At South Central Dentistry, children hold a very special place in our hearts.
Children’s Dentistry or Pediatric Dentistry can be fun and challenging. Children’s early life experiences are critical in shaping their way of thinking and feeling about the world around them.
We recognize the physical, intellectual and emotional changes from infancy to adulthood and so we are here to support you and your children as your oral health advocates every step of the way. Our goal is to provide the very best advice and care for your children and to create positive experiences that last a lifetime.
Your child’s first visit to the dentist
We recommend your child’s first visit be at around the age of 3 unless you have any questions or concerns earlier. The approach taken for the first exam depends on your child’s age and disposition. You may be asked to sit in the chair with your child so they feel safe.
Children’s Dentistry is approached uniquely. The first visit will involve gently examining your child’s teeth and gums. We also look for early indications of Oro-Facial development problems that are either genetically acquired or that develop from oral habits or breathing restrictions. X-Rays may be taken to reveal decay and check on the development of your child’s permanent teeth under the gums. If your child is ready, we may clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay. Also, we will review with you how to clean and care for your child’s teeth at home.
A few tips for parents about your child’s first visit to the dentist.
Read books with them about going to the dentist. These are some great Children’s Dentistry books that we read to our kids;
- Just Going to the Dentist (Little Critter)
- Dora Goes to the Dentist
- The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist
- Speak positively about your own dental experiences
Review with them what the dentist will be doing at the time of the first visit.
Tots to Teens
So many changes occur between the pre-school and teen-age years. Regular visits to South Central Dentistry during this time continue to build on the trusting relationship between parents, children and all the professionals at our office.
Pre-school to age 6
You can expect your child to gain much independence when it comes to their oral care. However, you will need to supervise them carefully when it comes to flossing and brushing, often assisting them after they have done it for themselves. These habits continue to be reinforced during office visits.
Age 6 to 7
Many tooth changes occur during this time. Their front 8 teeth (incisors) change from primary (baby) teeth to permanent (adult) teeth. As well, they gain a permanent molar in each corner behind the primary molars.
Ages 7 to 11
Teeth do not normally change during this time, but much Oro-Facial growth and development occurs. This is a time when careful monitoring occurs to intercept problems that may otherwise have lasting effects on good oral function, breathing and facial esthetics. Occasionally a referral to an Orthodontist is necessary, and some treatment is recommended.
Ages 11 to 13
The final teeth transformation occurs during this time (except for wisdom teeth between ages 17 to 22). There is continued Oro-Facial growth and development. Monitoring continues and treatment of crowding and alignment problems may be recommended.
This is an exciting time for you and your children (Some would phrase it differently). As practitioners we have the opportunity to interact with your children as they become young adults. At South Central Dentistry, we take this role seriously (except for many Dad Jokes). As they become more capable of caring for themselves, we do our part to empower them with the responsibilities of good oral health and wellness.
During this phase, tooth eruption is complete, and the Oro-Facial complex nears final development. This is a good time to consider Invisalign for Teens, if needed. We provide this service at South Central Dentistry. In some cases, a referral to an Orthodontist is necessary.
We are also sensitive to issues such as body image and gender identity. Smile and Facial esthetics are always on our mind but we approach these issues carefully, sometimes with private conversations with you, the parents. We never want your children to feel like they need Dental or Orthodontic treatment just to fit in or be accepted.