Teeth grinding is common in young children. Although infants and toddlers usually outgrow the condition by adolescence, that is not always the case. As a parent, you should look for signs of bruxism throughout your child’s development. If your kids continue to clench their teeth into early adolescence, it is a red flag.The problem at…
How a Kid Friendly Dentist Can Improve Your Child’s Oral Health
A kid friendly dentist sets your child up for a lifetime of good dental health. Parents should make their children’s oral health a top priority from the moment they’re born. A child’s teeth are fully developed in the womb, it just takes some time after they are born for them to erupt.
The American Dental Association recommends taking children in for their first appointment by their first birthday or after their first tooth erupts. Oral hygiene should start from birth, with parents gently wiping their babies’ teeth with a clean, soft, damp cloth. A kid friendly dentist helps to educate parents on ways to take care of their child’s teeth.
Tooth decay is the main reason children need dental care and it is caused by oral bacteria consuming sugars in the mouth and excreting acids that erode teeth. Good oral hygiene is the first step toward safeguarding a child’s oral health.
Ways a kid friendly dentist improves a child’s dental health
Some of the reasons parents should consider taking their children to a child-friendly dentist include:
1. Familiarization with dental treatments
A kid-friendly dentist customizes their clinics to be better suited to treat young patients. This includes little things like painting walls with cartoon characters and other fun graphics to make children feel relaxed and comfortable at the dentist's office. They often also have smaller tools that are better suited for children’s smaller mouths and less intimidating.
Giving children positive experiences at the dentist early on reduces their risk of developing dental phobia as adults. Child-friendly dentists do everything in their power to make children have fun experiences at the clinic so they look forward to future appointments.
2. Early detection of developing issues
Many children do not have the best oral hygiene habits, so taking them to a dentist regularly allows for the early detection of developing issues. Dental decay is the top reason parents seek dental care for their children and it leads to other problems like infection when left untreated.
Tooth decay can be tough to detect in its early stages, but kid-friendly dentists have the experience and tools that make it easier for them to notice the smallest signs of decay. Dental caries can be reversed in their early stages with fluoride treatments, but more severe decay requires fillings or root canals.
Regular appointments with a child-friendly dentist also allow for the early detection of orthodontic issues, which are typically easier to treat when a child’s jaw and facial structures are still developing. Teeth straightening treatments can be addressed as early as age seven.
3. Parents are educated on ways to take care of their child’s mouth
One of the main roles of a children-friendly dentist is to educate parents on ways to properly take care of their children’s teeth. This might include demonstrating proper brushing and flossing techniques or giving parents tips on ways to encourage their children to clean their mouths by themselves.
Encouraging proper oral hygiene is the single most effective thing parents can do to protect their child’s oral health. Children who develop good oral hygiene early on are less likely to need restorative treatments in the future.
Good oral hygiene includes cleaning teeth at least twice a day, not once like many people think. The most important time to clean the mouth is right before going to bed since teeth are most vulnerable during sleep due to reduced saliva secretion.
4. Performs preventative treatments
A kid-friendly dentist also spends a significant amount of time performing preventative treatments to protect their patients’ oral health. Some of the most popular preventative treatments performed on children include:
- Teeth cleaning: This involves using a scaler to remove tartar deposits from teeth. Tartar is calcified plaque, the sticky film that builds up on teeth after meals. It cannot be removed by brushing, giving bacteria a safe base to attack teeth from. Teeth cleanings are performed to remove tartar, protecting patients against tooth decay and gum disease
- Dental sealants: Dental sealants are composite resin barriers that are painted on the biting surfaces of teeth to protect against decay. They are usually recommended for children’s molars since many children are unable to clean them properly. One application of dental sealants protects teeth from decay for as long as three years
- Fluoride treatments: Fluoride treatments involve painting a child’s teeth with a fluoride varnish that is rinsed off later. It protects against decay and can reverse the demineralization stage of tooth decay
Your child’s oral health is our priority
Our kid-friendly dentist can take care of all your child’s needs and protect their long-term dental health. Call or drop by our McLean clinic to set up an appointment.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Kid Friendly Dentist in McLean, VA.
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