5 Steps To Help Your Child Overcome Fear Of Dentists

A visit to the dentist may seem routine to many, but for children who fear the dentist, it is anything but routine.  Fear of the unknown and/or fear of pain are very common fears among kids and are often the reason why they might cry or act out when it’s time to visit the dentist.  Fortunately, parents are not alone in their quest to ease their child’s fear of the dentist.  Most children’s dentists and their staff are trained to work with kids and know how to help them cope with their fear.  Parents can also help prepare their child at home using these five recommended steps:

Talk ­­Teeth: Make oral health a common topic in your home. Picture books and cartoon dental videos are great resources.  Also, during your daily and nightly routines of brushing and flossing, have fun role playing “going to the dentist”.

Start Early: Children’s dentists recommend that you start taking your child to the dentist when their first tooth comes in (around 1 year old). These early visits will often consist of quick check-ups and gentle cleanings, which are great way to introduce your child to kid’s dentistry.

Schedule A Pre-Visit:  A pre-visit to the dentist is a great way to familiarize your child with the dentist’s office without any overwhelming exams or procedures that same day.  Meeting the staff, seeing the fun environment and getting answers to questions can help ease any fears, making the actual appointment much more pleasant.

Leave The Details To The Experts: When preparing your child for their first visit to the dentist, keep the explanation positive and simple.  Let the trained staff and children’s dentist explain procedures and treatment to your child. You might want to say something simple like: “The dentist is going to check your smile to make sure your teeth are strong, healthy and clean. Avoid negative words like shot or pain.

Discuss The Option Of Sedation With The Dentist: Some children need more help relaxing to allow the proper amount of time for their treatment.  When more extensive work is needed, sedation can especially be a great benefit.  There are several options and methods for sedation for children. Your child’s dentist can explain these options and recommend the appropriate one for your child.

Dental Sealants…What Parents Should Know

What are dental sealants?

Sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are usually placed on the chewing surfaces of the permanent back teeth. The liquid sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.

Why get sealants?

The number one reason to get sealants is to avoid tooth decay.  The chewing surfaces of the molar and premolar teeth have grooves (fissures) that make them difficult to clean and more prone to decay.  Plaque accumulates in these areas, and the acid from bacteria in the plaque attacks the enamel, which leads to cavities.  Dental sealants provide extra protection by covering the fissures and smoothing out those grooved areas, making it much easier to keep food and germs out.  Another benefit of getting sealants before teeth decay is the time and expense you save from avoiding dental treatments like fillings,crowns and caps.

When to get sealants?

Children’s dentists recommend sealants on permanent molars once the chewing surface of the tooth has completely come in – before decay attacks the teeth. The first permanent molars, called “6 year molars”, come in between the ages of 5 and 7. The second permanent molars, “12 year molars”, come in between 11 and 14 years old.  Your dentist might also recommend sealants for other teeth that have deep groves. Teenagers and young adults who are prone to decay may also need sealants.

Dental sealants may also be appropriate for baby teeth, such as when a child’s baby teeth have deep depressions and grooves. Because baby teeth play such an important role in holding the correct spacing for permanent teeth, it is important to keep these teeth healthy so they are not lost too early.

How is the sealant placed?

The tooth surface is thoroughly cleaned and dried. Then, a solution is placed on the fissured area to make a fine, rougher surface that enables the dental sealant to attach to the tooth. After the tooth is dried again, the liquid dental sealant is placed on the tooth and hardened using a light or a two-component dental sealant that sets without using a light. The sealants harden quickly and you are able to chew on the tooth again.

How long do sealants last?

Sealants can last up to 10 years. However, it is important to have your family dentist check your sealants for chips or worn away areas during your regular dental visits.

 

Toddler Teeth Brushing: 6 Fun Tips!

At the toddler stage, children become aware that they are individuals and can become more insistent on doing things on their own.  You might see them try to dress themselves or even attempt to feed themselves. Why not use this to your advantage and include them in making teeth brushing time enjoyable for all? Here are a few helpful tips:

Make it Routine: Kids work well with consistency. Have a morning and nightly schedule that they can come to depend on and include these proper steps to brushing in the routine.

  • Squeeze a pea-size amount of toothpaste onto your child’s soft-bristle brush.
  • Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums and gently brush back and forth across each tooth. Brush all sides of each tooth, including the top, front and back sides.
  • Place the toothbrush vertical against the inside or back of the teeth and brush up and down.
  • Spit out the excess toothpaste as you brush
  • Brush the tongue to remove bacteria.
  • Rinse the mouth with a cup of water. Swish the water around in the mouth and spit it out.
  • Brush for at least two minutes twice a day.

Brush Together: Toddlers love to mimic what you do so why not brush together?  Let him see how you enjoy taking care of your teeth.  To make it more interesting you can play Simon Says while teaching him the steps to brushing.  Also, take turns brushing each other’s teeth but remember not to share tooth brushes as you do not want to exchange bacteria.

Use Fun Tools: Get a fun toothbrush and toothpaste in your child’s favorite color or one that has his favorite cartoon character. Let him use the mirror while brushing. Let your child pick his favorite 2-minute song or use a fun timer that alerts him when those two minutes are up.

Reward their efforts: A fun tooth brushing chart is a great way to track your child’s progress and to reward him for his efforts. Every time he brushes he can receive a star to add to the chart. When the chart is complete you can celebrate with a small prize.

Experiment: Try fun experiments like this one from Milk and Cuddles that uses an egg and cola to show your child just how important it is to brush your teeth.

Make An Appointment:  Help your toddler overcome any dental fears and learn more about good oral hygiene in a fun environment by making regular visits to your children’s dentist.

Greetings From Midland Dentistry 4 Kids

Our Dentists and Staff welcome you to Midland Dentistry 4 Kids

Our Dentists and Staff welcome you to Midland Dentistry 4 Kids

Greetings everyone.  Our hope in starting this blog is to offer our insights on interesting topics and trends in children’s dentistry as well as some insight into our philosophy on that same topic.  If you are a parent, you may have noticed some rather dramatic changes in the industry of kids’ dentistry over the past decade, especially for those who benefit from Medicaid Dentistry.  Access to dentistry especially among the lower income had lots to be desired.

This was highlighted in the 2000 report Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General (for complete report, go here).  This report shined much-needed light on the “silent epidemic” of untreated oral disease — and affirmed the link between oral health and general health.  A few years later in 2003, the government, health care providers and public health advocates released A National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health.

Many states responded to this government call to action by increasing funding for oral health.  In addition, there was a concerted effort to find sign up additional providers especially in under served areas.  To its credit, Texas greatly increased it’s attention which has resulted in many more dentists opening offices in our state.  This is one of the reasons we opened our Midland Dentistry 4 Kids office in 2008. We truly enjoy serving the Midland community and appreciate everyone that considers us their family dentist.

A few of us will be writing on this blog about a variety of subjects that will help you better understand who we are and help explain various topics related to children’s dentistry.  Some of the topics will include possible side effects from poor oral health, explanation of changes to various insurance plans, and our philosophy on patient service and satisfaction just to name a few.

If there are any subject s you are interested in us discussing, please feel free to comment on this post or email us  at md4k_patti@gmail.com. We’ll do our best to respond in a timely manner.