Have you ever wondered when you should take your child to the dentist for the first time? As a parent, you’ve probably heard contradictory pieces of advice on this topic. Should you wait until 2 or 3 years old? When the first baby tooth appears? Or maybe when all of their baby teeth have grown in?
You may be surprised that The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend that a child’s first visit should be when their first tooth grows in. For some babies that first tooth comes very early in life. Others may not start getting teeth until closer to the first birthday. All children should see a dentist by age 2. Introducing children to regular visits and proper dental care at an early age will start them on the road to a healthy smile that will last them a lifetime.
What to Expect
The first dental visit should be an adventure; one for the baby book. The purpose is to introduce a child to the office in a non-threatening way. Taking a ride in the chair and being allowed to explore and touch some of the instruments may be what most of the visit is dedicated to. Once your child is comfortable with the hygienist, Dr. Imm will take a quick peek in their mouth to check for gum health and any other problems that may affect their teeth, speech, or airway.
Dental Care for Growing Children
Dental care needs change with each stage of development.
2 to 3 Years
Toddlers should have a dental visit every 6 months beginning at 2 years old.
They should begin flossing between teeth when the two front teeth are touching each other.
The should be brushing teeth every day to prevent cavities. Research has shown that children who get cavities in baby teeth are more likely to get cavities in their permanent teeth.
The ADA recommends children three years of age and younger use a smear of fluoride toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice for brushing in the morning and evening. Children 3 years old should use a pea-sized dot of toothpaste.
4 to 6 Years Most children will have the first set of dental X-rays taken around 5 or 6 years old when the permanent teeth begin to come in. There is no set age or recommendation. If there are specific conditions or concerns, such as cleft palate or if a child drinks out of a lot of sippy cups or bottles they may have X-rays taken at an earlier age.
Monitor brushing time to make sure the toothpaste is going down the drain and not down the throat. You may increase the amount of fluoride toothpaste used when your little one masters the art of spitting in the sink. Until then keep the amount to a minimum in case it is swallowed.
The newest research shows that this is best time to start thinking about orthodontics. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends orthodontic intervention as soon as a skeletal problem is identified if it is not likely to self-correct. Most kids wait until their early teen years to get braces, but by then it may be too late for your child to keep all of his or her teeth.
6 to 12 Years The baby teeth start falling out around the age of 6. This is the age of prevention and the time to really start encouraging good oral hygiene.
Sealants to protect teeth, especially the molars, from decay are usually recommended between the ages of 7 and 9, and again when the 12-year molars erupt.
If needed, an orthodontic evaluation will definitely be recommended by 7 years old, at the latest.
Proper nutrition is essential for maintaining dental health at all ages. It is especially important for children. What, when and how you feed your children is important to their overall physical growth and oral health. Diets that are good for the body are also good for the teeth.
Avoid sugary foods and drinks. The bacteria in the mouth thrive on sugar.
Discourage frequent snacking which leads to increased food residue and bacteria in the mouth.
Provide a balanced, healthy diet.
Use vitamin supplements as recommended by your pediatrician.
Serve plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Offer unsweetened, non-caffeinated beverages. Water is always a good choice.
Chewy and crunchy foods, such as nuts and steak, can aid in the development of the facial bones and encourage correct swallowing patterns. Introduce these foods as early as your child is able to chew them.
The Right Tools for the Job
If you have walked down any dental care aisle in any supermarket or drugstore you know how overwhelming and confusing it can be to choose the best product for your needs. For oral care in kids, it pays to make the right choice. Little things like choosing the right size toothbrush or the best toothpaste can make a difference in preventing cavities and maintaining oral health. The best advice anyone can give you is to avoid playing guessing games and just ask a professional.
Snoring and Your Child
Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that every child who snores be evaluated by a Sleep Physician? That’s right. Early snoring can be a sign of an obstructed airway, which can lead to several health problems and will ultimately affect how your child’s face grows and develops. Dr. Imm is very passionate about your and your child’s airway health, so don’t be surprised if he asks you about our child’s sleep, and maybe even refers you to an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist (ENT).
You want to make the right pediatric dental choices for your family. To do that you need to be informed. Ask questions and do research. Use the right products at the right age. Get the best care for your kids that you can. 5Points Advanced Dentistry is one of your most valuable resources. We are here to help children stay healthy and to teach them how to properly care for their teeth.
If you have cracked or dull teeth, you may suffer from low self-esteem. If this is the case, and you no longer want to be embarrassed by your teeth, a smile makeover may be a worthwhile consideration. A smile makeover begins with a dentist looking at your entire mouth, discussing your concerns, and choosing procedures that will improve your smile. Afterward, you will want to show off your pearly whites instead of hiding them.
