As adults, we know that it’s important to take care of our oral health. But it’s particularly important for children as well. We have to make sure they’re taking care of their mouths properly. Dr. Paul Bowersox, a dentist in Westminster, MD, discusses pediatric dentistry and why it’s so important.
Establishing Good Habits Early
Children should start going to the dentist regularly as soon as they have teeth erupting. We can help both children and parents learn the best methods for brushing and flossing smaller teeth. Since children tend to have diets that are higher in sugar, it’s also important to teach them that a balanced diet is an ideal one for their health.
Getting children into the dentist early also helps them get used to it. The lights and sounds of the dental office can trigger dental anxiety or fear. We use simple words and positive attitudes to show children they don’t have anything to be afraid of. You can sit in on appointments with them and they can see you get treatment so they know that they’re okay.
Many age groups have unique dental issues. For children, it’s tooth decay. Diets high in sugar and struggling with brushing properly contribute to this. In addition to information on proper techniques, dental sealants are another option we can offer. They’re painted onto the cusps of the molars and hard to reach places in the mouth. They provide an extra layer of protection against tooth decay.
By the late teens, we usually see wisdom teeth begin to erupt. If they’re seeing the pediatric dentist regularly, we can monitor the wisdom teeth as they develop. Services like regular x-rays can show us how the teeth are coming in and if they’re going to cause problems. Wisdom tooth extraction is often recommended, as most mouths aren’t big enough to account for these extra molars.
Catching Problems Earlier
Pediatric dentistry involves regular appointments every six months. And children’s mouths are growing and changing at a faster rate than adults are. Seeing children in our office regularly helps us see how they’re changing and if there are any problems that may be coming their way.
For example, teeth may become overcrowded and crooked, or there may be large gaps in between teeth. In this case, we may recommend clear braces or refer patients to a local orthodontist for further care. Typical diagnostic tools and exams can also detect early stages of tooth decay, something that’s often hard for a patient to notice on their own until it’s severe.
Your Pediatric Dentist in Westminster, Maryland
Make sure your child is getting the oral healthcare they need for a healthy smile. Call us or schedule an appointment online.