Parenting Your Kids to Good Oral Health
As parents, we want to do whatever we can to keep our children safe and healthy. We teach our children the importance of eating healthy and getting exercise. We model good behaviors that we want our children to emulate, such as saying please and thank you, sharing toys, and being courteous to others. We encourage our children to use their voices to become confident adults. But one of the most important things we do is ensure that our children have proper medical and dental care to keep their bodies healthy and strong. And preserving their oral health through preventive dental care is a large piece of that puzzle.
1. Dental checkups are vital to kids’ oral health.
As adults, we know the importance of seeing our dentist twice per year. But that recommendation isn’t limited to adults. Children should start seeing the dentist as soon as their first tooth comes in or by their first birthday, whichever comes first.
If you are searching online for a pediatric dentist in Rochester, NY, so that you can schedule a dental checkup for your child, then look no further. We promise that you’ll find Judith M. Shea Pediatric Dentistry to be the best pediatric dentist for your child. During your child’s visit, we’ll go through everything you need to know about children’s preventative dental care to help maintain a beautiful smile and good oral health.
2. Two professional cleanings per year remove decay-causing bacteria.
In addition to twice-daily tooth brushing and flossing, routine professional dental cleanings for your child are perhaps the most effective way to keep their smile beautiful and take care of their oral health. During your child’s dental cleaning, we remove hard and soft deposits of bacterial buildup that lead to cavities. And not only do professional cleanings help prevent tooth decay and premature baby tooth loss, they remove surface stains to help keep your child’s smile white and bright.
3. Dental sealants help your child avoid tooth decay.
Many children will benefit from safe, simple, fast, and pain-free dental sealants. These thin coatings of clear, body-safe plastic protect the textured and grooved chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth. According to the CDC, dental sealants alone can prevent up to 80% of cavities in your child’s back teeth. By combining dental sealants, preventive dental appointments twice per year, and daily brushing and flossing, your child can experience stellar oral health!
4. Fluoride treatments also help prevent tooth decay.
You’re probably starting to pick up on a common theme here: The best way to preserve your child’s oral health is to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that we use in the dental office to help prevent tooth decay. Fluoride also helps strengthen and repair tooth enamel. Fluoride treatments from Judith M. Shea Pediatric Dentistry deliver a concentrated dose of fluoride right to your child’s teeth. Depending on your child’s age and their specific risk of developing cavities, Dr. Shea may recommend a professional application of fluoride varnish or rinse up to four times per year.
5. Fillings and crowns help restore teeth that have suffered tooth decay.
Sometimes, despite our best intentions, tooth decay happens. When cavities happen, Dr. Shea will likely recommend a dental crown to repair and restore a primary (baby) tooth, a broken tooth, or a primary tooth that has not developed correctly. On occasion we might suggest a filling instead for smaller cavities. A filling now does not prevent a crown later on, but by addressing the problem early on, Dr. Shea can partner with you to ensure your child has the best chance of avoiding further dental intervention.
6. Mouth guards can help lessen damage from teeth grinding.
Whether your child grinds their teeth at night while they sleep or needs injury protection while playing sports, mouth guards are a great way to protect their teeth. When worn, mouth guards stop the wearing down of teeth and reduce the risk of a chipped, broken, or knocked out tooth.
7. Early orthodontic evaluations can save parents time, angst, and money.
One of the benefits of children’s dentistry is the ability to take your child in for an early orthodontic evaluation. It may seem like kids shouldn’t need to be evaluated for braces until their teens. But in reality the first orthodontic evaluation should take place around the age of seven.
A primary reason for this early evaluation is that all children develop differently. Early orthodontic treatment can prevent more serious problems from developing down the road. Thus, treatment times can be significantly shorter and far less complicated, not to mention less costly, than they would be in later years. Even better, parents and children alike appreciate that early treatment can help avoid some of the angst that comes with braces and other orthodontic treatments during the teenage years.
Ready to schedule your child’s next dental visit?
If you’re looking for a compassionate, gentle pediatric dentist in Rochester, New York, then you’ll be pleased to know that Dr. Shea and her team are here for you and your kids. Dr. Shea offers dedicated kids’ dental care, including preventive care, restorative treatment, and even kids’ orthodontics! She can even help you get your kids excited about healthy teeth.
You can book your child’s dental visit today by calling our office or filling out this quick online form.