Dentistry for Kids
When should I schedule my child’s first trip to the dentist? Should my 3-year-old be flossing? How do I know if my child needs braces?
Many parents have a tough time judging how much dental care their kids need. They know they want to prevent cavities, but they don’t always know the best way to do so.
When Should Dental Care Start?
Proper dental care begins before a baby’s first tooth appears. Just because you can’t see the teeth doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Teeth actually begin to form in the second trimester of pregnancy. At birth, your baby has 20 primary teeth, some of which are fully developed in the jaw. Running a damp washcloth over a baby’s gums daily will help clear away harmful bacteria
Even babies can develop tooth decay if good feeding habits aren’t practiced. Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle might be convenient, but can harm the baby’s teeth. When the sugars from juice or milk remain on a baby’s teeth for hours, they can eat away at the enamel, creating a condition known as bottle mouth. Pocked, pitted, or discolored front teeth are signs of bottle mouth. Severe cases result in cavities and the need to pull all of the front teeth until the permanent ones grow in.
Parents and childcare providers should help young kids set specific times for drinking each day because sucking on a bottle throughout the day can be equally damaging to young teeth.
If Your Child Has a Problem
If you are prone to tooth decay or gum disease, your kids may be at higher risk as well. Therefore, sometimes even the most diligent brushing and flossing will not prevent a cavity. Be sure to call your dentist if your child complains of tooth pain, which could be a sign of a cavity that needs treatment.
New materials mean dentists have more filling and repair options than ever. Composite resin (white filling) is the substance of choice for fillings in permanent and primary teeth, because they do not cause stress on the teeth like metal fillings. These resins bond to the teeth so the filling won’t pop out and can be used to rebuild teeth damaged through injury or conditions such as cleft palate. Tooth-colored resins are also more attractive. At Water’s Edge Dentistry we use BPA Free composite resin.
But in cases of fracture, extensive decay, or malformation of baby teeth, dentists often opt for stainless steel crowns. Crowns maintain the tooth while preventing the decay from spreading.
Extracting primary teeth may be necessary in circumstances when decay has left very little to no healthy tooth structure behind required to restore a tooth. However, remember that if extract a primary tooth before the permanent tooth has developed it is very important to have a space maintaining device placed by a dentist in order to allow proper development of the arch. Research by the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) shows that children who have their primary teeth extracted before their permanent teeth are fully developed have a much higher rate of developing jaw issues, including TMJ disorders, deformities in the jaw, and extreme teeth crowding/spacing, as a teenager or an adult.
As children develop, their bite and the straightness of their teeth can become an issue. Orthodontic treatment begins earlier now than it used to, but what once was a symbol of preteen embarrassment – a mouth filled with metal wires and braces – is a relic of the past. Kids as young as age 7 now sport corrective appliances, and efficient, plastic-based materials have replaced some old-fashioned metal appliances.
Dentists know that manipulation of teeth at a younger age can be easier and more effective in the long run. Younger children’s teeth can be positioned with relatively minor orthodontia, thus preventing major orthodontic treatment later on.
As kids grow, plan on routine dental checkups anywhere from once every 3 months to once a year, depending on the dentist’s recommendations. Limiting intake of sugary foods and regular brushing and flossing all contribute to a child’s dental health. Your partnership with the dentist will help ensure healthy teeth and a beautiful smile.
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Dental treatment is an excellent investment in an individual’s medical and psychological well-being. Financial considerations should not be an obstacle to obtaining this important health service. Being sensitive to the fact that different people have different needs in fulfilling their financial obligations, we are providing the following payment options.
1203 Two Island Ct #101
Mt Pleasant, SC 29466