Just as it is important for adults to brush their teeth, it is equally important to brush and maintain kids' teeth. It is best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush (preferably an age-appropriate one). There are infant toothbrushes, toddler toothbrushes, and young child toothbrushes created for that specific age. It is best to brush their teeth at least once a day. Often it is helpful to choose a song and then brush through the whole song, like a game.
No matter your age, it is important to have your teeth checked and maintained regularly. Often, people think that these regular dental appointments don't need to start until kids have their "adult" teeth come in. In reality, it is best to begin having these appointments from a young age. Emphasizing pediatric dentistry is central to our goals at Family Health Dental Center.
While this can be scary and difficult for kids (especially young kids), it is important to start this pattern of oral health at a young age. These regular checkups allow us to help your kids break bad habits and educate them on how to take care of their teeth and gums.
When to Start Bringing Kids to The Dentist
There is no hard, fast rule when it comes to when to start bringing your kids to the dentist. But, a good general rule is to bring them around 1 year old or within 6 months of popping their first tooth. At this time, we will check for alignment, gum health, and help your child begin getting used to the dentist's office. It also allows us to check oral tissue, growth, and development.
After this first visit, we can help advise you on how often to bring your child to see the dentist and get their teeth cleaned.
Another essential visit for kids is right around age 4. This is a crucial time to check in and help correct habits. It is important to help kids stop sucking their fingers or thumb and educate them on the importance of brushing, flossing, and not eating too much candy.
Once you start bringing your child to the dentist, it is recommended that you continue bringing them about every 6 months. Regularly coming to the dentist allows us to help stay on top of tooth development and alignment, and catch any cavities or other issues early.
Why Is It Important to Start Bringing Kids To The Dentist From a Young Age?
Bringing your children to the dentist from a young age helps set the standard for oral care moving forward. The dentist is extremely important. We help fix problems, but regularly attending the dentist can help prevent oral pain and future issues.
Oral health is a lifelong experience. Attending the dentist from a young age helps create these critical habits.
Coming to the dentist starting as a child also helps get you used to the dentist. About 1 in 3 adults experience fear or anxiety around going to the dental office. Coming from a young age helps ease this fear in children and makes going to the dentist a less traumatic experience. Even doing simple things at home like playing "dentist" or bringing your little children along to your dental appointments and having them sit on your lap to ease their fears will make a difference. Doing these small things from a young age will make attending the dentist less scary for the rest of their life.
Bringing your children to the dentist from a young age also helps manage oral habits. There are a lot of habits regarding oral care that are important to develop and break. Small things like daily brushing, flossing, and proper techniques are adequately learned by going to the dentist. Here at Family Dental Health Center, we can also help your children break habits like sucking their fingers, thumb, or biting their nails that can eventually have a negative influence on oral health going forward.
Finally, bringing your children to the dentist from a young age allows us to answer their questions. It also allows you to ask us any questions regarding teething, brushing, oral care, or anything else you may want to know.
Children's Oral Cleanings
Regular dental cleanings are important for maintaining proper oral health. While it’s vital that your children brush their teeth every morning and night, there are still bits of food and bacteria that can get trapped in between their teeth and under their gums. During oral cleanings, the dentist can remove those trapped germs that could lead to cavities. To help prevent cavities our dentists recommend that your child visit the dentist about twice a year for regular deep cleanings.
Low Radiation Digital X-rays
Digital X-rays provide a quick turn around for viewing images of your children’s teeth to help diagnose potential problems while also exposing your child to a minimal amount of radiation. Digital x-rays are quicker and more detailed than traditional x-rays, helping to keep your child’s visit short and our doctors’ diagnoses thorough and easy for you to understand.
Children's Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride is a substance that can be found in most drinking water and some foods. It helps to protect your children’s teeth from bacteria and germs that could cause cavities and tooth decay. A fluoride treatment is when the dentist applies a thin layer of concentrated fluoride to your child’s teeth to help defend against bacteria. Simply put, it is a preventative measure to help protect against cavities.
Children's Dental Sealants
Sealants are another preventative measure to help fight against tooth decay. If the top of your child’s teeth, the part that smashes the food, is full of tiny grooves that catch food easily and are hard to clean, then a thin piece of plastic can be bonded to the top of their teeth to help seal off those cracks and protect them from harmful bacteria.
Children's Dental Fillings
If your child is experiencing sensitivity to hot and cold things in their teeth or jaw then they may have a cavity. A cavity is when bacteria have eaten away at your child’s tooth, exposing sensitive parts of their teeth. To eliminate the pain and further damage, your child will need a filling placed where the cavity is. Visit with one of our dentists to see if your child may be in need of a dental filling.
Children's Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are used to either restore a chipped or broken tooth or protect a decaying tooth from further damage. The crown is a cap that is tooth-shaped. It is placed over the damaged tooth restoring aesthetics and functionality.
If your child needs to go to the hospital for oral surgeries our doctors are ready and able to go to the hospital to perform the surgery.
To schedule an appointment for your child, please call our office today at 208-529-0120.
What Family Dental Health Center Does to Alleviate Kids' Anxiety
No matter your age, going to the dentist can be scary. Especially as a kid, going to the dentist's office is intimidating, new, and often an experience full of anxiety. But, it doesn't need to be. Going to the dentist can be fun, educational, and doesn't need to be scary—even for kids.
Sit with Parents
We know that kids can be squirmy and nervous in a new environment. Allowing your kids to sit with you during your appointment and theirs offers them some comfort while in this new situation. We have found that this provides comfort and familiarity.
At Family Dental Health Center, we value simplicity, especially when it comes to pediatric dentistry. Everything from our tools, procedures, and communication is as simple as possible. There is no reason to complicate something that doesn't need to be.
On top of our simple (but very effective) approach, we also value simplicity in our communication. No matter your age, you want to know what is going on. By communicating with your kids, explaining what we are doing, and helping them understand its importance, they can relax and lower their anxiety.
Warm, Fun Environment
Everything from the paint on our walls to the smiles on our faces is inviting and calming. This environment helps your children feel safe and comfortable in our office. We place a predominant emphasis on creating an atmosphere that will help you and your child feel comfortable, and make the dentist a positive experience.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pediatric Dentistry
Yes! At Family Dental Health Center, we use digital x-rays because the results are faster, more detailed, and use low amounts of radiation. We also take the proper precautions before doing x-rays on your child. If you are concerned, don't hesitate to ask us questions.
Pediatric dentists focus more on the oral health of children and youth rather than adults. Our dentists have years of experience working with and educating kids about their oral health. Pediatric Dentists also go through extra training to help them treat your kids more effectively.
If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in Idaho Falls, we would be happy to answer any questions you have. We want to help you and your family be happy at the dentist. Contact us today to make an appointment.