Dental Care for the Whole Family
Pediatric Dentistry requires education on proper dental care and diet. At Midlothian Dental Center, your child’s smile is nurtured through quality dental care in a warm, kid-friendly environment. We recommend that you bring your child in for their first visit between the ages of two-and-a half and three.
It is important to begin caring for your child’s teeth at an early age. As children mature, their mouths continue to grown and their teeth shift. Semi-annual visits to Dr. Gore, Dr. Hoover, and their associates will ensure that your child grows up with a healthy, beautiful smile they can be proud of.
Midlothian Dental Center’s new office opened January 2009. We have a waiting area for parents, a play area for kids, and satellite TV in every room. We will install cameras in the play area and TV monitors in each treatment room so parents can watch their children while they receive dental care.
Read the FAQs on Pediatric Dentistry !
Your child’s first dental visit should be around the age of 3. If you have any fears of going to the dentist, it is very important that you do not share these fears with your children before their first visit. Be sure not to use words like “needle”, “shot”, “hurt” or “drill”, as these may trigger fears in your children. Please be positive and excited about your child’s first dental visit and they will have a much better first dental experience. Be sure to show your child the video on our website that gives them a tour of the KIDSZONE.
Many first visits are simply an introduction to our office to help your child get acquainted with us and comfortable with the dental office environment. We are always happy to give you and your children a tour of our KIDSZONE before their first visit.
The typical first dental appointment for your child could include one or more of the following:
- A gentle but thorough examination of the teeth, bite, gums, and oral tissues to monitor growth and development and check for any problem areas
- A gentle cleaning
- Oral Hygiene instructions
- Flouride treatment if necessary
- Home Flouride needs assessment
Most importantly, when your child leaves our office, he or she will have trust and confidence about coming to the dentist. Our goal for the first visit is for your child to have fun!
There are many things you can do to help to ensure that your child’s teeth and gums start and remain healthy. From proper oral hygiene habits, (it’s never too early) to eating healthy foods, you can play an important part in laying the groundwork for your child’s oral health and overall appearance later in life. Brushing and flossing are the best-known methods for eliminating or reducing plaque, and tooth decay. Flouride in toothpaste and rinses, as well as in the water we drink , is a substance, which like salvia “Re-mineralizes” (keeps healthy and solidifies) the surfaces of our teeth. From birth until the age of 2, use a small wetted gauze or washcloth to clean your child’s teeth. After the age of 2, begin brushing them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized dab of flouride toothpaste. Encourage your child to spit out-not swallow- excess toothpaste after brushing. By the age of 4 or 5, your child should be able to begin brushing his or her teeth alone. Children under the age of 6 should use only a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on their brush and should spit out as much as possible. The reason for this is that children are most sensitive to higher levels of flouride.
Most dentist agree that brushing three times a day is the minimum; if your child uses flouride toothpaste in the morning and before bed at night, he or she can get away without using toothpaste during the middle of the day. A simple brushing with plain water or rinsing the mouth with water for 30 seconds after lunch will generally do the job.
Floss removes plaque and debris that stick to teeth and gums. It also increases blood circulation in the gums. Many dentists believe that flossing is the single most important weapon against plaque. And it is never too early to begin flossing once your child’s baby teeth are fully erupted. Daily flossing is an excellent and proven method for complementing your child’s brushing routine and helping to prevent cavities, periodontal disease, and other dental problems later in life.
Technology today has produced sealants, which work by filling the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years. Sealants are particularly effective in children, and may help them from developing cavities later on. Sealants are best suited for permanent first molars, which erupt around the age of 6, and second molars, which erupt around the age of 12. Sealants are also effective in preventing cavities in your child’s premolars. Research has shown that almost everybody has a 95% chance of experiencing cavities in the pits and grooves of their teeth.
Sealants act as a barrier to prevent bacteria and food from collecting and sitting on the grooves and pits of teeth.
Sealants are most effective when applied as soon as the tooth has fully come in. Children derive the greatest benefit from sealants because of the newness of their teeth. Research has shown that more than 65% of all cavities occur in the narrow pits and grooves of a child’s newly erupted teeth because of trapped food particles and bacteria.
It is especially important that children have semi-annual checkups. The reasons are simple: Changes are occurring in the child’s mouth remarkably faster than in the adult mouth; while new teeth are forming , the jawbone continues to grow. Semi-annual check-ups allow our office to spot early conditions, such as baby bottle decay, teeth irritations, gum disease, and prolonged thumb sucking. Yes, decay can set in from using a bottle during naps or at night, or when your baby nurses continuously from the breast. Without regular checkups, periodontal disease may result if gingivitis is left untreated. It also can cause inflammation and destruction of tissues surrounding and supporting teeth, gums, bone, and fibers that hold the gums to the teeth.
Eating a balanced diet and limiting the number of snacks between meals can help prevent the long-term effects of gum disease and tooth decay in your child. Good foods to eat include fruits, uncooked vegetables, yogurt and cheese. Your child should avoid frequent consumption of high sugar foods, especially sticky foods, because the longer the food stays on your teeth and gums, the greater the likelihood a cavity will form. Healthy snacks that are low in sugar include white milk, fresh fruits, raw vegetables, dark breads, whole grain and enriched cereals, sugar free candies, gum and other snacks. High sugar foods are best eaten with a regular meal.
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