What are the Benefits of a Smile Makeover?
A smile makeover will restore both function and aesthetics to your mouth. For example, if you have a misaligned bite, we can correct the problem so you can chew properly and smile without being self-conscious. Damaged or crooked teeth can also be repaired, and missing teeth can be permanently replaced. After a complete smile makeover, you will enjoy a beautiful smile, enhanced tooth structure, better jaw health, and improved self-confidence.
What Procedures are Involved in a Smile Makeover?
A smile makeover usually consists of numerous cosmetic procedures. For example, a patient may receive dental implants, veneers, Invisalign, or whitening treatments. Before forming a plan of action, a dentist will examine your gums, teeth color, and the overall condition of your mouth.
Color. If your teeth are stained, or you have amalgam fillings that bring a damaged look to your teeth, the color can be improved with white fillings or a whitening procedure. Thanks to today’s technology, it is possible to perfectly match the color of your existing teeth. A professional whitening treatment provides faster and better results than an OTC product or kit. In-office procedures include the application of high-dose hydrogen peroxide. When performed correctly, it is possible to whiten teeth a few shades after one visit. Also, veneers may be placed over teeth to improve their shape and color.
Alignment and Spaces. If your teeth are crooked, or your mouth has visible gaps, we can correct this as well. Invisalign is a set of clear molded braces that straighten teeth without the use of traditional metal brackets. Clear trays are custom fit and work to correct misalignments. It is possible to wear them without people noticing, and remove them for cleaning. Also, veneers may be applied to teeth that are chipped, leaning, or imperfect in other ways.
Missing Teeth. One of the most common ways that a smile makeover improves a person’s appearance is by replacing missing teeth. If you have spaces in your mouth, it may be impossible to eat or speak correctly. Dental implants are permanent solutions that look and function like real teeth. They are implanted into the jaw, which means that they are not removable like dentures. Dental crowns are placed over the implants to make them look just like your natural teeth. These may also be used as part of a bridge. Both bridges and crowns are cemented on top of existing teeth to repair them. Bridges are used to fill spaces where more than one tooth is missing. By filling in these gaps, your jaw and facial shape can be preserved. Crowns offer strength to damaged teeth as well.
Bone Reshaping. If you have lost one or more of your teeth, there will be a hole left behind in your jawbone. Your gums will eventually heal, but the bone will encounter various highs and lows. These can cause dentures or similar restorations to rub and cause soreness. In time, bone will become lost. To smooth the bone, a reshaping surgery, or alveoplasty, may be necessary.
Targeting Teeth in a Smile Makeover
A smile makeover targets your teeth so that they look aesthetically pleasing. It is important to pay attention to the smile line. This goes along the upper teeth and should follow the curve of your lips during a smile. It is essential to adjust tooth length and proportion as well. When a person is young, his or her teeth are longer. With time, teeth begin to wear down and become shorter. Veneers can restore length. Also, it is possible to modify the gums. Gum tissue reshaping helps people who have uneven, obtrusive, or receding gums.
Besides leaving a smile looking better, it also helps to prevent periodontal disease. When gums are receding, teeth are left exposed, and pockets commonly develop. These pockets accumulate bacteria that can cause severe problems.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Smile Makeover?
Anyone looking to improve their oral and overall health may take advantage of a smile makeover. If you are unhappy with the look of your teeth, Dr. Imm, who specialize in cosmetic dentistry, can help. He can meet with you to do a thorough examination of your teeth and mouth and discuss exactly what results you are looking for in the smile makeover.
How to Maintain Results of a Smile Makeover
After undergoing a smile makeover, a patient must change his or her oral hygiene routine in order to maintain positive results. It is essential to brush with a non-abrasive toothpaste and to floss each day. Removing debris from between teeth will elongate the lifespan of any cosmetic procedure and keep tooth decay from starting.
If you receive composite fillings or crowns, it is best to avoid mouthwash that contains alcohol. This is known to have negative effects. Also, we will advise you to avoid foods that are packed with sugar and items that are known to cause staining (coffee, cigarettes, etc.).
Finally, please avoid biting or chewing hard objects (such as ice). Even though cosmetic restorations are sturdy, the best way to ensure a long life for your new smile is to act with care. Your dentist will be able to provide more advice when you meet, so that you can easily maintain the results of your smile makeover.
Before you decide to pursue a smile makeover, it is vital to understand what can realistically be accomplished. At 5 Points Advanced Dentistry, we offer all patients previews of expected results. We use state-of-the-art imaging technology and various mock-ups so that it is possible to see all of the improvements that a smile makeover will bring. We provide customized plans for all of our patients so that individual needs are targeted. For more information, call our office today.