Dentistry for Children
At Briglia Dental Group, we are dedicated to promoting the oral health of children and providing the best possible care in a comfortable environment. Our focus is on the prevention, detection and treatment of childhood dental diseases.
We understand that visiting the dentist can be scary for children of any age. In our practice we treat many fearful adult patients with oral and IV sedation care because they were so traumatized as children at the dentist. We know that it’s critical for young children to have happy, pain free and fun dental visits to set the stage for a lifetime of regular fear-free dental visits.
To make your child’s office visit more comfortable, each of our team members works in harmony to make our youngest patients feel comfortable, happy and important when they come for their checks up or treatment. This also helps us establish trust with our young patients so they actually look forward to their next visit.
Another thing that keeps the kids coming back is our prize treasure chest of small toys for boys and girls who were good during their visit! (Hint: every child gets a prize.). Dentistry for children doesn’t have to be a bad experience.
Your Child’s First Visit
When a new child comes in for their first visit with us, we do not force treatment if they are apprehensive or upset. Instead, we turn this first appointment into a “Happy Visit” and help get them acclimated to our staff and dental equipment. For example, we will let the child a “ride” on the dental chair and help “Mr. Thirsty” (our dental suction device) drink a cup of water.
In addition, we also give them a new toothbrush and a prize from the prize box before they leave. Even though we didn’t actually treat the child, we have created a happy, fun experience which means less apprehension when they come back in 3-4 months for their next visit.
Early Treatment is Important
While you might not think that dentistry for children is necessary for someone that only has a few teeth, it is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that all children visit a dentist by their first birthday, and every six months after that.
Dental problems can begin even before teeth begin to erupt. The bacteria left behind on the gums of babies that nurse from a bottle at naptime or bedtime can cause gums to become inflamed or lead to tooth decay. The sooner you schedule an appointment, the earlier we can detect and prevent potential problems.
Studies show that by the age of three nearly 50 percent of children have a mild case of gum disease. If left untreated, this can lead to more severe problems that can negatively impact a child’s ability to speak clearly, chew easily and smile confidently. Good oral hygiene is important from a very early age.
Oral Hygiene Tips for Every Age and Stage
Early pediatric dental visits promote good oral health habits to last a lifetime. There are many things you can do to promote the overall health of your child’s teeth and gums as well.
During pregnancy, be sure to eat a balanced diet with enough calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, protein and phosphorous. All of these nutrients are essential to the proper development of your baby’s tooth buds, which begin to grow during the second trimester. (Click here to read more about the importance of good oral hygiene during pregnancy)
New Borns, Toddlers and Children
Once your child is born, follow these oral hygiene tips for infants, toddlers and children:
- Clean your baby’s gums using a wet washcloth or gauze pad after each feeding. This will remove bacteria and stimulate the gum tissue.
- Once teeth begin to erupt, use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head and a long handle to gently clean them. Wet it with water, but do not use any toothpaste at this age.
- At the age of 1, begin using a small amount of toothpaste without fluoride to brush the front and back of your child’s teeth.
- Schedule an oral health exam by your child’s first birthday.
- As soon as teeth grow in next to one another, begin flossing your toddler’s teeth.
- Discourage prolonged sucking on pacifiers, thumbs or fingers to prevent bite problems, jaw constriction and crooked teeth. Generally speaking, children should be weaned from pacifiers by their second birthday.
- Once your child can hold a toothbrush—usually around age two or three—you will want to begin teaching them how to brush on their own, but still provide assistance as needed.
- By age seven or eight years of age, your child should have the dexterity to brush and floss without assistance.
Between dental visits, it is important to keep an eye out for any signs of tooth decay or gum disease. Brown spots, white spots, or pits on teeth are all indicative of a problem, as are red or inflamed gums. Contact our office for an exam right away if you notice any of these things.
Baby Bottle Syndrome
It’s extremely important to not put babies or toddlers down for a nap or bed with a bottle of juice or especially milk. The sugars in juice or milk will cause tooth decay in the front upper and lower teeth and in the back teeth. Only put kids down with water in the bottle to prevent cavities.
Healthy Gums and Teeth are Just a Phone Call Away
They may be small, but baby teeth are largely important. They hold the spaces for the permanent teeth coming later, and help children learn to speak and eat.
Contact our caring team at Briglia Dental Group to schedule an appointment for your child. We love kids!