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Dental health during you child’s early years offers another set of challenges. For most parents, this doesn't come as a big surprise. A dizzying number of changes strike during these formative years, and parents often experience a few frustrations along the way.
But children listen more than we realize, and pestering parents can make a tremendous difference in the dental future of these up and coming young adults. Oral home care habits tend to slide, sometimes to the point of complete neglect. Increased independence may lead to eating and drinking habits that harm oral and overall health. Don't underestimate any encouragement given to help your child avoid the long-term effects of cavities and gum inflammation.
Preventive visits every six months provide us with an opportunity to coach your child and reinforce the efforts you're making with them. Sometimes the rapport we establish in our friendly office setting proves especially effective. Plus we can share problems with them through visual aids while reinforcing any positive efforts you're making together.
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Thumb sucking is a habit that occurs in infants. Children usually give up thumb sucking by the age of four. If the child continues past the age when their permanent teeth start to erupt, they may develop crooked teeth and a malformed roof of their mouth. This results from the frequency, duration, intensity, and position of the digit in the child’s mouth. This can also affect the position of the upper and lower jaw and can also affect speech.
Children’s hands and mouths are different than adults. They need to use toothbrushes designed for children. Both adults and children should use brushes with soft, rounded bristles for gentle cleaning. Change to a new brush about every three months.
The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. You will notice this when your baby is about six to eight months old. Next to follow will be the four upper front teeth and the remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear periodically. They will usually appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2-1/2 years old.
Several specific types of bacteria that live on the teeth cause decay. When sugar is consumed, the bacteria use the sugar and then manufacture acids that dissolve the teeth and cause an infection in the tooth. This infection is called decay.
Most of the time cavities are due to a diet high in sugary foods and a lack of brushing. Limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly, of course, can help. The longer it takes your child to chew their food, the longer the residue stays on their teeth and the greater the chances of getting cavities.
While many people believe periodontal disease is an adult problem, studies indicate that gingivitis (the first stage of periodontal disease) is nearly a universal problem among children and adolescents. Advanced forms of periodontal disease are more rare in children than adults, but can occur.
There is evidence that demonstrates how periodontal disease may increase during adolescence due to lack of motivation to practice oral hygiene. Children who maintain good oral health habits up until the teen years are more likely to continue brushing and flossing than children who were not taught proper oral care.
For years, stainless steel crowns have been, and continue to be, the standard of care for badly decayed primary teeth. Fortunately, with recent advanced in ceramics technology many children now have another option!
Silver Diamine Fluoride is a liquid that can be used to halt the progression of cavities. This is especially helpful in small children who are not mature enough to handle routine restorative care. This liquid takes less than 1 minute to apply with no noise, no drilling, and at the same time it kills the bacteria that cause decay.
Get the answers straight from our pediatric dentist!
We recommend that you make an appointment to see the dentist as soon as your child gets his or her first tooth. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be seen by a dentist six months after their first tooth erupts, or at one year of age, whichever comes first.
The first visit is usually short and simple. In most cases, we focus on getting to know your child and giving you some basic information about dental care. Dr. Kant will check your child’s teeth for placement and health, and will look for any potential problems with the gums and jaw. If necessary, we may do a bit of cleaning. We will also answer any questions you have about how to care for your child’s teeth as they develop, and provide you with materials containing helpful tips that you can refer to at home.
The best preparation for your child’s first visit to our office is maintaining a positive attitude. Children pick up on adults’ apprehensions, and if you make negative comments about trips to the dentist, you can be sure your child will fear an unpleasant experience and act accordingly.
Show your child the pictures of the office and staff on the website. Let your child know that it’s important to keep the teeth and gums healthy, and our office will help him do that. Remember that the doctors are specially trained to handle fears and anxiety, and our staff excels at putting children at ease during treatment.
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