Dentistry for Kids
Dentistry for children can be quite involved, which is why it is important to bring your child in to see one of our pediatric dentists. Pediatric dentists treat anyone under the age of 18. They receive their dental degree in four years and then complete another two years in a residency working with both pediatric and patients with special needs. Pediatric dentistry comprises all of the services that developing mouths need. At Grove Street Family Dentistry, we provide these services, some of which include cleaning, exams, fluoride treatment, and sealants.
You should start routine dental care with your child at the eruption of their first tooth - when the tooth comes out of the gums. The thoroughness of cleanings will depend on the child’s age and dental condition. In general, professional cleanings at our office are recommended every six months. These cleanings will include scaling, which is when our dental hygienist scrapes plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums, and brushing and flossing.
Our pediatric dentist will meet with you and your child at the conclusion of each cleaning to perform a routine dental exam. This typically includes our dentist examining their mouth for cavities and providing any additional cleaning that needs to be done.
On occasion, usually once per year, our dentist will take dental x-rays of your child’s teeth. This shows development of the teeth and the positioning of the jaw. If there are any concerns, we would be able to develop a corrective treatment plan. For example, many kids wear braces, mouth guards, and retainers. X-rays help our dentist track the position of the wisdom teeth to determine if they ever need to be removed as well. We also recommend mouth guards if your child is involved in any sports.
Our dentist will also provide some information on dental hygiene for kids to you during this consultation. For instance, we recommend that children avoid sticky, sugary foods when possible as well as dark colored drinks and fruits. These can lead to cavities and discoloration.
Fluoride is a mineral that is present in drinking water. This mineral helps to strengthen the teeth in order to protect them from injury and decay. However, getting a sufficient amount of this mineral in your diet is not always guaranteed since it can be hard to track. We can provide fluoride treatments at our office, such as topical application. Our dentist could also recommend or prescribe a fluoride supplement to add to your child’s diet.
Dental sealants are protective coatings that we can apply periodically to your child’s teeth to lower their risk of cavities and injury. Sealants may need to be repaired or replaced periodically, but our pediatric dentist will make this determination as needed.
In addition to routine visits with our office, you will also need to assist your child with dental care at home. We will give you more advice on this at your appointment. In general, this includes brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day. You will also need to wipe your baby’s gums even before their teeth start to erupt. To schedule a pediatric dental visit, call Grove Street Family Dentistry at (360) 659-3200 today.