Dentistry for Kids
Oral care is essential for everyone, including your children. Children, just like adults, should be brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. In addition to practicing good oral hygiene at home, your child also requires routine dental care. Their needs, however, are different from your own. At Harmony Dental, we can provide your child with the specialized care that they need with dentistry for kids.
The First Dental Appointment
There is often much confusion surrounding when a child should have their first dental appointment. Children should have their first dental appointment much earlier than most parents think. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child is seen 6 months following the eruption of their very first baby tooth, or by their first birthday, whichever one is first. The first appointment and the next few following are generally very short and are aimed at helping your child get to know us and help them grow accustomed to our office and what we do.
Cleanings and Exams
Like adults, children need to have their teeth regularly cleaned and examined. Even baby teeth require regular care. While temporary, these teeth are an essential part of the mouth. Cleanings are designed to remove buildup and debris from all surfaces of the teeth, including those areas that your child might have trouble cleaning thoroughly on their own. This helps your child to prevent the development of cavities and other oral health issues.
With exams, we can look over the teeth and gums, checking for early warning signs of decay and gum disease, so that we can provide your child with the treatments they need to protect their mouth. X-rays are an important part of the exams, enabling us to cavities between their teeth and issues below the gum line. These images also allow us to monitor the growth and development of the teeth and jaws.
Fluoride Treatment for Kids
A good oral hygiene routine is essential for helping your child to prevent cavities and maintain a healthy mouth. Your child, like you, should brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. However, children often have a harder time brushing and flossing properly. They also may try to avoid brushing and flossing or rush through the motions. This leaves them more vulnerable to the development of tooth decay and cavities. At Harmony Dental, we can help with fluoride treatments. Read More About Fluoride Treatment for Kids
Sealants for Kids
Good oral hygiene is important for everyone, including kids. However, kids have a harder time properly brushing their teeth. They also may try to avoid brushing or rush through the motions to get it done with as soon as possible. This leaves your child more prone to cavities. Some areas of the teeth are more vulnerable than others. One of the most vulnerable areas is the chewing surfaces of the molars. These surfaces have deep grooves and crevices that more easily collect plaque, bacteria, and other food particles, and can be very difficult to clean thoroughly. Harmony Dental can help your child to protect their molars from cavities with sealants. Read More About Dentistry for Kids
Additional Treatments for Preventing Cavities
Children are often more prone to cavities than adults. Fortunately, we can help teach them to more effectively protect their teeth with treatments like fluoride and sealants. Fluoride treatments are applied following dental cleanings. The fluoride absorbs into the enamel, where it goes to work strengthening the teeth to help them more effectively fend off acid attacks from plaque, bacteria, and certain types of foods.
Sealants help to protect the chewing surfaces of their molars. These surfaces have deep grooves that can trap bacteria and food particles, and can be difficult to clean. The sealants seal these crevices, preventing buildup and making the teeth easier to clean. Both of these treatments are only effective when used in conjunction with good brushing and flossing habits at home.
The AAPD recommends that children have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. At this age, the adult teeth have begun to develop below the gums, and some may even be emerging. At this stage, we can often detect a variety of different orthodontic issues in their early stages, before they can cause serious problems. We can also predict the potential for orthodontic issues. With an orthodontic evaluation, we can provide your child with treatment to help lessen the severity of the issue, which can reduce, or even eliminate, the need for orthodontic treatment later in life.
Making Visits a Pleasant Experience
We know that visiting the dentist can be a stressful event for a child. We do our very best to create a calm, comforting, safe environment for your child, which begins as soon as they walk through the front door. As we examine your child, we use a calm, comforting tone and use language they will understand. We show our tools and demonstrate them before using them.
There are things that you can do at home as well to help your child feel more comfortable. Give your child advanced notice about their dental appointment, so they have time to prepare mentally. Read stories about going to the dentist. Playing pretends dentist can also be helpful. These steps will help make the dentist a more familiar concept so that they are less anxious when they come in.
Regular dental visits are important for everyone, including children. With regular care, we can help your child to develop good oral care habits early in life, which will help them to maintain a healthy mouth for life.
Call Harmony Dental at (541) 246-3250 for more information.