DEDICATED, COMPASSIONATE CARE FOR YOUR YOUNGEST FAMILY MEMBERS
You love seeing your little one smile — and you want to do everything you can to help protect those teeth as they grow. Did you know that childhood is the time we are at greatest risk of developing cavities? Pediatric dentistry in New Orleans can help protect your little one’s vulnerable smile from problems like tooth decay. Below, learn more about how we care for growing teeth and gums!
WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD VISIT THE DENTIST?
It is recommended that children visit the dentist for the initial appointment around the time their first tooth erupts, which usually occurs around their first birthday. However, you should gauge for yourself when you think your little one is ready for a dental appointment — some kids are ready for a visit by age one, some are not quite there yet. You know your child best! Regardless, routine checkups and cleanings every six months should begin around age three.
HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR CHILD’S VISIT
The initial dental appointment is not anything to stress about. It is merely a chance for your little one (and you) to adjust to visiting the dentist. Your child will sit in your lap throughout the appointment and you will have the chance to answer any questions you may have about their oral health. The dentist will take a brief peek in their mouth, count erupted teeth, and our friendly hygienists will give their teeth a quick polish. Then, we will schedule a time for you both to visit again as soon as is necessary. And that is it!
PEDIATRIC DENTAL CARE
Dental sealants are protective coverings that can “seal out” acids and bacteria and prevent them from collecting to form tooth decay on the back molars. These teeth have irregular surfaces that can make it easy for cavities to form; but dental sealants are painted on quickly, painlessly, and can provide years of prevention for cavity-prone teeth. It only takes a few minutes to apply dental sealants and they can be completed at the end of a routine checkup and cleaning.
Topical fluoride treatments strengthen tooth enamel to help protect against cavities. Acids and bacteria demineralize the enamel, weakening it and leaving it vulnerable to tooth decay. Fluoride provides important remineralization. Fluoride treatments take only a couple of minutes and are often recommended at the end of a checkup and cleaning. Make sure your child is also brushing their teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride for an extra boost of protection every day.
AT-HOME TIPS FOR ORAL HEALTH
Bringing your child to the dentist every six months during childhood is important for protecting their teeth against a variety of problems, most importantly cavities.
However, the steps you take at home are equally vital for helping ensure that their teeth develop properly.
Follow these tips for children’s oral health:
- Make sure they brush their teeth for two minutes, at least twice a day (but after each meal is better). Most kids can start brushing on their own around age six, but continue to monitor until you are sure they are doing a thorough job every time.
- Help them to floss between teeth daily as soon as they have two teeth are touching each other.
- Help kids reduce sugar intake by stocking nutritious, low-sugar snacks in the pantry.
- If they play contact sports, have them fitted for a custom mouthguard.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT DIFFERENT AGES
Children’s teeth grow and change along with their bodies, and their needs will be slightly different at different ages. When they are a baby, you will be primarily concerned with preventing baby bottle tooth decay that occurs when sugars are allowed to linger on the surface of those first teeth. Then, the baby teeth will begin to fall out in the order they came in beginning around age six — and you will get to play tooth fairy! As their permanent teeth begin to come in, we will likely recommend an orthodontic examination to provide important early intervention for issues like crossbite, overbite, or underbite.
Whatever your child needs, partnering with our team throughout childhood will help to ensure their teeth develop properly to put them on the path to a lifetime of healthy smiles! Contact us to book an appointment today.