It is very important for children to start off their dental health on the right foot. We typically recommend that a child’s first visit to our office be as a bystander when his or her parent or guardian comes in for their cleaning. Coming to a doctor’s office can be intimidating for young children, and it’s nice for a child to be familiarized with the setting and the dentist and dental hygienist before having to be in the chair themselves. They can see that dental cleanings are relaxing and easy.
When they return for their own visit, our hygienists use child-friendly language to describe all of the tools use to make their teeth sparkle and shine. For instance, “Mr. Thirsty” is the suction, “Mr. Wind” is the air, and “Mrs. Tickles” polishes the teeth to make them smooth and shiny.
We love kids and kids love us! We strive to make each pediatric visit fun and easy, and kids love picking out a prize from the treasure chest after their appointment.
Baby Teeth Are Important!
A common misconception is that baby teeth are not important and cavities in these teeth don’t have to be addressed. This is completely untrue. If the cavity gets big enough, the tooth could get infected which can be painful and often leads to premature loss of the tooth.
It’s important to keep the baby teeth until they are naturally exfoliated to allow for eruption of the permanent teeth into the right place. Premature loss of baby teeth can lead to the permanent teeth not coming in as they should, which can increase the likelihood of needing orthodontic treatment to move the teeth into their proper position.
Dental Sealents Keep Kids Teeth Healthy!
One preventive measure besides routine cleanings and check-ups are dental sealants. The biting surface of our back teeth has several pits and grooves that are the most common areas for cavities to form. Sealants are a protective coating that are placed in these deep pits and grooves to prevent plaque and bacteria from collecting and causing tooth decay. Sealants are typically placed on the permanent first and second molars shortly after they come in. The first molars typically come in at age 6, and the second molars typically come in at age 12. Because the first molars are the first permanent teeth to come in, so they will be in the mouth the longest and they are typically the teeth that we find get restored over and over again throughout one’s lifetime. This can eventually lead to root canals, crowns and even tooth loss. If we can protect the tooth as soon as it erupts in the mouth with a sealant, it can prevent a lifetime of dental issues with these teeth.