At Holistic Dental we deeply believe in the value of helping parents build the foundations that are required for a child to enjoy optimal oral health, now and long into the future.
One of the most important components of children dentistry is child psychology. Our child dentists are trained to create a friendly, fun, and inviting atmosphere for children. Dental phobias beginning in childhood often continue into adulthood, so it is of paramount importance that children have positive experiences from an early age. In addition, our clinic is geared to provide a more comforting experience for children and have dental materials / instruments better suited for small children (ie: smaller xrays, different flavored toothpastes, etc.).
Our dentists fulfill many important functions relating to the child’s overall oral health and hygiene, placing particular emphasis on the proper maintenance and care of deciduous (baby) teeth, which are instrumental in facilitating good chewing habits, proper speech, and also hold space for permanent teeth.
Other important functions include:
– Our dentists educate parents and children emphasizing the importance of keeping teeth strong and healthy. In addition, they advise parents on disease prevention, trauma prevention, good eating habits, and other aspects of the home hygiene routine.
– By continuously tracking growth and development, we are able to anticipate dental issues and quickly intervene before they worsen. Also, working towards earlier corrective treatment preserves the child’s self-esteem and fosters a more positive self-image.
– Helping parents and children establish sound eating and oral care habits reduces the chances of tooth decay. In addition to providing checkups and dental cleanings, our dentists are also able to apply dental sealants and topical fluoride to decrease a child’s cavity risk, advise parents on oral habit cessation, and demonstrate proper brushing and flossing technique.
– Many dental problems in children can be minimized with proper intervention. In the case of oral injury, malocclusion (bad bite), or bruxism (grinding), mouth guards or orthodontics may be recommended.
A Child’s First Dental Visit
A child’s first dental visit should be scheduled around his/her first birthday. The most important part of the visit is getting to know and becoming comfortable with a doctor and his staff. A pleasant, comfortable first visit builds trust and helps put the child at ease during future dental visits. If possible, allow the child to sit in a parent’s lap in the examination room. Children should be encouraged to discuss any fears or anxiety they feel.
Why Primary Teeth Are Important
- Good teeth allow a child to eat and maintain good nutrition.
- Healthy teeth allow for clear pronunciation and speech habits. The self-image that healthy teeth give a child is immeasurable.
- Primary teeth also guide eruption of the permanent teeth.
Good Diet and Healthy Teeth
The teeth, bones and soft tissue of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups helps minimize (and avoid) cavities and other dental problems. Most snacks that children eat cause cavities, so children should only receive healthy foods like vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, which promote strong teeth.
Infant Tooth Eruption
A child’s teeth actually start forming before birth. As early as 4 months of age, the primary or “baby” teeth push through the gums—the lower central incisors are first, then the upper central incisors. The remainder of the 20 primary teeth typically erupt by age 3.
Permanent teeth begin eruption around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until around age 21. Adults have 28 secondary (permanent) teeth—32 including the third molars (wisdom teeth).
Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Tooth decay in infants can be minimized or totally prevented by not allowing sleeping infants to breast or bottle-feed. Infants that need a bottle to comfortably fall asleep should be given a water-filled bottle or a pacifier. Our office is dedicated to fighting baby bottle tooth decay. Let us know if you notice any signs of decay or anything unusual in your child’s mouth.