Children's dental care is an important and necessary part of their lives. A bad experience can have residual effects which can remain for long into adulthood. On the other hand, a positive experience will help develop your child into a patient who is comfortable with dental care and easy to treat when problems occur.
We have found the best way to introduce children to our practice is to bring them along when you or an older sibling has a dental cleaning. The young child gets to see their "role model" in the dental chair and get some hands on experience with all of the "fun toys" we use. Usually, within 1 to 2 visits the child jumps into the chair and becomes part of the practice.
Our office is kid friendly. All of our hygienists have young children of their own and they understand first hand how "little people" work.
Although every child is different we like to begin seeing them between 2 1/2 - 3 years of age. We found the best way to introduce children to our practice is to bring them along when you or an older sibling has a dental cleaning.
With the use of our high resolution cameras, x-rays are not always necessary. However, most of the caries (cavities) we find are in between the teeth.The only way we can find the caries is through the use of x-rays. Remember, the enamel on primary (baby) teeth is fairly thin and dental decay progresses rapidly once it's through the enamel.
We recommend you bring your child in every 6 months. Making your child comfortable and familiar with the dental practice is essential. We recommend every 6 months for a couple of reasons:
First, children have short memories, 6 months to a 3 year old is 1/6 of their life and they may forget what occurs at a dental appointment in between visits. Their positive experience may be forgotten in just a few weeks.
Second, baby teeth have thin enamel and large nerves. Caries (decay) proceed quickly and lead to problems if not addressed at an early stage.
All 20 primary teeth are usually in by the age of 2-2 1/2. Children usually lose the front teeth around age 6-7. The primary molars and cuspids need to stay until around the age of 12.
Early loss of primary teeth affect your child's speech, self confidence and can lead to crowding and unnecessary orthodontic intervention.
Bottle mouth is a serious and painful condition caused when small children are given a bottle with juice or other sweet liquids.
The constant "bathing" of the tooth with these liquids causes the tooth to rapidly decay and abscess. Try to wean your child off the bottle as soon as possible. Using only water in the bottle is a good way to begin.