Achieving a beautiful smile is a relatively simple accomplishment that has tremendous benefits, especially for children. There's no doubt that a bright, clean smile helps every child feel more comfortable in social settings, speak with fewer inhibitions and have better self-esteem.
New advances in dentistry are constantly being developed. Your dentist is your link to learning more about preventative and restoration procedures and techniques. Your dental hygienist can also offer many informative suggestions about oral hygiene, as well as techniques to improve brushing and flossing.
Every dentist I know works hard to help children stay cavity-free. By working with your child's dentist and dental hygienist, you can help your child achieve a beautiful, cavity-free smile for a lifetime.
The First Visit to the Dentist
Generally, your child's first dental visit should take place around one year of age or upon eruption of your child's first tooth. Introducing toddlers to their dentist early on is a great way to help them become comfortable with the office, equipment and procedures. If you're taking an older child to an appointment, bring your younger child along. It's a good opportunity for your child to meet the dentist, and for your dentist to take a first look at your child's dental progress.
Continue taking your child to the dentist every six months for regular check-ups and cleanings to ensure healthy tooth development and to help stop cavity production before it starts. Far too many infants and toddlers in our country undergo general anesthesia and oral surgery simply because early dental decay goes undetected.
It is so important to keep our children's teeth cavity-free. We have come far with restorative technologies, and the current choices for tooth repair are varied and growing, but it's still much better to avoid getting a cavity whenever possible.
Remember—a tooth without a cavity is a lot less trouble than a tooth with a cavity. Today's fillings may be quick and easy, but they're still not as good as our natural teeth. Some fillings wear down, while others expand or sink. Some are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures; some will fall out if the sealer or glue dissolves over time; and some will crack after excessive chewing. Local anesthetics such as Novocain or a relaxing gas such as nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, may be required. And even though most fillings are totally painless, the reality is that your child will never confuse a cavity-filling session with a trip to the amusement park.
Follow a daily cavity prevention program and your child will grow up with great looking teeth that function well, enhance good speech development, promote optimum nutrition and help build self-esteem.
Benefits of Cavity Prevention
- A bright, white smile;
- A happy, confident child;
- Stronger teeth for a lifetime;
- No need for invasive procedures such as drilling, fillings, general and local anesthetics;
- Savings of time and money;
- Happier visits to the dentist for everyone.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.