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Dentistry for Children

Children offer a unique challenge for parents and dental professionals when educating and maintaining oral health. Teeth begin to erupt around 6 months and yet even when proper dexterity occurs (age of 6) young children and teenagers often lack proper technique and motivation for proper brushing and flossing habits. For this reason it is essential for the parents to be involved as they are the key factor in the oral health of their children. Dental professionals take on a monitoring/educational role and periodic at best. 

Primary Teeth

Primary or baby teeth are important even though they are lost at the age of 6 to 12 years old. They allow the child to develop proper speech habits. They are critical for mastication (eating). They also play a role in personal appearance and contribute to self-esteem.

Parents should know that primary teeth are always whiter and straighter than permanent teeth. Don’t be alarmed if permanent teeth seem yellow or are crowded.

In severe cases primary teeth can indicate the future need for orthodontics. Usually the need for orthodontics is noted once permanent teeth begin to erupt.

Children and Their Dental Visit

Dental care can sometimes feel uncomfortable for adults. This is especially true when it comes to children. It's only natural for children to be afraid of going to the dentist. They don't know what is going on and they are looking to you for guidance. At Meadows Family Dentistry we work with you and your children to make the experience as fun and comfortable possible. Together we will try to turn each dental check up into an activity that they look forward to and will instill good oral health in the future when they are adults. Our team work will help curb cavities, the need for fillings and should leave your child with a beautify adult smile in time.

Children and their Dental Health

Fluoride

Fluoride is important for healthy dentition. Children should use just a pea-size amount on their toothbrush. Parents should help monitor brushing by doing it themselves or evaluating the end result up until around 8 years old. Flouride supplementation can be an option if your water source is not fluoridated.  For teenagers that have a lot of caries (cavities) a prescription fluoride toothpaste could be an option. Please ask us if you have any questions.

Diet

One of the major factors today in children (infant to adolescent) who have significant dental caries (cavities) is diet. Children that regularly drink a lot of milk or juice especially right before bed, are at risk for developing significant dental decay. When candy and soda pop are easily accessible at home , school or work significant dental decay can result for teenagers. Parents should know their children’s diet habits.

Cleaning and Regular Exams

The best way dental professionals can help and monitor the oral health of children is through regular dental cleanings and exams. Every 6 months is sufficient for most children when proper brushing and flossing is carried out consistently at home. Teeth can last a lifetime as long as children learn early good habits.

Orthodontics

Frequently parents ask about the eruption sequence and the need for orthodontics. Sometimes children are delayed in the eruption of teeth however in most cases this is not a concern as long as the eruption follows the proper sequence.

When teeth erupt out of order it may indicate a missing tooth, a blocked erupting tooth or other dental concerns. When noted an orthodontic consult is indicated and proper management of space is considered. Generally orthodontics won't begin until around 12 years of age. The exceptions would be improper eruption patterns, crossbites, significant jaw discrepancies, and even oral habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrusts that manipulate the growth of the upper or lower jaw. If there are any concerns please feel free to call and a quick consult or dental radiographs can resolves questions and concerns.