The Parent's Guide to Pediatric Dentistry

Good oral health begins at birth, even though your child likely won't need to visit a reliable pediatric dentist Bloomington has to offer until they're around six months old. Waiting too long to start dental hygiene routines and dental visits can lead to lifelong tooth and gum issues. Learn the essentials of pediatric dentistry to ensure you're giving your child the best possible care.

A Timeline for Pediatric Dental Care

Some parents assume that children don't need to see a dentist until they're a toddler. Instead, it's recommended that you schedule a first-time visit for around the six months mark when the first tooth usually appears. It is acceptable to wait for that first tooth to appear, but don't wait past eight months since the dentist can also determine if any issues are causing tooth eruption delays.

Once your child has two teeth that have grown in next to each other, it's time to visit the dentist every six months. This happens between the ages of two and six. Make sure to start brushing your child's teeth with a finger brush from the first tooth, transitioning into teaching them to brush around age three. When the teeth begin to fill in next to each other, it's time to teach flossing. Your dentist in Bloomington Indiana can help with this by recommending flossing tools since it can be tricky for toddlers and children still developing their hand-eye coordination.

Children between the ages of six and eight tend to need sealants as their molars first erupt. Protecting the baby teeth from cavities and decay not only prevents pain and chewing issues but ensures that the adult teeth grow in properly as well. Braces may be installed from around age 7 and up to improve the bite pattern. Again, proper alignment of the baby teeth provides a place for the adult teeth to come in straight and well-aligned.

How to Choose a Pediatric Dentist

The best pediatric dentists work hard to make your children as comfortable as possible with all dental procedures. The dentist's office can be intimidating even for adults, so it's even harder for kids to feel comfortable sometimes due to all the unfamiliar noises, smells, and sights. Patience is a virtue in a pediatric dentist because children need extra time during procedures to take breaks and reduce their anxiety about what's happening. If you have a child with special needs, make sure to find a dentist specializing in their care to ensure every step is taken to help them adjust to the new environment. Pediatric dentists who give their young patients good experiences help build a lifelong habit of visiting the dentist, which can preserve your child's smile and overall health for the rest of their life.

Teaching Good Dental Care Habits

Your dentist for children will also help teach your child many important dental health habits. Children are more likely to stick to their brushing and flossing routines when they learn the easiest and most effective ways to do it. While it's great to teach your kids family stories and history, you don't want to pass down a less effective method of brushing to them. Outside reinforcement from a respected authority figure like a kind pediatric dentist is also a great way to boost dental habits without so many fights during bedtime.

Important Pediatric Procedures from Your Bloomington Dentist

Visiting a pediatric dentist can involve many different procedures, but they all start with a standard cleaning and oral health inspection. Even babies during their first dental visit will have their gums and any erupted teeth checked for good health and signs of decay. If any issues are detected, the dentist may need to complete X-rays to find out what's going on under the surface. From there, they may recommend fillings for cavities, braces for bite alignment issues, or a number of procedures to treat slowly erupting teeth. No matter the issue, a skilled pediatric dentist can find a solution that prioritizes your child's health.

Diet Tips for Strong Teeth

What your child eats at home between dental visits also plays a large role in their oral health. While most parents know to limit sugar whenever possible to prevent cavities, many still overlook the issue of acidity. Acidic drinks can include popular fruit juices with no sugar added. When the teeth are exposed to acidic liquids that aren't washed away with water, the enamel is weakened and allows bacteria to move in to form cavities. Try to encourage your child to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables instead of juices or purees as they get older since liquids tend to linger longer than solids.

Now that you've explored our guide to pediatric dentist services, schedule an appointment with us here at Liberty Family Dentistry.

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