It’s no secret that the earlier a child begins regular dental care, the more likely they will maintain those habits into adulthood. One of the best things that parents can do for their child’s oral health is to start the conversations early and normalize visiting the dentist’s office as soon as possible. We’ve compiled a list of some of our most frequently asked questions related to children’s dentistry to help support parents through the early days of dental care for their children.
Why is children’s dentistry important?
One of the most important reasons that a child should go to the dentist is that it starts the evaluation of their oral health early on. It’s important to ensure that your child’s teeth and gums are healthy and strong so that they speak and chew properly as well as maintain good health. Visiting the dentist early will not only help identify any issues as soon as possible, but it will also get kids comfortable with going to the dentist from a very young age. Taking your child to a dentist that is experienced in children’s dentistry will help them feel more relaxed.
At what age should your child begin dental appointments?
It is recommended that children start going to regular dental appointments by their first birthday or within six months after their first tooth erupts. Usually, children get their first tooth by six months of age. If your child is older than this, please don’t worry. It’s still a good time to get regular dental appointments!
How frequently should your child go to the dentist?
A child should go to the dentist every six months, or at least once per year. Your dentist may ask that your child have more frequent visits if there are any concerning issues.
What should you expect at your child’s first dental appointment?
The first dental appointment is intended to be as non-invasive as possible. If the child is an infant, then most of the visit will be focused on talking with the parent about proper ways to take care of baby teeth. The dentist will likely take a peek at the teeth and gums to ensure that there are no alarming issues. Most of this visit is to familiarize the child with the dentist’s office and to provide the parents with an opportunity to ask questions.
What are some children’s dentistry tips for at-home care?
One of the best things that a parent can do for their child is to create an at-home dental care routine. The age of the child will greatly determine what that looks like. Baby: Dental care for a baby is pretty simple. Parents are encouraged to use a cloth to wipe down gums and teeth after feeding. Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle as the milk can build up on their teeth and cause decay. When your child starts teething, offer a cold washcloth or teething ring to help soothe pain and inflammation. Finally, avoid sharing utensils with your baby, as bacteria is transmissible and could cause tooth decay. Toddler: During the early toddler stages, parents should start using a toothbrush with only water to clean their child’s teeth. Be diligent in checking your child’s teeth for any sign of decay. This is a great time to schedule your first dental exam. Once the child turns two years of age, you can start using a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste to clean their teeth. You may also start showing your child how to brush their own teeth. School-aged and teens: At this point, your child should know how to brush and floss their own teeth without any assistance. Your child should have a clear understanding of good oral hygiene. Younger children may still need some reminding. However, it is also at this age that children may start to experience more serious dental concerns which may warrant fillings, crowns, or braces. It is incredibly important to continue regular dental checkups during these formative years.
How do you make dental appointments pleasant
Parents can certainly help children have a better time at the dentist. You can do this by always being positive about the dentist. Never use going to the dentist as a punishment. You may want to bring a comfort item that will help your child be more at ease during the visit.
Choose Lifetime Dental Health for Children’s Dentistry
At Lifetime Dental Health, we understand the importance of creating an environment where children want to be. It is critical that children have positive experiences in the dentist’s chair so that they are more likely to continue coming back when they are an adult. We are experienced in children’s dentistry, and we take the time to put our smallest patients at ease in order to feel safe and secure when they visit us. If your little one is in need of a dentist that is kind and compassionate, then please reach out to us. We are excited to work with parents to make this an education and good experience for everybody! Schedule your appointment today or give us a call at (614) 333-9442.
Tooth-colored fillings, or white fillings, restore a fractured or decayed tooth and appear very similar to the color and texture of your existing teeth. The most popular material used in tooth-colored fillings is composite resin in which a mixture of materials is used to create the final product. Not only is this a durable option, but it easily concealed so that your smile remains natural-looking.
When You Should Get Tooth-Colored Fillings
There are a variety of reasons that a person may benefit from tooth-colored fillings. The most popular reason is that the person is experiencing tooth decay and needs a filling or order to save the tooth and stop the spread of the decay. However, there are other reasons that a tooth-colored filling may be a great choice. Such reasons include:
Filling in gaps
Repairing chipped teeth
Making teeth straighter and even
No matter the reason, tooth-colored fillings are a quality choice that many dentists offer their patients both for long-lasting results and their aesthetic appeal.
Pros and Cons
Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to choosing tooth-colored fillings. Here, we will examine the pros and cons so that you may make the most informed decision about your smile.
Of course, one of the most apparent advantages of tooth-colored fillings is that it looks just like the rest of your teeth. It won’t be readily obvious that you’ve had any dental work done. You can easily use this type of filling for the front or back teeth without worrying about how it will impact your appearance.
Additionally, the bonding on the filling actually restores the tooth to 85-95% of its original strength. It is also beneficial that the filling hardens in a matter of seconds rather than days like some of the other filling options out there. Plus, if the filling is damaged, it is easily replaced.
While there are undoubtedly many advantages of tooth-colored fillings, there are a few cons that you should keep in mind. For instance, just like your regular teeth, consistent exposure to dark liquids will also stain the filling. This exposure may also degrade the filling over time. Unfortunately, tooth-colored fillings are generally less durable than the metal fillings, and can also be more expensive. Because tooth-colored fillings are typically viewed by insurance companies as a somewhat cosmetic procedure, there may be a surcharge added to your final bill.
