Dentistry for Kids
We enjoy working with our young patients and know that they have distinct requirements when visiting the dentist. We never try to push children so they end up nervous about the dentist’s office. We wish their visit to to be as enjoyable and comfortable as possible, and for them to establish life-long relationships with the dentist’s office.
At our office in Gladstone MO, we recommend mothers and fathers of young kids to take them along to the parent’s scheduled dental visit so that the child can easily see what goes on at the visit, and become familiar with our team and office.
We also propose that the child’s very first visit be between twenty four months and three years of age. At this age we can easily start to observe 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.
“Happy Smiles” Pre-School Visit
Get your pre-school child comfortable at the dentist’s office with our first time visit. Your child will enjoy a tour of the office, sit in the big dental chair, make faces in the dental mirror, and make the whiz tools whir. We get a lot of satisfaction out of acquainting your child with the basic sights and sounds of a checkup appointment. Our hygienist connects with kids easily; and in an interactive and lively visit, she will show them that going to the dentist can be fun!
Pre-School Orthodontics Dental Checkup
Many parents of young children didn’t have orthodontic work done when they were teenagers. Actually, 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. 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.
Back then, if there wasn’t enough space for all your teeth, the dentist simply pulled some permanent teeth. Of course, upon reflection, we realize that doing so was a disaster in the making.
Only in the last decade or so did we learn about the debilitating long-term health effects of misaligned teeth. 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.
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.
Correct oral hygiene in your own home is very important and really needs to start at a very early age. We take the time to advise mothers and fathers and kids on proper flossing and brushing methods for them to enjoy excellent oral health for life.