We love working with all of our young patients and understand that they have distinct requirements when seeing the dentist. We try not to push young children so they end up scared of the dentist’s office. We want for their appointment to be as enjoyable and comfortable as it can be, and for them to develop life-long relationships with the dentist’s office.
Dr. Platt and Dr. Dale encourages mothers and fathers of young kids to take them along to the parent’s routine dental appointment so that the little one can see how things go during the visit, and become familiar with our team and office.
We also propose that your child’s initial visit be between 24 months and 3 years of age. At this age we can begin to keep track of 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.
“Big Grins” Pre-School Visit
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 enjoy introducing your child to the basic sights and sounds of a checkup appointment. Our hygienist is absolutely wonderful with children; and through her charisma and humor, she’ll have them believing that the dentist is way cooler than an X-Box 360… Okay, she can’t really do that…
BRACES? In Pre-School?
Most parents of young children didn’t have braces when they were teens. Truth is, if they wore braces it was because 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.
When today’s parents were young, if there wasn’t enough space for all your teeth, the dentist made space by pulling permanent teeth. Of course, upon reflection, we now know that doing so was one of the worst things that could be done.
Just within the last ten to fifteen years did we became aware of the vicious circle of pain caused by 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.
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 home is very important and really needs to begin at a rather young age. We take the time to teach mothers and fathers and kids on correct flossing and brushing methods to enable them to enjoy excellent oral health for a lifetime