Pediatric Dentistry for children focuses on providing specialized care for their oral health. These dentists also take the time to educate parents on how to teach their children proper oral hygiene practices at home. In addition, the dentist offers recommendations for regular brushing, supervision, and additional preventive treatments. Oral hygiene routines typically involve brushing, flossing, and mouthwash usage tailored to the child’s age and abilities.It’s essential to recognize that adults and children have distinct dental requirements.
In addition, children go through various stages, from developing their first set of baby teeth to losing them and transitioning to permanent teeth. As a result, the oral health needs of children under two years old, those between 2 and 6 years old, and those older than six differ significantly.
Preventive Dental Care Habits at Home
Here are some beneficial preventive practices for promoting children’s oral health at home:
Brush your teeth together :Make teeth brushing a bonding activity, sharing the experience with your kids and teaching them proper techniques.
Assist younger children : Help them brush their teeth until they can do it on their own, using this time for education and anticipation of independent brushing.
Teach the importance of flossing : Emphasize the need to floss daily for optimal preventive benefits, setting an example by flossing yourself.
Encourage a healthy diet : Minimize sugary foods that contribute to cavities and prioritize nutrient-rich options like leafy greens and vitamin C-rich foods for healthier teeth and gums.
Different Stages Require Different Steps
When addressing children’s oral health, it is crucial to consider their age and capabilities. Pediatric dentistry encompasses various treatments and maintenance practices that contribute to children’s overall health by preventing bad breath and cavities and promoting the development of good oral care habits.
For Children Aged below Two Years Old
It is recommended that parents clean their babies’ gums twice a day to familiarize them with oral care and to remove any sugar and bacteria that can lead to cavities even before teeth emerge. Once the first teeth begin to appear, parents should use a small toothbrush with gentle bristles and water. Ideally, children should have their first visit to a pediatric dentist before celebrating their first birthday.
For Children Aged Between 2 and 6 Years old
As children progress in age, they can gradually take on the responsibility of brushing their teeth. Using training toothbrushes and toothpaste specifically designed for their age group can be a useful starting point.
However, it is vital to supervise and observe your child’s brushing routine to ensure they develop proper techniques. Additionally, it may be beneficial for you to brush your child’s teeth once a day while allowing them to practice brushing on their own during the other time.
Dr.Rebecca F. Scott, DDS, may recommend pediatric dentistry treatments such as sealants to provide an extra layer of protection against cavities. In addition, during this period, dentists often advise parents to consider eliminating pacifiers, bottles, and thumb-sucking habits to promote optimal oral health.
For Children Aged over Six Years Old
The eruption of permanent teeth usually starts around the age of 6 or 7. It is crucial to schedule regular dental checkups twice a year, accompanied by annual dental X-rays. These appointments enable the pediatric dentist near you to identify any cavities or oral health issues that may be present. Permanent teeth may not always grow properly aligned or may not emerge at all. Dental X-rays play a vital role in determining the positioning of permanent teeth and detecting any other potential concerns.
Dental caries (tooth decay) is more prevalent among children than other childhood illnesses. This infectious condition can lead to long-term pain and complications for the child. A pediatric dentist in Lincoln possesses the expertise to identify signs of this disease and propose an appropriate treatment plan. In addition, there are preventive treatments that a dentist may recommend for the child, which include:
- Tooth restoration
- Referral to an orthodontist for addressing misaligned teeth or an improper bite
- Dental injury care
- Administration of fluoride treatments
- Guidance on diet and nutrition for optimal oral health
- Management of gum conditions and diseases
Pediatric Dentistry Can Prevent a Lifetime of Issues
Pediatric dentistry plays a crucial role in preventing long-term oral health problems for children. By providing preventative maintenance and treatments, pediatric dentistry promotes the development of healthy oral hygiene habits in children. To learn more about the benefits of pediatric dentistry and to schedule an appointment, please contact our office at Lincoln Children’s Dentistry today!