Dentistry for Kids
You already know that proper oral care is important for maintaining the health of your mouth. However, did you know that brushing and flossing, are just as important for your child, too? In addition to regular brushing and flossing, your child also requires professional dental care. However, the needs of your child and their developing mouth are different from your own needs. At West End Dental, we can provide the care your child needs to ensure that their mouth develops properly and their smile remains healthy and beautiful.
When Should My Child Have Their First Appointment?
Children should have their very first dental appointment much earlier than most parents think. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be seen six months following the eruption of their first primary tooth, or by their first birthday, whichever one comes first. Even if your child does not have any teeth by their first birthday, they should still be seen.
Regular Cleanings and Exams
Regular cleanings and exams are just as important for your child as they are for you. Moreover, just like you, these cleanings and exams should be done every six months. Cleanings allow us to help your child maintain a clean, healthy mouth and prevent the development of serious oral health issues such as cavities. We can clean all surfaces of their teeth, including those that your child may have difficulty cleaning on their own. With exams, we can see the early stages of oral health issues, before symptoms occur. This allows us to provide prompt treatment to stop the progression of the issue, preventing serious complications later on. Exams also include periodic X-rays, which enable us to monitor the growth of the jaw and the development of the teeth.
Preventative Care with Fluoride and Sealants
While anyone can develop tooth decay and cavities, children tend to be more prone than adults. We can help your child to further prevent cavities with fluoride and sealants. Fluoride treatments involve the use of a fluoride gel. The fluoride absorbs directly into the tooth enamel, strengthening the teeth against acid attacks. Sealants are a treatment that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars, where deep crevices can otherwise trap food particles and bacteria. While both of these treatments help to prevent cavities, they are only effective when combined with good oral hygiene practices.
Early Orthodontic Evaluations
The AAPD recommends that children have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. By this age, all of the primary teeth have come in, and the adult teeth are beginning to develop below. Your child may have already lost one or two baby teeth. An orthodontic evaluation enables us to determine the presence of orthodontic issues as well as predict the likelihood of future issues. With this evaluation, we can then provide your child with the treatment they need before the issue gets worse.
In many cases, early orthodontic treatment can lessen the severity of later treatments. Some children can avoid the need for later treatment altogether.
Mouth Guards for Sports
If your child plays sports, particularly contact sports, you know the importance of good protective gear. Part of this gear should include a good mouth guard. While you can get a mouth guard from just about any sporting goods store, we provide custom mouth guards, made from the highest quality materials. A mouth guard for your child is made from an impression of their mouth, which helps to ensure a proper fit that provides the best protection possible. A good quality mouth guard not only protects their teeth but their intraoral tissues and their jaw as well.
With proper care, your child can maintain a healthy mouth for many years to come. For more information on our dental services for kids and to schedule an appointment for your child, call West End Dental today.