Just like their parents, kids require regular trips to the dentist to help keep their smiles healthy! At a young age, it is vital to take a preventive approach towards smile care and teach habits that can last a lifetime. Children receive many of the same procedures to prevent and treat problems like tooth decay and gum disease as adults. In today’s blog, your Lake Orion, MI dentist takes a look at how we provide dental care for children.
A Child’s First Dental Visit
When is it time to introduce your child to the dentist? We suggest bringing them in by their first birthday, or whenever their first baby tooth erupts, whichever occurs first. At this appointment, we will perform a simple lap examination to familiarize your child with their dentist. While we do not perform any special procedures, we will inspect their tooth to make sure it is coming in as expected.
Beginning Regular Examinations
Beginning around their second birthday, we will recommend scheduling dental visits for your child on a semiannual basis. By performing routine examinations, we can inspect the health of your child’s mouth to detect any oral health problems and provide appropriate treatments. Modern technology allows us to create a digital record of their teeth at each visit that charts the growth of their smile. These images can catch tooth decay in the early stages and identify other areas for concern. X-rays help us see when their baby teeth are arriving and falling out at the right times. Similarly, we inspect the arrival and eruption pattern of their adult teeth as they approach adolescence. Because a child’s jaw is more malleable than an adult’s, we take this time to measure if their secondary teeth will properly align with enough space to fit. This can identify if orthodontics should be employed during their teen years. Furthermore, regular examinations with the dentist provide an opportunity for your children to discuss their oral care habits at home. We can discuss areas we see that require more rigorous brushing and let your child ask any questions they have about their technique.
In addition to examinations, we will clean your child’s teeth at each checkup visit. Our professional approach removes bacterial plaque and tartar that your child cannot remove on their own. Regular cleanings help your child prevent cavities and dangerous gum infections that are associated with plaque buildup. Remember to discuss the importance of regular brushing and flossing with your kid to help clean their teeth at home.
When we detect cavities at a child’s checkup visit, we will suggest removing them promptly during the same visit. Modern dental fillings allow us to restore a child’s tooth without placing any metal amalgam material. Using a composite resin, we protect their teeth after removing decay to prevent bacteria from re-entering. To blend in with their natural teeth, we shade their filling to match their smile. For a more serious case of decay, we could also place a metal-free dental crown to restore your child’s tooth completely above their gumline. This can maintain the balance of their bite in addition to restoring a beautiful smile!
Flouride Treatment For Kids
At the end of a child’s visit, we offer additional services with a focus on preventing cavities. With the application of a fluoride treatment, we help strengthen the minerals within a child’s enamel to fight the decay process. While the application is quick, we ask that your child refrains from eating or drinking for a half hour following treatment. Similarly, we suggest selecting fluoride toothpaste at home to help protect their teeth. Brushing twice per day removes sticky film from their teeth while providing an opportunity to boost their enamel health.
Protecting Molars With Dental Sealants
Because children may have difficulty fully reaching their back molars when brushing and flossing, debris from their food and drink can quickly accumulate without regular removal. This can contribute to plaque formation that weakens enamel and causes cavities in between professional visits to fully clean their teeth. To prevent food from getting stuck, we can place dental sealants that create a physical barrier between a kid’s molars and dental plaque. By applying a plastic layer to their back teeth, food and drink will no longer stick to the surface enamel and create a breeding ground for oral bacteria. Sealants can stay in place for many years while gradually wearing away over time. This means they require no special visit for removal. By working on their brushing skills as they grow, your child should be able to properly clean their entire mouth when their sealants are no longer protecting back teeth.
Speak With Your Lake Orion, MI Dentist About Scheduling A Checkup For Your Child
If you would like to learn more about how our team can help protect your child’s smile, contact Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, MI by calling 248-693-6213. We can schedule your child’s next appointment and describe more about the care we offer for kids of all ages.