Dentistry for Children

Going to the dentist can be a scary prospect for young kids, but the primary cause of that is parents waiting too long before bringing their child in for their first dental appointment. The key to making kids feel comfortable at the dentist’s office is starting them early, and starting before they have any dental problems that are already causing them stress.

It’s recommended that young children have their first dental visit within six months of the appearance of the first baby tooth. Some parents choose to wait a little longer, but every child should see a dentist by the age of two years. Toddlers are at the ideal age for meeting a dentist and getting comfortable in the office.

A child’s first dental visit might, or might not, include an exam. The primary goal at this visit is for the child to meet Dr. Hill and the staff and feel comfortable about being in the office. If the child is willing, a simple dental exam can be performed.

The first visit is also a learning opportunity for the parent or parents who accompany the child. Teaching children how to properly brush and floss their teeth at home is the parents’ job, but Dr. Hill can give guidance and answer any questions parents have.

As children grow, dental problems can arise. Fluoride is recommended to strengthen tooth enamel and help to prevent cavities. To give teeth more protection from bacterial growth and decay, children can have a dental sealant treatment. Dental sealant is usually applied to the back teeth; the molars. These teeth are harder to clean than front teeth, and they have many grooves and pits. The sealant fills those in, smoothing the surface of the teeth to prevent food particles and debris from building up and allowing bacteria to grow.

The great thing about dental sealant application is that it is completely painless. The sealant is a thin plastic coating that is painted on to the surface of the teeth. Sealants are usually applied to permanent teeth, but in some cases, sealant may be recommended for baby teeth. Mom and Dad might even be candidates for sealants depending on the condition of their teeth.

The first goal of children’s dentistry is to make the child comfortable and develop positive feelings about going to the dentist. By doing this, a child can grow into an adult who will always feel positive about seeing the dentist, and who will be likely to make routine dental visits a part of their life. If you are a parent who would like to learn more about children’s dentistry or if you have any questions, call Dr. Jessica Hill’s office in Alexandria, Virginia now.

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