We at Smile in Style are focused on oral health for all of our patients. When it comes to children, we take this opportunity to provide care that will lead to outstanding long-term oral and general health.
Our team has the knowledge and expertise to provide your family with dental care and advice that is specific to your needs. We provide helpful tips for teething, guidance on effective at-home oral hygiene, and preventive treatments such as sealants from age 6-8 for first molars. We may also discuss dietary habits that can facilitate excellent oral health as your child grows.
Children have specific needs as they grow from infancy through their primary years and into adolescence. During the different stages of life, the approach to dental care will change based on their unique needs. We tailor our dental care so as to avoid current and future dental problems.
Tooth development in babies actually begins before they are born, as teeth are forming below the gums. It is ideal to begin thinking of oral care long before your child’s first tooth erupts, which could be anywhere from 5 to 12 months of age. Before this time, still-forming teeth can be protected by gently wiping your baby’s gums with a soft, damp cloth after meals. This will remove milk residue. The first teeth to erupt are the bottom teeth at the front. By the age of three, your child will likely have all of his or her primary teeth.
As these early teeth emerge, twice a day brushing can be done with a child’s toothbrush, which has soft bristles and a small head. Until your child is old enough to spit out toothpaste, teeth can be brushed with just water. Once they can spit, a small dab of fluoride toothpaste can be added to the brush. It is important that this toothpaste is effectively rinsed from the mouth in order to avoid fluoride stains.
Forming good habits early creates lifelong oral health. Children can learn to brush their teeth by watching how you brush your teeth. If you have any questions about how to brush and floss properly, or need tips on how to help your child learn these tasks, our knowledgeable hygienists can provide assistance.
Bottle feeding babies is common. Babies on bottles should be fed non fluoridated water as fluoridated tap water is potentially damaging to their health and development in the volumes consumed in relation to their small body sizes. For this reason breast feeding is a safer recommendation. For the health of teeth and gums, however, it is best to complete feeding before bed time. Allowing a child to go to bed with his or her bottle exposes teeth and gums to sugar from the milk, or sugar and citric acid from juice. These substances, when left in the mouth for a prolonged period, can lead to cavities and can even impact permanent teeth.
Healthy teeth are important at every stage of life, even infancy. As your child develops, healthy teeth are necessary for functional chewing, as well as the development of clear speech. We encourage our patients to bring their children in around the time they turn two years old, so that we may assess teeth and gums and evaluate for any signs of dental developmental problems.
We want our patients to feel comfortable when receiving care, especially our youngest patients. If you would like, you may combine your child’s first dental check-up with your own. Seeing you undergo this examination will show your child there is nothing to fear, and it will excite their curiosity leading to more positive outcomes. By starting early, your child will get to know our dental team as he or she visits us regularly for preventative dental care, further enhancing the dental experience.
One of the ways in which we provide Hi Tech care to young patients is with the use of the dental laser for restorations. This tool replaces the drill. It is quiet, and effective. Many patients receive care without needing injections of numbing medication.
Your child’s oral health can be easily maintained with daily home care consisting of brushing and flossing, and regular preventative care appointments every 6 – 12 months. Routine visits allow us to catch any problems early, and treat them conservatively.
Smile in Style is a practice that is dedicated to giving our young patients a positive start to oral health.