When your child is growing up fast, you want to do everything you can to ensure their health is keeping up. Feeding them a balanced diet and helping them stay active are key tenets of any healthy growing child. However, oral health is often forgotten, even for our kids. This is especially problematic because children are more susceptible to dental disease than adults, particularly cavities.
At TrueCare Dentistry, Dr. Dhaval Rana and his team do everything they can to make your child’s dental care experience a comfortable one. Get started caring for their developing mouths today by contacting our office and scheduling an appointment!
According to the American Dental Association, children should have their first dental visit six months after their first tooth erupts and no later than their first birthday. While it’s likely that their first tooth will have erupted by then, you don’t want to put off their first visit just because it hasn’t yet.
The reason visits need to start this early is because once a tooth erupts, it’s susceptible to decay. Many parents don’t realize that baby teeth are essential to oral development. If the tooth becomes decayed and falls out prematurely, their permanent teeth could erupt too soon and cause issues with neighboring teeth, although this is more of an issue once they already have multiple baby teeth.
You and your child can relax when it comes to their initial visit. Unlike future visits which will include a more substantial treatment (such as cleanings), the initial treatment is meant to make your child as comfortable as possible. Making a good first impression is incredibly important, especially for young children.
During the visit, Dr. Rana will take a brief look inside your child’s mouth. You’ll be able to hold your child on your lap during the exam so they remain comfortable. The rest of the visit is meant to provide you important information not just on future preventive care at the office, but oral care at home.
As your child ages, they’ll be able to benefit from treatments designed to protect their developing mouths. Two of the most common treatments include dental sealants and fluoride varnishes.
Dental sealants are a great way to protect your child’s teeth as they practice their oral care. Sealants are made up of composite resin, a mixture of glass and plastic that can be thinly applied to the surface of teeth. They create a clear barrier between teeth and the rest of the mouth and are particularly ideal for protecting molars. Since molars have very deep pits for food to get caught in, they are more susceptible to decay than neighboring teeth.
Fluoride is an essential mineral for protecting and strengthening teeth, especially in children. While fluoride is found in many substances, from the foods we eat to the tap water we drink, it’s also found in all dental offices. Dr. Rana recommends all children get a fluoride varnish at least once a year to make teeth strong and provide additional protection from tooth decay.
Oral care will need to change as your child develops, but it’s still a relatively simple process. For children three years of age and younger, we recommend:
Once they are three to six years of age, we recommend: