Answering Common Questions About Your Child’s Oral Health

kids' dentist in Happy Valley

After your baby comes into the world, you quickly get into the habit of scheduling regular appointments with a pediatrician that continues throughout childhood. However, many parents experience some confusion when it comes to taking their child to a kids’ dentist in Springfield and what they need do to in order to take care their child’s oral health. To help you gain a better understanding of what every parent should do in regards to their child’s oral health, here are a few answers to some common questions.

Why do you need to take a young child to the dentist when her baby teeth will eventually fall out?

While most of use lose our baby teeth at a young age, the health of the teeth remains very important to our long-term oral health and the development of permanent teeth later in life. Once a baby tooth becomes infected with bacteria, the damage that occurs can happen rather quickly, as the bacteria seeps through the tooth and moves on to the bone where a dental infection can develop.

In a worse case scenario, an oral infection could become fatal. While that rarely occurs, when bacteria is allowed to lurk in baby teeth, the enamel for a child’s adult teeth may not form correctly and permanent damage could occur.

What happens if a child loses baby teeth at an early age?

Baby teeth act like placeholders that help to guide our permanent teeth into position. If tooth decay or dental disease cause a child to lose baby teeth at too young an age, permanent teeth can form crooked, crowded, or misaligned. This could require that a need need orthodontic care when older to correct the health of their smile.

In some extreme cases, a child who loses their teeth at too young an age can actually develop speech, eating, and drinking problems that can negatively impact their development. In cases, a child may require therapy to correct these types of impediments.

When should a child first visit a kids’ dentist in Springfield?

Children should be seen by the age of three.

How do you prepare a child for a first dental visit?

Make visiting the dentist seem like a fun and exciting experience, one that marks how much your child has grown up. Explain to your child how Dr. Schilt will “count,” “brush” and “take pictures” of her teeth. By explaining a trip to a kids’ dentist in Springfield like this to your child, they will better understand what to expect. Resist telling your child that a trip to the dentist won’t hurt, as this may never have entered their mind to begin with. Make sure to reassure your child that Dr. Schilt and our staff at McKenzie River Dental will be incredibly friendly and as gentle as possible.

When is a child ready for toothpaste?

Once your child is old enough to spit – typically around the age of three – you can start using toothpaste. Before that age, use water and a damp cloth to help keep your child’s teeth clean. It’s important that your child not swallow toothpaste at a young age as fluorosis – an overexposure to fluoride – can cause permanent staining of their adult teeth.

If you are looking for a kids’ dentist in Springfield for your child, contact the oral health professionals at McKenzie River Dental. Our team can help protect and improve your child’s oral health now and into the future.