At Recker Dental Care, we love to see kids! We want to begin forming a relationship with a child that allows them to grow up without a fear of the dentist. We do not set unreal expectations for a child’s first visit, but rather focus on making it a positive experience.
We like to see children for an exam around age 3. This is a time where we introduce the child to dentistry. Our ultimate goal is to count and polish their teeth. However, we understand that this will not be possible with all 3-year-olds. If all we get to do for the first visit is look at their teeth, then that is fine! Again, we strive for a positive experience. We will also discuss proper oral hygiene and diet.
Typically, at or around 6 and 12 years of age, children get their 6-year and 12-year molars. These teeth often have deep grooves and pits on the biting surface. This is a place where children are especially prone to cavities, so sealants help to prevent cavities in these teeth. A material is placed to clean off the teeth, rinsed, and then the flowable sealant goes into the grooves and seals them up. This is a routine procedure and no anesthetics are used.
Many kids get cavities. Enamel is very thin in baby teeth and it does not take as much to develop a cavity in baby teeth. Cavities in baby teeth need to be fixed for these reasons:
- Prevent pain for the child.
- Prevent movement of teeth if a tooth gets a large cavity.
- Protect formation of permanent teeth
Typically we will need to use “sleepy water” to help the tooth not feel what we are doing and make the procedure as painless as possible, but we are honest with kids regarding what to expect.
We examine everyone’s bite, or occlusion, when they come in. Sometimes in children, we see early issues with the way teeth come together. If these issues appear to be severe enough, we may recommend some early orthodontic treatment like a retainer, removal of some baby teeth, or referral to an orthodontist. This is done to minimize or eliminate more complicated orthodontic treatment in the future. It might mean two phases of moving the teeth, but our goal is to avoid major, more complicated treatment.
Thumb and finger sucking can be a security issue for kids. However, at such a young age, the jaws are forming, and having a thumb or finger in between the teeth can have serious consequences. We strongly encourage stopping those behaviors to avoid bite issues or even the need for jaw surgery if it goes on for too long. How do we get them to stop? Malva Stop is a product we have had great results with. It is painted on fingernails and has a taste that strongly encourages kids to stop the habit!