Pediatric Dentistry Fairfax VA
Pediatric Dentistry | Going to the dentist should not be a scary experience. Unfortunately, many children fear the dentist, which prevents them from getting the proper care for their oral health issues. That's why taking your children to an office like Breeze Dental, which focuses on pediatric dentistry, is important. Our dentists will make your child feel right at home. Our office offers a pleasant, non-frightening environment. Likewise, we use simple words to describe each treatment so your child doesn't feel anxious. We want you and your child to feel at ease as soon as you walk in. Contact Breeze Dental to learn more about how we can help your child maintain a healthy smile for life. Schedule an appointment by calling (703) 844-2991.
Oral Health Recommendations for Children
Children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child's new teeth receive proper dental care at the very start. Teeth will start forming at around six months of age and will continue to appear until about age 3. The gums may feel sore during this time. To help alleviate this discomfort, a wet cloth or a teething ring may help. Your child will lose primary teeth throughout childhood. Permanent teeth start coming in around age six and will continue to erupt until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth plus four wisdom teeth.
Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits
Healthy habits should start as soon as your child's teeth emerge. Examine them every two weeks and look for discoloration that may be caused by decay. Sugary foods and liquids can attack your child's new teeth, so make sure your child brushes their teeth after eating. It is recommended that they brush twice a day. Children should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. Parents should brush it with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste is not recommended for children under the age of 2. Flossing should also be a part of your child's oral hygiene habits. Your dentist will tell you when you can begin flossing your child's teeth.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Tooth decay occurs when sugars are left in your mouth. They turn into an acid, which can break down teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay because they often do not practice good oral hygiene habits. You can help your child prevent tooth decay with daily brushing and flossing, combined with regular dental visits. Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. The dentist may recommend fluoride treatments twice a year.
Tooth sealants may also be recommended. Sealants "seal" the grooves in your child's back teeth. This smooths out the surface of the teeth, which helps prevent decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. These molars are the most vulnerable to cavities and decay because they are used in chewing. Because these teeth are in the back, they are also the most difficult to reach and clean. Sealants last for several years but will be monitored at your child's regular checkups. Molars first come in at around 5-7 years of age. A second set then comes in between the ages of 11 and 14. It is best to protect the molars early, so the dentist may place the sealant right when they first come in. An adhesive is applied to the teeth. The sealant is then painted onto the tooth. The liquid then hardens and helps keep out bacteria, plaque, and food particles. Sealants last for about 10 years and can be reapplied if necessary.
If your child plays sports, mouthguards can help protect their teeth and jaw. They can also prevent injuries such as lacerations to the lips, cheeks, and tongue. Mouthguards have also been shown to help decrease the risk of concussions. Children of all ages should invest in mouthguards if they play sports such as football, hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball, and wrestling. While mouthguards are available in most sporting goods stores, these mouthguards do not offer the best level of protection. They usually do not fit well and are uncomfortable. For the highest level of comfort and protection, ask your dentist about a custom mouth guard fitting. A custom mouthguard is created specifically for your child's mouth. It is made of a thin plastic that is hardened to protect the teeth. Because custom mouthguards are thinner, they allow your child to breathe easier.