You already know the importance of proper oral care for you. Did you know that the same care that applies to you also applies to your child? Taking care of little mouths is essential for ensuring proper development. It is also crucial for fostering good oral care habits that will ensure a healthy smile into their adult years.
While oral care is critical for the oral health of your child, their mouth has special needs. At Portland Children's Dentistry, we can provide your child with the care they need with regular dental exams and cleanings to help keep their teeth and gums happy and healthy.
Importance of Dental Cleanings and Exams for Kids
Biannual cleanings and exams are an integral part of a proper oral care routine for your child. Cleanings are meant to remove the buildup of plaque, tartar, bacteria and other debris from the surfaces of the teeth, which aids in preventing the development of issues such as cavities and gum disease. During the cleaning, we scrub all surfaces of the teeth and polish them to a clean shine.
Exams are meant to spot issues such as cavities and tooth damage in the early stages, which then allows us to take action right away to treat them and prevent more serious complications from arising. X-rays are an important part of exams for your child as well. They allow us to monitor the growth and development of their jaws and their adult teeth. We can monitor any potential issues and provide the necessary treatments to avoid them.
While a good oral care routine will help your child to prevent cavities, many children have a hard time with proper brushing and flossing. As a result, children are more prone to cavity development. We can help to protect the teeth by providing additional preventative treatments including fluoride and sealants. Fluoride aids in strengthening the enamel of the teeth, protecting them from the acid attacks of plaque and bacteria.
The chewing surfaces of the molars are particularly susceptible to cavities. These areas have deep crevices, which can easily trap food particles and bacteria. They are also often difficult to effectively clean with a toothbrush. Sealants are a treatment that covers the crevices of the molars, preventing bacteria and debris from getting trapped. Along with sealing the crevices, sealants also help to make the molars easier to clean.
Helping Your Child to Cope with Fear
We understand that many children can be fearful of the dentist. We want their visit to be as pleasant as possible. Associating us with pleasant experiences will help your child to develop good oral care habits that will ensure the health of their mouth into their adult years. At home, you can help ease any fears or anxiety your child might be feeling by reading books about the dentist or playing role-playing games to prepare them for their appointment.
At our office, the positive experience begins as soon as your child walks in the front door with our friendly office staff. Once in the chair, we talk to your child in a soft, gentle tone and speak in a way that they can understand. We avoid using words such as shot, pain, or hurt. We also show your child the tools we will be using and demonstrate how they work before actually using them. It can also be helpful if you stay with your child and hold their hand, or bring a favorite stuffed animal for them. For children with severe anxiety, we also offer safe sedation options to help calm their nerves.
Regular preventive oral care is just as important for your child as it is for you. To schedule an appointment for your child, call Portland Children's Dentistry today at (503) 893-2889.