Some dental difficulties can begin very early in life. A major concern is tooth decay at an early age which can become a serious condition caused by a child sleeping with the bottle. Another complication is gum disease. Around 40 percent of children from the ages of two to three have some form of mild inflammation of their gum tissues. Oral habits such as digit sucking or grinding of teeth should also be identified. All of the above can affect how the adult teeth will erupt and whether or not they will be prone to dental problems in the future. The earlier a child visits a dentist, the better the chances of preventing future oral complications. Strong, healthy teeth not only help your child chew food easily and speak clearly but also help them feel good about his or her smile.
Should baby teeth be treated the same as adult teeth?
Primary teeth help with proper chewing and eating, speech development, and add to a good-looking appearance. Children who can chew easily, speak clearly, and smile confidently are happier. Strong primary teeth allow for the jaw bones and muscles to develop healthily and help permanent teeth grow comfortably into place. If a child loses a primary tooth too soon, his or her permanent teeth may grow in crooked and lead to expensive oral treatments later in life. Decayed baby teeth can cause pain, abscesses, and infections which can spread to their permanent teeth. Your child's general health may also be affected if diseased baby teeth aren't treated in a timely fashion. Remember, some primary molars aren’t replaced until the ages of 10 to 14, so these baby teeth need to last for years.
Should I prepare my child for their first visit?
Many parents ask us this question. We suggest that you prepare your child like you would before their first hair-cut or trip to the shoe store. A trip to our office will not be the frightening experience you may remember or have heard of from other parents. If you are anxious about the trip, then the less you tell your child the better. You cannot hide your anxiety from your child (they have a sense for these things). We encourage you to look through a couple of the many books about dentists as an easy way to prepare. Your child's reaction to his or her first visit to the dentist may surprise you.
Do children need preventative care?
Early childhood and tooth decay no longer have to go hand in hand. At our office, we focus on all aspects of preventive oral care. We use the latest in sealant technology to shield your child's teeth. Sealants are bonded to the chewing surfaces of back teeth to prevent them from developing plaque buildup which can lead to tooth decay. This is just one of the many ways we will set the foundation for your child's good oral health for the rest of their life.
In need of immediate care?
We provide emergency phone consultation services after working hours and on weekends. Call us at our office (301) 926-1511