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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

Posted on 02/18/2019

Did you know that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month? Teaching children how to take care of their teeth helps them to continue good oral hygiene habits as they grow into adulthood. While the tooth fairy may be the first positive dental role model kids get excited about, there are also additional ways parents can influence good oral health habits for their kids. Thankfully, 5Points Advanced Dentistry has extensive experience with making dentistry a positive experience for children.

When and how should I begin teaching my child to brush their teeth?Young Boy at Dentist

Once you see that your child’s first tooth has emerged, you should begin brushing for them daily. It’s important to help with brushing twice per day using a tiny drop of fluoride toothpaste that’s about the size of a grain of rice. Use a small, child-size toothbrush with soft bristles to minimize irritation or discomfort.
When your child turns three, it’s recommended that you increase the amount of fluoride toothpaste used during brushing to the size of a pea. Do your best to teach your child not to swallow the toothpaste. Young kids often have a hard time with rinsing and spitting, so gently remind and encourage them each time to try and rinse and spit until they start to get the hang of it.

It’s advisable that parents supervise children while brushing until at least 6-8 years of age. While brushing, help them gently and thoroughly clean all their teeth, inside and out, up and down. There is no specific method of brushing that’s been found to be better than another, so just focus on trying to clean all their teeth as thoroughly and gently as possible.

Sometimes young children tend to focus only on brushing their front teeth since they are easiest to reach. You can make a game out of it by saying something like, “Let’s see if you can find and brush all the hidden teeth in the back too.” It’s important to be patient and to keep it as positive, fun and even silly of an experience as it can be.

What can I do to teach my child good oral hygiene and make it a positive experience?
When you purchase toothpaste for your child, you may want to consider one with fluoride cavity protection. Look for kid-friendly, colorful toothbrushes, dental floss, and toothpaste packaging to make it fun, and experiment with different toothpaste flavors if your child doesn’t like mint. Teach them how to gently and thoroughly brush their teeth twice per day, as well as how to floss. Consider using star charts and other positive reinforcement to encourage consistency. If they forget or miss a day, go easy on them and help them get back on track so that brushing their teeth with you becomes a warm, bonding moment while caring for their teeth.

While kids often love to eat sweets and drink soda, it’s important to teach your children while they’re young to enjoy sweets in moderation in order to avoid cavities and other negative health effects. Bring your child to our office every 6 months for a dental examination, X-rays and a thorough cleaning to remove plaque and tartar.

How do I know if my child needs braces?
Permanent teeth start growing in or erupting, at around age 7 for most children. However, there is growing evidence that intervention may be needed much earlier than that. For example, at Stanford University, doctors are starting orthodontics and palatal expansion as young as 2 years old! Your child’s face and jaws are growing and developing all of the time, and small changes at a young age can make a big difference in their airways down the road. At your child’s bi-yearly exams, Dr. Imm will look for evidence of an over/underbite and/or overcrowded, misaligned teeth and will recommend a visit to an orthodontist, if necessary. Orthodontic treatment such as braces, or even Invisalign First, can help correct many of these issues. However, starting the process early doesn’t mean that your child will necessarily get braces right away. A qualified, compassionate and attentive dentist, like Dr. Imm can help determine the best plan on a case-by-case basis so it’s best to contact us at 5Points Advanced Dentistry for an appointment.

Are there any other resources you recommend that can help make dental hygiene fun for my child?
As mentioned above, February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and the American Dental Association (ADA) has developed a number of great posters, puzzles and other free assets that can be printed and placed around your home to encourage good oral hygiene for your child. You can learn more by visiting the following link to the ADA website:

What does the ADA say about Children’s Airway Health?
In August of last year, the ADA hosted the first-ever Conference on Children’s Airway Health. Dentistry is just starting to help improve children’s airways, and Dr. Imm is helping lead the charge! As a mentor at Spear Education’s Airway Prosthodontics Workshop, Dr. Imm is your local expert at helping your children grow and breathe. If your child snores or has any other sleep issues, make sure you let Dr. Imm know, so he can get you going down the right path!

Where can I find a dental team who will be gentle with my child?
If you are in the Columbus, OH area and are looking for an experienced, warm and compassionate dental team you can trust, you’ve come to the right place! At 5Points Advanced Dentistry, we are proud to offer a warm and compassionate experience for your child that is also affordable and excellent. We have a dedicated team who have worked with countless children and are committed to providing your child with a friendly, comprehensive dental plan and family-like care. Dr. Imm is compassionate and attentive and our staff will do whatever it takes to make your child feel at home. We will be with your child every step of the way.

My child is nervous about visiting the dentist, what do you suggest to help?
We completely understand being afraid of the dentist is common and normal among young children (and even adults!), which is why we provide a warm and compassionate experience. If your child is suffering from dental anxiety we suggest the following:

  • Start young – the earlier the betterYoung Girl at Dentist
  • Keep it simple – “They’re going to check your smile and count your teeth”
  • Consider a pretend visit
  • Do not try to relate
  • Avoid bribery
  • Emphasize the importance of good oral hygiene

When you come to see us, we will do everything we can to make him/her feel comfortable.

How can I get started?

If you are ready to help your child develop good oral hygiene habits for life, give us a call at 5Points Advanced Dentistry today. Don’t wait any longer, take the first steps to give your child the gift of a beautiful smile that he/she will be proud of and ready to show off.

When Should I Take my Child to the Dentist for the First Time?

Posted on 09/27/2018

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? Your trusted dentist in Upper Arlington has the answers.

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 ExpectChild Smiling at Dentist

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.
  • They 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 the 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.

Nutrition Matters

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 ChildMom and Daughter Brushing Their Teeth

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.

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