Alternatives to Tooth-Colored Fillings
While tooth-colored fillings may be the ideal solution for some patients, they may simply not be an option for some people. The size, location, and severity of the damage on the teeth may play a role in which type of filling is best for you. Some alternatives include:
Gold Inlays: Gold inlays are durable, but typically cost more than white fillings. They also require two visits because of the tedious process of creating the inlays in a laboratory.
Dental Amalgam: Dental amalgams are the least expensive alternative, but are less durable than gold inlays. One of the biggest concerns about this option is that it uses 43-53% elemental mercury, which may pose some safety concerns.
Compomers: The composite of this type of filling is a little different than tooth-colored fillings, but can still offer an aesthetically appealing result. They aren’t as durable but release fluoride which may be ideal for certain areas of the mouth that are more prone to decay.
Silicate and Glass Ionomers: This may be an option for some patients, but should not be used on the back teeth because the material tends to be more brittle than other fillings.
Which Option is Right for You?
There are certainly many options to choose from when it comes to deciding which filling is right for you. However, this is a decision that is best made with your dentist. There are many variables that will come into play, including the type of damage, location of the teeth, as well as the patient’s financial situation. Your dentist will help you narrow down your options and make the right choice for your smile.
Why You Should Choose Lifetime Dental Health
At Lifetime Dental Health, we understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dentistry. Some patients will benefit from specific procedures or products simply because of the details surrounding their situation. We work diligently to provide each patient with a customized approach to dentistry that suits their financial situation, current needs, and desired goals. It is our privilege to work with you to achieve the best outcome for your dental needs.
Our warm and friendly staff is ready to answer your questions and provide quality information that will help you throughout your dental procedures. Please reach out to us today to learn more about the services that we offer. Schedule your appointment today or give us a call at (614) 333-9442. We look forward to working with you!
Summer is time for frolicking in the sun, a little less work (hopefully), and more time spent with family whenever possible. There are trips to the beach, lazily lounging poolside, and soaking up the sun…carefully, of course. But what about going to the dentist? Everyone does that, right? While a visit to the dentist is not usually on the summer “bucket list,” it ought to be, and here’s why.
My Oral Health Can Wait ‘Til Fall… Can’t I Take The Summer Off?
You may not feel like throwing in the beach towel and booking an appointment with the dentist, but summer gives you no excuse to get lazy about oral care. The entire family needs to fit in the time to be seen for a general check-up, as much as you would rather pack up for a family picnic or a trip to the park. Oral health maintenance is a year-round matter, and taking the summer season off could only make things worse come fall, and for the future. Even if no one in the family is feeling tooth pain or having other oral issues, being proactive means that regular dental visits should not be skipped come summer. After all, your teeth do not know what season it is, so treat them well 365 days per year.
The Kids Are Going Away For The Season To Summer Camp. Should We See The Dentist Before They’re Off?
By all means, bring the kids in for a check-up before they go away to camp. Once they are off for the summer, they may not have access to decent dental care until they are back home. This means a cavity, crack, or other issues will remain unchecked, potentially worsen, and cause the child pain or discomfort. Even if there is a dentist available at their camp or close by, kids may not mention they are having issues because they do not want to miss out on the camp fun with the other kids. As you plan for their summer camp departure, be sure to put “Make an appointment with Lifetime Dental Health” on your to-do list. If they have already left for camp, remind your kids to brush and floss regularly (as always), and if they notice a problem, to alert their camp counselor right away. Once the kids return home, be sure to book a visit with us as soon as possible so we can prevent additional issues from arising and repair anything necessary. And remember, along with your care packages, include a brand new toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, and some dental floss. A little nudge will remind the kids to take care of their teeth while at camp.
My Whole Family Loves Summer Snacking. The Treats Are Too Good To Pass Up. Are There Foods To Avoid Altogether?
“Everything in moderation” is always a good goal to keep in mind when it comes to snacking, but there are some foods specific to summer that are not the best for your teeth. Those ooey gooey campfire roasted marshmallows can stick to the surface of the teeth, so brush them as soon as you can after enjoying those sweet s’mores. The same goes for the tasty treats you will get off the ice cream truck. Sugary frosty cold drinks sure hit the spot when the sun is blazing and you’re drenched in sweat, but they will also wreak havoc on your teeth if you do not practice good oral hygiene after slurping them up. Enjoy your favorite summertime foods, but be sure to care for your teeth with the same level of enthusiasm. It doesn’t take long to make a difference.
Summer is not a time to slack off in terms of dental health; it is just too important to neglect, no matter the season. The whole family can focus on summer fun, but bring the topic of oral care to the table too. The kids will follow in their parents’ footsteps, so be a good role model and book your dental appointment this summer at Lifetime Dental Health. We are a family-friendly practice with patients of all ages. Your family will be in the best of hands at Lifetime Dental Health and Drs. Barry and Love can’t wait to see you, so kick off your summer with a smile that is as healthy as can be.
Book an appointment for a check-up for yourself and the rest of your family as soon as possible by calling 614-333-9106. Our front desk staff will find you a slot ASAP, we’ll fit you in, then you can get back to your summer adventures. ‘Til then, take care of your teeth at home – summertime and anytime — by brushing, flossing, rinsing, and eating right. It is up to you to stay healthy, and we’re your proactive and preventative partner in making a positive impact on your family.