We love working with all of our young patients and understand that they have different requirements when going to the dentist. We never try to push young children so that they find themselves nervous about the dentist’s office. We’d like for their visit to to be as fun and comfortable as it can be, and for them to build life-long relationships with the dentist’s office.
Dr. Platt and Dr. Dale encourages parents of young kids to take them along to the parent’s scheduled dental appointment so the little one can see what happens during the appointment, and become familiar with our staff members and office.
We also recommend that the little one’s first visit be in between 24 months and 36 months of age. At that age we can easily begin to keep an eye on 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.
At our office in Gladstone MO, we think that it’s never too early to take care of your child’s teeth – even when they’re toddlers! Prevention and early intervention can help maintain healthy, happy smiles for a lifetime!
Pre-School Orthodontics Dental Checkup
A lot of young parents of today didn’t have braces when they were teens. Actually, if they saw an orthodontist it was because their teeth were severely crooked and misaligned. Braces were too expensive for some families. But, most of the time it was because parents didn’t recognize that a child’s teeth were bad, and their dentist didn’t bring it up unless the parents asked about braces.
Back then, if there wasn’t enough space for all your teeth, the dentist made space by pulling permanent teeth. Of course, now, we discovered that doing so was one of the worst things that could be done.
Only in the last decade or so did we learn about the debilitating long-term health effects of an unbalanced bite. 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.
Dr. Platt and Dr. Dale 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.
Why Do Kids Still Get Cavities?
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.
Ideal dental hygiene in your own home is extremely important and really needs to begin at a very early age. We take the time to teach parents and kids on good brushing and flossing techniques for them to enjoy great oral health for life.