EARLY TREATMENT (DENTAL)
We truly believe that good dental health starts early. Children need to learn the proper way to care for their teeth even at a young age. They need to brush their teeth twice daily and floss at least once daily (though they will probably need help with this).
It is also important for children who are growing to see the dentist regularly. We like to professionally clean their teeth, removing all of the tartar and plaque that may be building up. We then polish them so that they shine. For most children, we also offer a fluoride treatment, which helps their teeth continue to be strong.
During the cleaning we also perform a thorough examination. We want to catch any problems early so that we can start treatment right away. We look for overcrowding, bad bites, and more. Children commonly get cavities, especially if they are not very good at brushing their teeth.
If your child has a problem with overcrowding, bad bites, or anything else, we will start to develop a treatment plan to fix whatever the issue is. The sooner we start to fix the problems, the easier they will be to treat. We may not have to be as aggressive in treating a problem if we begin early, and you should see results fairly quickly.
Once your child has been treated, you may notice that he or she is able to eat and speak better. Though your child might not have told you, he or she might have been in pain, so you may see quite a difference with treatment. Be sure to schedule your child’s dental appointments regularly and work with him or her on practicing good oral care at home to ensure he or she has a healthy mouth right from the start!
DENTAL CARE FOR YOUR BABY
First of all, we want to congratulate you on the birth of your precious baby!
We want to make sure you are ready for his or her first tooth. Below is some information to help you get ready for a lifetime of smiles!
Even before any teeth come in, your baby’s gums need attention to stay healthy. You should clean your baby’s mouth with a damp washcloth after every feeding. This helps get rid of any food particles and start the habit of good oral care.
When the first tooth appears, it is time to start brushing. You can use two types of brushes. One option is a long-handled toothbrush, which will allow you and your child to hold the handle together as you brush his or her teeth. The other brush fits on your finger. No matter which type of brush you choose, always make sure it has soft bristles.
When you first start brushing your child’s teeth, you don’t need to use toothpaste. Just dip the brush in water before brushing. If your child doesn’t like it, you can go back to using a damp cloth. When your child is really teething, you may want to buy a toothbrush with a teether to get him or her used to the toothbrush.
Once your child has a few teeth, it is time to start using toothpaste. You should start with a toothpaste that does not contain fluoride, unless advised otherwise by your dentist. Too much fluoride can be dangerous for young children. You should start with only a minimal amount of toothpaste and teach your child to spit the toothpaste out so that they get into the habit before they start using fluoride toothpaste.
To avoid cavities, you should avoid giving your child sweetened liquids like soda. Even though some drinks do not have as much sugar as soda, even fruit juice, milk, and formula contain some sugar, which can cause decay. It is also important that you don’t put your children to bed with a bottle. The prolonged contact of the sugar on the teeth is just asking for cavities. This problem is so common it has a name: baby-bottle caries.
Your child’s first dentist appointment should be scheduled within six months of the first tooth’s arrival. Since even the youngest children can get decay, it is really important to visit the dentist regularly. During these early visits, we look for any problems and help you get into the habit of practicing good dental care. It is important that you stay positive so that your child enjoys coming to visit us.
DOES YOUR CHILD GRIND HIS OR HER TEETH AT NIGHT?
Teeth grinding is also called bruxism. Though many children grind their teeth occasionally, some grind their teeth on a regular basis. Over time, this can damage your child’s teeth and cause many other dental problems.
Children who grind their teeth usually do so when they are sleeping. Dental problems like an abnormal bite or missing teeth can cause the grinding. Teeth grinding is often seen in patients who suffer from sleep apnea as well. Stress and anxiety can also cause teeth grinding, both during the day and at night.
Since most people grind their teeth at night, they might not even realize they do it. However, waking up often with a headache or a sore jaw may be a sign of bruxism.
Teeth grinding can cause a lot of problems. Your child could loosen his or her teeth to the point of losing them completely. Your child could also break a tooth or several teeth. Chronic grinding will wear your child’s teeth down until there is barely much left of them. Chronic grinding can really hurt your child’s jaw and change the appearance of his or her face.
The easiest way to fix teeth grinding is by wearing a mouthguard at night. However, if the grinding is caused by stress, you will need to find ways to reduce your child’s stress.
Caffeine can make teeth grinding worse, so you may want to cut back on your child’s consumption of soft drinks and chocolate. Avoiding giving your child sweetened liquids like soda and sugary snacks like chocolate will also help prevent cavities.
THUMB, FINGER, AND PACIFIER HABITS
We all know how soothing pacifiers can be for small infants. Pacifiers can comfort them and help them fall asleep. As parents take away the pacifiers, we often see thumb and finger sucking start. This is quite natural but can be harmful to children’s mouths.
Excessive sucking can cause the front teeth to come in crooked. If the sucking continues, your children’s bites may be off. Their jaws and bones may not grow properly and require extensive dental care to fix (if that is even possible).
To help your children stop these habits, you need to be very watchful. Reward them for not sucking their thumbs, especially in stressful situations. If you have a very anxious child, you need to find other ways to help him or her deal with anxiety.
Many parents place their children’s fingers in socks to stop the sucking. In bad cases, a dentist can help. There are mouthpieces that discourage sucking, or we can prescribe a medication to put right on the thumb.