How Often Children Should Go to the Dentist

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a concerned parent. There are many dangers present in the world today, and so it is a good idea to be careful when you are taking care of the health of your child. “When it comes to dental care of your child, in particular, an early start and regular follow up is the way to go,” says a local Belltown dentist.

First Visit

To begin with, you should take your child to the dentist by the time he or she celebrates his or her first birthday. These first visits are crucial for the child because they get him or her accustomed to the dentist’s chair. As a parent, starting this early also gives you the opportunity to get educated on the best care for your child’s teeth.

In case your child is still on the bottle and hasn’t started to wake up in the middle of the night to drink or snack, you can wait until he or she turns two years of age before you take him or her to the dentist for the initial visit. Once you’re done with the first visit, the standard frequency is to take them for a checkup every six months.

Between 4 and 6 Years

A major milestone is that period between the ages of four and six. At this point, your dentist should take some X-rays to find out if there are any insidious cavities lying between the teeth.

After 6 years

From the age of six, your main focus should be on prevention. This is that age when the baby teeth start to shed and get replaced by permanent teeth. Your child’s dentist is highly likely to suggest a sealant at this point. This is a plastic resin that will bond the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth and reduces the chances of cavities forming in these spaces. The resin blocks bacteria from getting in those spaces between the teeth and also the grooves and valleys in the teeth themselves. This will be necessary between the ages of seven and nine. The most likely site for such treatment will be the molars, which are especially prone to cavities.

Another thing that is likely to happen around this time, when the child is seven years old, is that his or her dentist is going to suggest an evaluation of the teeth, known as an orthodontic evaluation.

As for braces, the majority of kids won’t be wearing these until they get into their early teens, but that’s not what an orthodontic evaluation is for. The whole point of orthodontics is to modify the growth of the jaw. At this stage, the dentist will evaluate the skeletal origins of things like crooked teeth and correct them early on. By sorting these issues at an early age, the dentist will be able to ensure that your child has a beautiful smile later in life.

What matters the most for your child is the basics: make sure he or she brushes his or her teeth at least twice a day, flosses everyday and go for regular twice yearly dental checkups. Your children will thank you later in life for that beautiful smile on their faces.

5 Oral Health Services Every Parent Needs

Let’s face it: as parents, the same things that bring us our greatest pleasure — our kids, our spouses, our lives — also happens to take the greatest toll on us. As we age, it feels easy to let ourselves go. Life’s just too busy to keep up with everything, or so it seems that way. While you can relax in many areas of your life, your dental health must always be maintained. In this article, we cover five oral health services that every adult needs to stay healthy and upkept.

1. Routine Checkups and Cleanings 

While most insurance policies provide two dental checkups and cleanings, only a few patients take advantage of their coverage which leads to additional cavity and decay. Not getting dental checkups regularly lead to increased costs and tooth loss. To make an appointment today, visit http://www.digitaldentistryatsouthpoint.com and click on “Make An Appointment” to schedule it online. It is the ideal time to bring in the whole family for a full screening and dental workup.

  • Cleaning: The first thing your hygienist will do is clean your teeth to remove any plaque buildup and tartar that collects around the gumline. The hygienist also uses floss to remove any hard-to-reach food particles or plaque. Polishing will remove any residue and give your teeth a smooth, consistent look that will deter plaque from collecting easily.
  • X-rays: A hygienist will perform a visual exam and take X-rays of your teeth so that the dentist will know of any cavities or repair needs. Offices tend to have traditional X-ray imaging machines, CT scans or 3D digital technology.
  • Exam: The dentist will look for issues like cavities, alignment, grinding, clenching, gumline abnormalities, tooth fractures, bone loss or oral cancer. Not only will you receive treatment, but you will have peace of mind that there are no indications that more serious dental issues are required.

2. Dental Fillings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 91 percent of Americans have cavities that require fillings and 27 percent never receive treatment. When a dentist detects cavities during routine exams, a material is used to fill in the hole after a decay extraction occurs. Possible restoration includes inlays and onlays.

When a tooth suffers from cavities, disease or injuries, inlays and onlays restore them depending on where in the tooth it occurs. Inlays are used to restore the area located between the rounded perimeter in the middle and the cusps. Onlays are used for one or multiple cusps or bite when decay is too severe for fillings but not too serious that a patient requires a crown. Materials include resin and ceramics.

