Pediatric Dentistry | When it comes to habits, those formed at an early age tend to be the most long-lasting. Encouraging your children to visit their dentist and form proper oral care habits is a gift that will last for the rest of their lives. Everything from proper toothbrushing technique to undergoing regular dental exam and cleaning appointments pays off in the long run.
Familiarizing Your Child With the Dentist Office
Let’s face it. Medical settings can be very strange for kids. Everything is different. New sights, sounds and smells. That’s why it’s often helpful to have your child visit the dentist office before undergoing any type of treatment or procedure. Let them get to know the dental staff and see that this is a friendly and comfortable environment for everyone involved.
After this initial exposure, you can take your child to their first dental appointment. Familiarization helps here also. For example, before their initial appointment, you could do a bit of role-playing with them. Swap roles between dentist and patient. Educate your child about what to expect at this appointment so that there is less anxiety surrounding it.
Dental Exams and Cleanings
The critical part of pediatric dentistry is getting your child comfortable with regular dental exam and cleaning appointments. As soon as they get their first tooth, tooth decay becomes possible. That’s why it’s critically important that you take them to the dentist at the frequency recommended so that they can prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Dental exams usually go by fairly quickly. Your child’s dental team will be examining their teeth, mouth, and gums, looking for any signs of trouble. If everything checks out, they’ll proceed with the cleaning part of the appointment. Otherwise, the dentist would need to pay them a visit to see if any treatments are needed.
Plaque is the enemy of your child’s teeth and gums. Even if they are practicing proper oral care at home, they could still miss a spot or two, allowing plaque safe harbor. So during a dental cleaning, their dental hygienist will carefully scrape away all plaque from their teeth and around their gums to help prevent gum disease.
Pediatric Dental Sealants
Sealants are often recommended for children to help prevent tooth decay, particularly for those back molars that can be hard to reach and clean.
Placing pediatric dental sealants couldn’t be easier and does not involve any:
- Shots or drilling
- Lengthy appointments
- Great expense
The benefit of dental sealants is that they prevent up to 80% of tooth decay among children.
To apply a sealant, your dentist will “paint” a thin liquid onto the surface of your child’s back teeth. This liquid will harden and provide a protective shield against oral bacteria and tooth decay.
Your Child’s Next Appointment
Forming good oral care habits is very important for young children. If you’ve been putting off their next dental exam or cleaning appointment, or need more information about pediatric dentistry procedures, please contact us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation.