Keeping your kids healthy can seem like an overwhelming task. Yearly check-ups, good diet, exercise, minimal screentime, the list goes on and on. One crucial element to keeping your children healthy, however, is to make sure they are seeing a dentist. At Hampden Dental Group, we love providing dental services for children and families. We recommend that a child begins seeing our dentists as young as age one – as this is typically when most infants have a few of their baby teeth.
Increasing Dental Visits
Bringing your child to the dentist as an infant sets up a good habit for overall dental wellness and allows your baby to get comfortable with the dentist from a very young age. Our team can provide tips on caring for your baby’s teeth as they begin to grow and educate you on the best practices for brushing and flossing baby teeth. As your baby grows into a child, there are common dental issues that may arise. From their very first cavity to their first tooth loss – your bi-yearly visit to the dentist may turn into a few more for a few common reasons. . .
Just over 90% of all people in the United States have had at least one cavity in their lifetime. Even the people with the best dental hygiene habits can have pop-up cavities – either due to genetics or diet or some outlier. Your child may fall into that 90% sooner than later, unfortunately. One of the most common dental procedures for children is treating cavities.
If you feel like a bad parent because your child gets a cavity – don’t! Many kids get cavities for a number of reasons that may be out of your control. So, don’t fret over the extra piece of candy you let them have or the day you put them to bed without brushing. Treating cavities is a very common procedure that is simple, quick, and relatively painless.
There are some things you can do to help your child avoid getting more or more frequent cavities, however.
- Help them brush their teeth every morning and night.
- Have them brush after any sugary treats (and limit these for overall health).
- Tell them to drink more water.
- Give them the tools to care for their teeth themselves as this will help them have better dental habits going into adulthood.
Fluoride is an incredibly important, naturally occurring mineral that our teeth need to stay strong and prevent cavities. In fact, in some cities across the country, there is enough fluoride in the water that fluoride toothpaste and treatments are not necessarily needed! In less fortunate areas, however, your kids will need fluoride treatment during their annual visits to the dentist. This is a quick application that takes just a few seconds – and most of the time, your kids won’t even notice it.
Most baby teeth will fall out on their own, but sometimes your child will have other adult teeth that start to crowd the mouth and will require the dentist to extract some baby teeth to make room. While it may sound scary, baby teeth can be extracted easily and our office offers some great relaxation options to help your child feel at ease.
Tooth extraction may also be needed due to a dental emergency such as trauma to the tooth, an infection of the gum line, or severe tooth decay. If your child suffers from any sort of dental emergency, it is important to call our office right away so we can see them the same day.
In some cases, pulp treatment can be recommended to save a baby tooth that has widespread decay that is impacting the nerves and roots. As the decay begins to irritate the nerves under the infected tooth, it can become incredibly painful. Pulp treatment (pulpotomy) is the removal of the infected nerve and treatment of the surrounding nerves to save the tooth and minimize pain.
As mentioned above, many times a child’s adult teeth will begin to grow in before all of the baby teeth have fallen out – or a baby tooth has fallen out too early leaving an open space for a long period of time. When this happens, a space maintainer is placed to allow the adult tooth to grow straight and make space for the rest of the adult teeth to come in eventually.
If needed, the dentist may also recommend various orthodontic options to maintain space for your child’s teeth to grow straight.
We Treat the Whole Family
Our commitment at Hampden Dental Group is to treat the whole family. You may have questions about your child’s dental health and we would love to provide the answers! There are several common procedures that many parents are not aware of that can be a game-changer for children and their teeth. Please schedule an appointment with our excellent team and let us help set your kids up for dental success for life!