Bringing your child into our Maryville, IL office for a dental exam every six months is the best tip you can follow for keeping their teeth and gums as healthy as possible. Pediatric dentistry (child dentistry) is a field of dentistry specializing in the maintenance of dental health for children ages 0 to 18. We recommend parents start taking their child to dental exams and cleanings when teeth erupt around age 18 months to two years. Primary (baby) teeth require regular cleanings and fluoride treatments just as much as permanent teeth to ensure optimal oral health throughout childhood and adolescence.
Benefits of Children’s Tooth Care in Maryville, IL
Children are immediately susceptible to tooth decay and cavities after baby teeth erupt and these fragile teeth are exposed to anaerobic bacteria. Bacteria live in plaque, an organic, sticky substance composed of food particles, dead cells, and other mouth debris. To prevent anaerobic bacteria from accumulating on your child’s teeth and demineralizing dental enamel, your Maryville, IL dentist provides fluoride treatments for children with baby or permanent teeth. Other six-month check-up services include an examination of all teeth and gums, x-rays to ensure adult teeth are coming in normally and teeth cleanings to remove oral bacteria sticking to dental enamel.
Importance of Fluoride Treatments for Kids
Children should receive a fluoride treatment once a year to prevent oral bacteria from dissolving dental enamel. Fluoride help protects childhood and adult teeth from pitting, cavities and general decay. In some cases, fluoride treatments may reverse very early signs of tooth decay. Parents should also make sure kids are brushing their teeth with fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride treatments stop plaque development by interacting with saliva and remineralizing dental enamel.
Tips for Brushing Children’s Teeth
- Children should brush and floss their teeth in the morning and before bedtime. Parents should use a soft-bristled, child’s toothbrush when brushing baby teeth. Apply a dab of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice on the bristles.
- Spend about two minutes brushing your child’s teeth. Don’t “scrub” teeth. Gently move toothbrush bristles in a circular motion over each tooth. Pay attention to molars in older children since cavities often develop in molars first.
- Replace your child’s toothbrush every three months or after they have been sick. Brushing their teeth when they are sick and not replacing the toothbrush could reinfect your child with the illness.
- Use floss picks or sticks when flossing a child’s teeth. They remove more easily than string floss and do not require parents to make their child assume uncomfortable positions.
Call our Maryville, IL office today to schedule an appointment for your child’s dental exam and cleaning.