3. Cosmetic Enhancements for Health and Aesthetics

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, this type of aesthetic dentistry boosts self-esteem, attractiveness, health restoration, youthfulness and advances in social or business activities. Cosmetic dentistry also removes stains, discoloration or imperfections because of whitening and smile restoration practices. Procedures that promote health include:

  • Tooth whitening: People tend to regularly consume foods and beverages that are sweet, caffeinated or acidic which causes discoloration. The staining will darken over time even with regular cleaning and proper dental care. Tooth whitening is one of the most sought-after cosmetic procedures and is widely available at most dental clinics.
  • Crowns and bridges: Dentists use crowns made of porcelain, gold or a blend of materials to protect underlying natural teeth. Bridges are also used to replace missing teeth or the space between the natural teeth or implants. Porcelain is a commonly used material as it is durable and resistant to long-term staining. It is also commonly used for molars. The ideal candidate for crowns is someone who is not a candidate for fillings. Crowns are also used to protect the structural integrity of a tooth or for patients that have broken or chipped them. They also improve bits and prevent bacteria buildup. Some patients also opt for them as an aesthetic enhancement to improve their smiles.
  • Implants: For patients who have lost teeth and want a more permanent solution, implants are the best solution as they restore tooth function and allow users to perform many of the actions that natural teeth do. Implants are different from dentures in that they are implanted directly to the jawbone, which connects them more securely. Patients prefer implants as they are natural-looking. You will also not have to worry about slippage or speech problems that sometimes occur with prosthetics.
  • Veneers: Veneers, also called laminates, are used to enhance the appearance of the teeth aesthetically. Patients generally suffer from discolored, chipped, misshapen or misaligned teeth. Materials used include porcelain, ceramic or composite.
  • Braces: Braces are used for alignment issues like crooked teeth, crowding, gaps, crossbites, underbites and overbites. Some patients qualify for Invisalign services, but more serious dental issues require the use of traditional metal bracket and bands.

4. Root Canals

A root canal treatment is performed when a dentist needs to save a tooth after the detection of infection or decay. Without medical treatment, the tissue within the tooth eventually becomes infected and abscessed, which causes pain and inflammation. The dentist painlessly removes the soft material inside the root canal called the pulp, cleans the area around the tooth’s nerve, disinfects, reshapes the root canal, and then uses a filling to seal the tooth. 

5. Cancer Screenings

The American Cancer Society estimates that 51,540 Americans will get oropharyngeal cancer while at least 10,030 will die from it. Their data shows that this cancer form is more prominent in males than females. Most cancer diagnoses occur on the mouth, tongue, gums, tonsils, oropharynx, salivary glands and roof and floor of the mouth. Thanks to dental examination and cancer screening technology, the death rates for this type of cancer has steadily declined over the last three decades, which shows that dental detection and prevention are vital for parents.

For busy families today, prevention and early access to treatment will save money, starting when your child is a toddler. Access to top-notch dentistry will help give you and your family members confidence because of your beautiful, healthy smiles.

5 Oral Health Services Every Parent Needs

Let’s face it: as parents, the same things that bring us our greatest pleasure — our kids, our spouses, our lives — also happens to take the greatest toll on us. As we age, it feels easy to let ourselves go. Life’s just too busy to keep up with everything, or so it seems that way. While you can relax in many areas of your life, your dental health must always be maintained. In this article, we cover five oral health services that every adult needs to stay healthy and upkept.

1. Routine Checkups and Cleanings 

While most insurance policies provide two dental checkups and cleanings, only a few patients take advantage of their coverage which leads to additional cavity and decay. Not getting dental checkups regularly lead to increased costs and tooth loss. To make an appointment today, visit http://www.digitaldentistryatsouthpoint.com and click on “Make An Appointment” to schedule it online. It is the ideal time to bring in the whole family for a full screening and dental workup.

  • Cleaning: The first thing your hygienist will do is clean your teeth to remove any plaque buildup and tartar that collects around the gumline. The hygienist also uses floss to remove any hard-to-reach food particles or plaque. Polishing will remove any residue and give your teeth a smooth, consistent look that will deter plaque from collecting easily.
  • X-rays: A hygienist will perform a visual exam and take X-rays of your teeth so that the dentist will know of any cavities or repair needs. Offices tend to have traditional X-ray imaging machines, CT scans or 3D digital technology.
  • Exam: The dentist will look for issues like cavities, alignment, grinding, clenching, gumline abnormalities, tooth fractures, bone loss or oral cancer. Not only will you receive treatment, but you will have peace of mind that there are no indications that more serious dental issues are required.

