We enjoy working with our young patients and know that they have distinct needs when going to the dentist. We never try to push young children so they end up scared of the dentist’s office. We’d like for their appointment to be as fun and comfortable as it can be, and for them to build life-long relationships with our dentist’s office.
Dr. Platt and Dr. Dale encourages parents of young children to bring them along to the parent’s routine dental appointment so that the child can see what goes on during the appointment, and become accustomed to our staff members and office.
We also recommend that the child’s initial visit be between twenty four months and 36 months of age. At that age we can start to keep an eye on the growth and progression of their teeth and mouth.
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.
Our advice is that kids as young as 2-3 should see our dentist! Prevention and early intervention can help maintain healthy, happy smiles for a lifetime!
Pre-School Orthodontics Dental Checkup
Many young parents of today didn’t have braces when they were teenagers. Actually, if they saw an orthodontist it was because their teeth were really crowded and crooked. 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.
When today’s parents were young, 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 short-sighted and harmful to the balance of the bite.
Only in the last decade or so did we find out about the vicious circle of pain caused by 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.
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.
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 at home is really important and needs to start at a rather early age. We take the time to advise parents and kids on correct flossing and brushing methods for them to enjoy good dental health for life.