Scheduling Pediatric Dental appointments for children are important to evaluate the teeth and gums as well as to educate the young patient for a lifetime of dental hygiene. Dr. Glasser talk with you about pediatric dentistry and your child's oral health and hygiene, including teething, fluoride, brushing and flossing, cavities, sealants and orthodontics.
Pediatric Dental Care
During a check-up we will evaluate:
- How many teeth are and should be present
- Loose teeth
- Gum health
- Bite and habit evaluation
- Tongue and speech
- Fluoride use
- Diet and health history
- Home care and prevention
Preventing tooth decay and other dental diseases
Tooth decay doesn't discriminate by age. It can affect adults, teens and even your infant or toddler. As parents, it's our role to set our children on the path of good oral health. Pediatric Dentistry cavity prevention is a vital part of that.
When food remains on the teeth, it is consumed by bacteria that are naturally present in the mouth. These bacteria convert the food into acid, ultimately contributing to the production of plaque, a sticky substance that clings to the teeth. The acids in plaque will harm the enamel of the tooth, creating cavities.
At What Age Should I Begin Bringing My Child in for Pediatric Dentistry?
Children can begin seeing the dentist in infancy! The sooner that you begin bringing your child in for regular dental appointments, the better they may accept this aspect of their overall healthcare. Studies suggest that regular dental care in early childhood reduces instances of dental anxiety. It also empowers children to develop the habits that enable them to enjoy healthier teeth and gums throughout their lifetime. These two reasons alone are highly motivating to schedule dental visits as soon as your child has teeth. During these early visits, the dental team can focus on prevention and education rather than repair.
How to Prepare My Child for Their Pediatric Dentistry Appointment?
There are several ways in which you can help your child feel emotionally prepared for their dental visits. One is for you to approach this aspect of their health and wellness with a positive attitude. Your calm around dental care will rub off on them! Additionally, you can teach your child about dental care through books, videos, and stories. There are several options available, all of which can be found online. At home, you can also "play dentist" with young children. Doing so creates the scene and shows them what it feels like to have someone check their teeth and gums. Finally, ask your child if they have any questions. If they express uncertainty or anxiety, validate their feelings and reassure them that they can talk to their dentist and ask questions about what to expect once they are at the office. When children realize that they have some control over their experience, they tend to feel more confident.
How to Treat Dental Anxiety in Children
Children who have not seen the dentist regularly or who have had a bad dental experience may understandably feel anxious before new appointments. One of the best things you can do to help your child overcome their anxiety around dental care is to choose the right dentist. If you have questions about our practice or about Dr. Glasser, please contact our office directly! We're happy to go at a pace that will help your child get to know us in a way that feels safe and comfortable for them. While steps like stopping by to meet the staff and dentist can help, it is normal for a child to feel anxious at their first, or even subsequent, appointments. Their anxiety can be addressed in several ways, all of which acknowledge their fear as normal. Consider the following as you seek to help your child:
- Allow them to talk about their feelings and ask questions. Always answer honestly, even if the answer is "I don't know."
- Use a calm and reassuring voice when talking to your child about their upcoming visit.
- Remain calm and reassuring on the day of the visit, especially if or when your child expresses apprehension or unwillingness.
- Allow your child to pick a favorite toy or object to comfort them during their visit.
- Bring along entertainment, such as earbuds and your child's favorite music. Listening to music during dental care can drown out sounds that may seem frightening.
- Assure your child that you will be present with them during their visit.
How Often Should My Child See the Dentist?
We love to see all of our patients twice a year. As long as your child maintains good oral health, they should be fine seeing the dentist every six months. Do not wait until your next visit if they develop any signs of decay or other problems. Usually, with twice-a-year checkups and cleanings and good oral care at home, children can avoid unnecessary issues like cavities.
Why Choose Implant & General Dentistry Of Long Island For Your Child's Pediatric Dentistry Needs
Dr. Glasser has practiced dentistry since 1985. He has provided care to multiple generations of families over this time and is driven by a commitment to each patient's best interest. Our practice is designed to meet a wide variety of dental needs using the latest technologies, but always with the utmost personal touch. We are an excellent choice for your child's dental needs because we understand how just about everything about this experience can seem new and scary for a child, and we take every possible measure to create dental visits that feel comfortable and positive. If you have questions about our protocols for pediatric dentistry, please contact our office. We would love to speak with you personally.
How to avoid tooth decay in children
Tooth decay is a serious problem and can ultimately lead to infection, pain and loss of teeth. Here are a few simple steps you can take to prevent tooth decay in your child:
- Never put your baby to sleep with a bottle containing anything except water. Putting your child to sleep with a bottle containing juice or milk is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to early childhood cavities.
- Start to teach brushing habits. Once most of your child's baby teeth are in, it's time to start brushing at least twice a day.
- Supervise independent brushing. As children become familiar with brushing, they often want to do it themselves. This is okay, but until they're at least five, make sure their teeth are indeed clean and that they're not swallowing any toothpaste.
One year "well baby" examination
According to The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should have their first dental visit between the ages of 6 and 12 months. During this well-baby dental exam, we look for early dental issues, talk about proper care of your baby's teeth and start to address your child's fluoride needs.
We will examine your baby for signs of decay and other dental problems. Early detection is key; the earlier your child comes in, the sooner we can catch and address any problems. We also will teach you about the proper care of your baby's teeth. You will be shown how to clean your child's teeth and gums using a soft washcloth.
A child's first pediatric exam is a great time for new parents to ask questions and voice their concerns. We will discuss issues with teething, avoiding cavities, good feeding practices and when to schedule your child's first complete dental exam with X-rays.