Dentistry for Kids
Our team at Woodcreek Dental, offers this specialized care in pediatric dentistry. Learning how to care for teeth from the earliest age possible properly, and forming the habit of having regular checks is important for a child’s health. For very young children, parents also often need guidance on how to handle teeth cleanings, teething, and infant tooth decay.
The challenges faced with children in the infant to teenage age range are somewhat different from adult patients. It is also common for kids to have some fear or anxiety attached to visiting a dentist. Our team is well versed in handling younger clients, providing them with explanations and distractions through the process that put them at ease and make for a comfortable experience.
Understanding Pediatric Dentistry
As mentioned, patients in this category start from as young as infancy to teenage age. Dental problems usually begin with teething at around the 6-12 month age range. There is often a lot of irritability and crying that can typically be handled by rubbing with a finger or cold cloth. Teething rings are also an effective solution. It is highly recommended that dental visits begin on their first birthday.
From this time on, comprehensive exams can begin to check the progress in teeth development. It is also an opportunity for parents to learn about how to care for their child’s primary teeth as they become independent. This includes cleaning habits and nutritional advice. Cleaning and fluoride treatments are often undertaken.
Tooth decay is a common problem with infants due to bottle-feeding when sleeping. The sugar in the liquid mixes with bacteria and begins to form plaque. Saliva helps to clean out the mouth from this activity, and its flow is most consistent when the child is awake. With time, regular dental appointments will help ensure the good formation of primary teeth, which should subsequently guide the coming in of permanent teeth from around the age of 6 years. How well trained a child is in caring for their primary teeth will influence how they care for their permanent teeth.
Guidelines for a Child’s Dental Visit
For a child to associate going to the dentist with being a positive experience, we do prescribe certain guidelines to parents. The first is in not speaking negatively as to what such a visit entails. This includes avoiding the mention of triggering words like needle, drill, and bleeding. Scaring the child will raise their anxiety even before any of our team has had a chance to examine them. If there has been some misinformation shared with the child, let them know that our staff will explain everything in detail, so they know what is happening. Encourage them to say something if they are afraid.
When coming into the exam room, do take on a passive role. We recommend only one parent to come in to allow our team to move around more easily. Allow us to guide the conversation and have a chance to reassure your child. This direct interaction should give them more confidence to communicate if there is a problem. If you interfere, it may confuse and cause the child to seek you out when they should be focused on taking our direction. Try not to express any fear or revulsion as we carry out procedures. These feelings can transmit to the child and make them unnecessarily anxious.
Making your child’s experience at the dentist a successful and positive one is something we excel in. To find out more about our pediatric care services and how to get started, call us at Woodcreek Dental at (805) 738-5566 today.