Giving You the Support You Need To Help Your Child Develop Healthy Teeth and Gums
Your child’s mouth goes through a lot of changes during the first few years of their life, going from completely gummy to an adorably gap-filled smile as their teeth erupt and finally evolving to a full set of baby teeth around the time they enter preschool. Still, making your child smile always brings a special kind of joy — no matter what their smile looks like at the moment! Getting those happy grins from your child is important, but so is making sure that smile is healthy. After all, your child’s oral health has an important role to play in their development so asking the right dental questions will help you feel more prepared!
We understand that it can be hard to know exactly how to handle each stage of your child’s oral development or how to encourage healthy habits, but you don’t have to do this alone! We’re here to support you every step of the way, including by answering all of your dental health questions. To help you get started, we’ve answered a few of the dental questions that parents of preschoolers like you ask us most often!
How can I help my child build healthy oral hygiene habits?
There are a few ways you can work to get your child interested in oral hygiene and make the daily routine go more smoothly. The first is to take steps to make the routine fun and integrate a reward system for doing well with their oral hygiene. The second is to let your child see you carrying out your own oral hygiene routine. If it works in your schedule, try brushing and flossing your teeth with your little one! It might sound like such a simple tactic, but young kids love imitating their parents, so it can work wonders for your child’s enthusiasm about their daily oral hygiene routine. This is especially true when you pair these two methods together, making it a fun family activity and giving them rewards for doing well. If you’re still struggling to get your child engaged, you can always ask your kids’ dentist for ideas. They’ll be happy to give you a few tips!
Are baby teeth really that important?
Yes! Baby teeth play several essential roles in your child’s daily life, like helping your child to eat food and speak properly. They also play a bigger role in your child’s long-term oral health by guiding their adult teeth into the right position. When baby teeth are lost too early, their adult teeth can come in crooked or overcrowded. As a result, keeping their baby teeth healthy until their adult teeth are ready to erupt can lessen the amount of orthodontic care they’ll need in the future, which can actually save you money! So while your child’s baby teeth are meant to fall out eventually, they have plenty of important jobs to do while they’re here — and it’s vital to keep them healthy so that they can keep doing those jobs!
How long can I expect my child’s appointment to take?
In general, you should plan for a regular checkup to take about an hour. Your child’s appointment may take more time if they have special needs that need to be addressed or if they’re undergoing a dental procedure. If you’d like to know how long their appointment is likely to take, our staff will be happy to give you an estimate.
Has your office put COVID-19 protocols in place?
Yes! We want to do our best to keep our patients safe and healthy, so we have added to our usual protocols and made changes to the way our office operates to try and prevent the spread of COVID-19. In addition to disinfecting areas regularly and using hospital-grade air purifiers, we allow you to text us when you arrive and wait in your car or come wait in the waiting room, which has socially-distanced seating. You must wear a mask when you enter the office and we’re asking that only one adult accompanies your child to their appointment. This helps limit the number of people in our office at once. You can check out all of our COVID-19 regulations here.
How do you make my child’s appointment a positive experience?
We work with kids all day every day, so our entire staff is trained and experienced in working with kids of all ages and personality types. We want them to feel comfortable and to have fun during their appointment! Our office is decorated with a fun under-the-sea theme that your child will love, making the atmosphere more welcoming and entertaining. We also offer a Happy Visit, which is an office tour where your child will get to see our office and meet everyone who will be working with them before their initial appointment. This way, they get to have positive interactions with the staff before they even have a dental exam, establishing trust and a positive, fun association with our office. It makes them feel more comfortable when they know the people who are taking care of them, which can help their regular dental appointments to go much more smoothly.
Do you treat special needs children?
Yes, our entire staff has received training to work with special needs children with all kinds of diagnoses, including autism and medical issues. We will work closely with you to give your child the best possible experience at our office as well as the best dental care available. You can also ask your child’s dentist any dental questions you have about at-home care and the unique challenges that you may face with your child’s oral health and hygiene routine. They can give you ideas to help improve your child’s home care or to get them more engaged in their routine.
What are sealants and do they really help prevent cavities?
Sealants are thin, protective coatings that can be quickly and easily painted onto the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth. The resulting barrier between your child’s tooth and bacteria prevents 80% of cavities for two years and 50% of cavities for up to four years. It’s certainly not a replacement for a regular oral hygiene routine, but it can be invaluable in helping protect your child’s long-term oral health.
Seeing a smile on your child’s face is priceless, but so is the knowledge that their smile is healthy. Thankfully, you’re not on your own when it comes to protecting your child’s oral health or teaching them about at-home oral care — your kids’ dentist is here to help! If you’d like to schedule an appointment or have any additional dental questions about your toddler’s oral health, feel free to call our office at any time.