As long as you have teeth, you need dental care. This includes kids with their first set of teeth.
Pediatric dentistry is really just dentistry for children. However, having a dental professional who is familiar with treating young children is an invaluable tool for helping jumpstart lifelong habits of good tooth and mouth health.
The dental professionals at Devaney Dentistry Oak Ridge have the expertise to treat people of all ages, including your little ones! Here are the highlights of pediatric dentistry.
Creating that positive (and sometimes fun!) kid-friendly dental environment
It goes with saying (but we should say it anyway): going to the dentist should be as comfortable as possible. Devaney Dental Oak Ridge is committed to making a trip to the dentist as positive as possible for patients of all ages. In many ways dealing with children is similar to adults–each has varying dispositions and levels of anxiety about going to the dentist to receive proper care.
Children are unique in that they are at the age when habits are being developed, and we want to help them make positive habits! To do this, we create a kid-friendly environment that eases them into why dental health is important in a fun and educational manner.
It is important that start early when it comes to the dental health of children. Oral hygiene habits formed as small children will continue into later childhood, the teenage years, and beyond! Devaney Oak Ridge has plenty of experience treating the entire family to get these habits formed early in a caring, comfortable environment!
Pediatric Dentistry: What we pay attention to?
General dental health is important for people of all ages. Dentists want to ensure that the current health of children’s teeth is positive. Beyond that, particular age-appropriate treatments are especially important in pediatric dentistry.
The mouth region of infants is very fragile. The gums are fleshy and begin to get sensitive as teeth break through around the 6-month mark. As the teeth are emerging, the health of the mouth is very important to monitor. Children under the age of 5 are at risk for what is called early childhood caries (ECC) which is characterized by missing, damaged, and decayed teeth (and gums). ECC is one of the most common childhood diseases and it is almost completely preventable. The risk factors are a mix of things such as cleaning habits, microbial health, and lack of dental care. With this said, it is very important to make sure that your small children are getting seen by dentists regularly!
Beyond ECC, children should visit the dentist to protect them from issues like cavities, jaw and tooth structure, and disease assessment.
Cavities are a high risk in children due to genetics and dietary choices. Kids are drawn to sweets (candies, sodas, etc.) which can exacerbate the risk of cavities. A dentist can help prevent such cavities and fix them when they do arise. Jaw and tooth structure development is so important in pediatric dental care. The way your primary teeth are positioned can affect where and how your permanent teeth will grow in. Monitoring this development will aid in catching issues soon so that they can be fixed. Lastly, the mouth is often an indication site of many diseases such as diabetes, asthma, heart defects, hay fever, etc. Taking your children to the dentist regularly will allow professionals to spot the signs of disease sooner rather than later and jumpstart treatments.
As you can see, monitoring and managing the tooth and gum health of children’s teeth is essential, especially for preventative care. Pediatric dentistry at Devaney Dentistry Oak Ridge will help your children start a lifetime with healthy teeth!
Protecting your children’s teeth at home
Tooth health starts at home for people of all ages. Children just need a little more help.
When your kids are infants without teeth, try to keep their gums wiped of food to keep bacteria growth down. You can wipe the gums with a clean, soft cloth. When the teeth come in, brush them twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush. As your child gets closer to their first birthday, start to think about getting them to a dentist. Regular checkups will ensure that any problems are spotted soon and treated.
When more and more teeth come in, brushing will become more and more important. As your child ages, you can start allowing them to brush their teeth as you watch closely. You must make sure they use enough toothpaste. Equally important is that you make sure to watch them spit the toothpaste out. Toothpastes are sweetly flavored which can be confusing to children without developing the habit of spitting it out.
Regular brushing of teeth and dentist appointments are the most important oral hygiene habits that you can help develop in your children. Devaney Dentistry Oak Ridge can help make building healthy dental habits in your children easier. We specialize in dental care for the entire family, whether it’s the newest one-year-old or the grandparents–we help the entire family! Reach out today to schedule an appointment to see how we can help your children.