeth were too crowded dentists simply pulled a few adult teeth. Of course, upon reflection, we figured out that doing so was a terrible thing to do.
Only after today’s parents had grown up did we became aware of 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. Now, they concentrate on much more. 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.
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 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.
Proper oral hygiene in your own home is really important and really needs to start at a very young age. We take the time to teach parents and children on proper flossing and brushing methods to allow them to enjoy great oral health for life.