2. Dental Fillings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 91 percent of Americans have cavities that require fillings and 27 percent never receive treatment. When a dentist detects cavities during routine exams, a material is used to fill in the hole after a decay extraction occurs. Possible restoration includes inlays and onlays.

When a tooth suffers from cavities, disease or injuries, inlays and onlays restore them depending on where in the tooth it occurs. Inlays are used to restore the area located between the rounded perimeter in the middle and the cusps. Onlays are used for one or multiple cusps or bite when decay is too severe for fillings but not too serious that a patient requires a crown. Materials include resin and ceramics.

3. Cosmetic Enhancements for Health and Aesthetics

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, this type of aesthetic dentistry boosts self-esteem, attractiveness, health restoration, youthfulness and advances in social or business activities. Cosmetic dentistry also removes stains, discoloration or imperfections because of whitening and smile restoration practices. Procedures that promote health include:

  • Tooth whitening: People tend to regularly consume foods and beverages that are sweet, caffeinated or acidic which causes discoloration. The staining will darken over time even with regular cleaning and proper dental care. Tooth whitening is one of the most sought-after cosmetic procedures and is widely available at most dental clinics.
  • Crowns and bridges: Dentists use crowns made of porcelain, gold or a blend of materials to protect underlying natural teeth. Bridges are also used to replace missing teeth or the space between the natural teeth or implants. Porcelain is a commonly used material as it is durable and resistant to long-term staining. It is also commonly used for molars. The ideal candidate for crowns is someone who is not a candidate for fillings. Crowns are also used to protect the structural integrity of a tooth or for patients that have broken or chipped them. They also improve bits and prevent bacteria buildup. Some patients also opt for them as an aesthetic enhancement to improve their smiles.
  • Implants: For patients who have lost teeth and want a more permanent solution, implants are the best solution as they restore tooth function and allow users to perform many of the actions that natural teeth do. Implants are different from dentures in that they are implanted directly to the jawbone, which connects them more securely. Patients prefer implants as they are natural-looking. You will also not have to worry about slippage or speech problems that sometimes occur with prosthetics.
  • Veneers: Veneers, also called laminates, are used to enhance the appearance of the teeth aesthetically. Patients generally suffer from discolored, chipped, misshapen or misaligned teeth. Materials used include porcelain, ceramic or composite.
  • Braces: Braces are used for alignment issues like crooked teeth, crowding, gaps, crossbites, underbites and overbites. Some patients qualify for Invisalign services, but more serious dental issues require the use of traditional metal bracket and bands.

4. Root Canals

A root canal treatment is performed when a dentist needs to save a tooth after the detection of infection or decay. Without medical treatment, the tissue within the tooth eventually becomes infected and abscessed, which causes pain and inflammation. The dentist painlessly removes the soft material inside the root canal called the pulp, cleans the area around the tooth’s nerve, disinfects, reshapes the root canal, and then uses a filling to seal the tooth. 

5. Cancer Screenings

The American Cancer Society estimates that 51,540 Americans will get oropharyngeal cancer while at least 10,030 will die from it. Their data shows that this cancer form is more prominent in males than females. Most cancer diagnoses occur on the mouth, tongue, gums, tonsils, oropharynx, salivary glands and roof and floor of the mouth. Thanks to dental examination and cancer screening technology, the death rates for this type of cancer has steadily declined over the last three decades, which shows that dental detection and prevention are vital for parents.

For busy families today, prevention and early access to treatment will save money, starting when your child is a toddler. Access to top-notch dentistry will help give you and your family members confidence because of your beautiful, healthy smiles.

How to Prepare Your Toddler for His First Dentist Visit (By Guest Blogger, Jack Kennedy)

 

Can you imagine your toddler sitting perfectly still in the dentist’s chair with their mouth obediently stretched wide open? You are not alone if you think this picture resembles a far-flung fantasy. However, a little preparation goes a long way in making the first dental check-up go as smoothly and as painlessly (we hope) as possible.

Preparing yourself

The early years are anexciting time and full of firsts. When the first tooth erupts, or at about one year of age, is the general recommendation of when your child’s first trip to the dentist should occur.

The first step is to choose your dentist. This may not be your own dentist unless they have experience in dealing with potentially squirming, crying kids. Choosing a paediatric dentist – one who specialises in these yowling youngsters – can be worthwhile. Do your research to see which trustworthy and kid-friendly dental practices are in your area.

