We love working with our young patients and understand that they have distinct requirements when going to the dentist. We try not to push kids so that they wind up nervous of the dentist’s office. We would like their visit to be as fun and comfortable as it can be, as well as for them to develop life-long relationships with our dentist’s office.
Dr. Pat Riley and Dr. Roy York encourages moms and dads of young kids to bring them along to the parent’s scheduled dental visit so that the little one is able to see how things go during the appointment, and become familiar with our staff and office.
We also advise that your child’s very first visit be in between eighteen months and 2 years of age. At that age we can begin to observe the growth and development of their teeth.
When New Teeth Arrive:
Your child’s first tooth erupts between ages 6-12 months and the remainder of their 20 primary or “baby” teeth typically erupt by age 3. During this time, gums may feel tender and sore, causing your child to feel irritable. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring.
Your child’s primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood, and their permanent teeth begin erupting at age 6 and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth, or 32 including wisdom teeth.
“Big Grins” Pre-School Visit
Our complimentary, pre-school, gentle-dental visit will make your child excited to see the dentist again. Your child will enjoy a tour of the office, sit in the big dental chair, make faces in the dental mirror, and make the whiz tools whir. We enjoy acquainting your child to the basic sights and sounds of a checkup appointment. Our children’s hygienist connects with kids easily; and with her captivating energy, she’ll have them believing that the dentist is way cooler than an X-Box 360… Okay, she can’t really do that…
BRACES? In Pre-School?
Most young parents of today didn’t wear braces when they were teenagers. In fact, if they saw an orthodontist it was because their teeth were severely crooked and misaligned. Braces were too expensive for some families. However, it was usually because their parents didn’t think that their teeth were misaligned enough for orthodontic treatment, and their dentist didn’t bring it up unless the parents asked about braces.
Back then, if there wasn’t enough space for all your teeth, the dentist simply pulled some permanent teeth. Of course, now, we figured out that doing so was a disaster in the making.
Just within the last ten to fifteen years did we find out about the debilitating long-term health effects of an unbalanced bite. Orthodontic dentistry isn’t just for making a teenager’s teeth look straight and pretty anymore. Now, they concentrate on much more. Misalignment and malocclusion can bring on chronic headaches and full-blown migraines. A misaligned bite can cause ringing in the ears and vertigo (dizziness). Completely healthy teeth can start to chip and wear away, producing a ragged-edged smile.
Worst of all, malocclusion usually isn’t something a parent can just “see”. It lurks in the background continuously exerting strain and pressure on the jaw joint, the teeth and the chewing muscles. Then, one day, your ace student can’t take the English test because of a migraine. Or, he can’t hit jump shots anymore because he has developed vertigo.
There are some real benefits in starting orthodontic treatment when children are much younger. The children usually don’t have to wear braces for a long period of time during those awkward teenage years. It is also much easier to expand the palate and allow room for all of the adult teeth to have the proper space to come in. In most of those cases, young children will not get braces, however they will have their palates expanded by an appliance. This will make their arches wider. It allows space in the mouth for all of the child’s adult teeth to properly grow.
Dr. Pat Riley and Dr. Roy York has developed relationships with some excellent orthodontists in the area and can refer you and your child to an orthodontist if an exam reveals crowded or crooked teeth, or issues with the palate. We can help you choose the best orthodontist that meets the needs and temperament of your child.
Didn’t Fluoride Eradicate Cavities in the 60’s?
Scientists in the 1960’s found that fluoride helped build a stronger defense against the teeth’s enemies like bacteria and acids and sweets. And, yes, when fluoride was added to a city’s drinking water, the incidence of cavities dropped sharply. It was even predicted at one time that there would come a time when we wouldn’t need dentists anymore.
However, even the scientists of the 60’s couldn’t predict the development of Mountain Dew, Power Aid Energy Drinks and Gummy Worms. There is no way they could have foreseen that the average teenager would now eat their own weight in refined sugar every year. And, finally, even those scientists with a dark pessimistic vision of the 21st century, couldn’t imagine the power that high-fructose corn syrup would wield against fluoride, regular toothpaste and even daily flossing.
Tips For Your Family’s Oral Health:
• Limit frequency of meals and snacks.
• Encourage brushing, flossing and rinsing.
• Watch what your child drinks.
• Avoid giving your child sticky foods.
• Make treats part of meals.
• Choose nutritious snacks.
Good dental hygiene in your own home is extremely important and needs to start at a rather early age. We take the time to instruct moms and dads and kids on good brushing and flossing methods to enable them to enjoy good dental health for a lifetime.