Prepare yourself so you can answer any questions your child may have confidently and accurately. Often dental practices will provide you with information about the first dental visit. If not, it pays to ask exactly what to expect. Make a list of any concerns or questions you may have, such as how to choose the right toothbrush. Remember to inform the clinic of any allergies, medical conditions and medications beforehand.

Children look directly to us as experienced adults for guidance and support about how to behave and respond to new situations. Children are excellent at picking up on cues and can sense when we are happy and relaxed or are worried and scared. As their attitude and temperament are likely to reflect your own feelings,continue striving to be a positive role model, laying aside any fear or trepidation you may have. Your child has not yet been given any reason to dislike the dentist, so try to keep it this way.

Talking to your child

Children often learn by mimicking the things we say and do, even if it can get a little tiresome at times. Brushing your teeth together demonstrates good habits at home and is a great way to teach your toddler about oral health. This is an easy lead-in to talking about “going toa special kind of doctor that looks after your teeth”.

Like any new experience, visiting the dentist can be daunting the first time around and can be associated with feelings of anxiety. Knowing what to expect removes some of the trepidation associated with the unknown, as does constant reassurance that you will be with them throughout the entire visit. With young children, use simple and positive language. Tell them exactly what to expect, such as “the dentist will count your teeth” and “the dentist helps us keep our teeth strong and healthy.”

There are many entertaining resources at your disposal to help begin these discussions and introduce your child to proper dental care. Picture books with colorful illustrations about going to the dentist can be read together. Educational toys and models show exactly what their teeth look like and you can practice counting them, just like the dentist will do. Computer animations and other online resources can be both entertaining and informative, ultimately helping your toddler cope with their first trip to the dentist.

Role playing games can be used to great effect to show what will happen at the dentist. A stuffed toy or doll makes for a willing patient to practice on, and your child can act out the roles of both dentist and patient, helping to overcome their fears.

Even trips to the museum and zoo or watching the nature channel is a prime opportunity to promote curiosity and discussion. For instance, compare their teeth to the massive teeth of lions. They will be fascinated!

While at the Dentist

When at the dentist, take toys and books to keep your kid occupied while you wait. Consider bringing a special “going to the dentist book” or (if you are brave enough)having a “going to the dentist song”.Formally introduce your child to the dentist and any nurses so that they become a familiar and friendly face. Finally, planning a reward for afterwards will give your toddler something to look forward to, such as a trip to the playground. That said, try to avoid the use of bribery. Instead, promote the dentist visit as a healthy and positive experience. With these strategies, the next visit will be even easier, so there’s no reason to be down in the mouth!

Jack Kennedy works for Corson Dental, a New Zealand based dental practice specializing in cosmetic and general procedures.

Photo Credit: pixabay.com

It’s All About Being A Big Boy, These Days

December 21, 2013 at 8:47 pm , by 

3 years, 1 months.

Dear Jack,

I’m officially aware now that if Mommy or I add the phrase “big boy” in front of just about anything, you’ll be interested in it. It’s similar to the way I’ve distanced myself from using the word “toddler” to reference you anymore, especially since you turned 3 last month.

In other words, you are doing away with all that baby stuff, because this is like your bar mitzvah of Big Boyhood.

For example, I’ve noticed that in recent photo collages I’ve been making, I typically include a shot of the men’s restroom sign, to signify that you went potty there… and didn’t get your “big boy underwear” wet.

It’s like my way of documenting The Great Potty Tour of 2013/2014.

I was thinking about this the whole time you were at the dentist, when I took you earlier this week. I was so impressed by the way you just went with the flow, despite it being potentially intimidating to a 3 year-old.

Granted, the huge fish tank, the multiple horsie rides, and the arcade room surely helped distract you in a good way.

It was very rewarding for me as a parent to sit back and watch you at the dentist, seeing that you clearly wanted to show me how brave you are.

When I was your age, I was more afraid of new things. But you, you’re different.

You have a level of self-confidence I don’t remember having until after I survived 6th grade. In other words, I was probably about 13 before I had the chutzpah you already have.

So basically, you’re ahead of me by about 10 years.

Ideally, in theory, you could be where I am now, maturity-wise, by the time you’re 22; I’m 32 now.

That’s my goal for you, in a way. I’m doing my best to raise you to have more maturity, life skills, knowledge, charisma, and humility than I had at whatever age you are now.

So far, it’s working…

 

Love,

Daddy