As soon as your child turns six months old, they will start sprouting little teeth. These are also called temporary milk teeth, as they fall out once your baby grows into an infant and then a toddler. Due to their temporary nature, parents often mistake not taking proper dental care measures for these milk teeth.
It is essential to understand that these milk teeth affect your child’s ability to form healthy, permanent teeth. They shape your young one’s jaw and affect their ability to speak and eat properly. Therefore, caring for your child’s dental health from an early age is essential to their growth and development. It will keep up their overall health, ensure healthy gums and prevent lisps from occurring.
The best way to create a good dental practice for your child is by referring to a professional pediatric dentist in Sacramento.
An Introduction to Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric dentistry focuses on the dental requirements of children from birth all through their adolescent years. The American Dental Association defines pediatric dentistry as a dentistry field that requires dentists to take 2-3 additional years of training once they’ve completed the general dentistry degree. These extra years ensure the dentists are well-learned in the best ways to treat your child’s oral health and ensure their comfort.
Pediatric dentists are further trained in child psychology and specialize in caring for children with special needs. They are trained to offer care to autistic children and those with cerebral palsy to create a fun, friendly, and non-threatening environment for the little ones.
Your pediatric dentist will offer the following services;
- Prescribing the right nutritional intake for dental health.
- Guiding on the best preventive instruments to avoid tooth decay.
- Teaching parents the right way to hold an infant’s head while brushing or flossing.
- Complete oral examination of the child to catch any potential risks.
- Treating any dental injuries.
- Resolving cavities and gum issues.
- Early diagnosis of misaligned teeth or irregular bite.
Taking Your Child to a Pediatric Dentist in Sacramento
Before you take your child to his first dental visit, you will probably have many questions and concerns. We clear out all those concerns by addressing the best age to take your child for their primary dental appointment, as well as briefing you on what to expect. You should be completely present and do your best to make sure your child is at ease. Talk to the doctor in a friendly manner and encourage your child to communicate with him as well.
Before leaving the doctor’s office, please clarify any queries or worries you may have. It can be anything from your child’s diet to assurance about their current dental health and even which brushes and pacifiers to buy. Your dentist will gladly offer you guidance and any help you may need.
The Right Age for the First Dental Appointment
As per the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), parents should make the first pediatric dental appointment around six months after the first tooth has emerged. They further warn against delaying it for longer than the child’s first birthday.
We understand that this may seem way too early to head to the dentist. After all, your child barely has any teeth right now. But the incidents of childhood tooth decay have been rising in the United States, and prevention is always better than cure.
Your pediatric dentist in Sacramento has specialized in child psychology and behavior along with the dental treatments that children commonly need. This makes them experts at determining any possible causes of concern in your child’s oral health. Your dentist will also offer guidance on the best way to take care of your little ones’ teeth and ensure no complications arise later on.
What Happens in the First Visit?
As soon as the first milk tooth emerges, your child is in danger of tooth decay due to the high sugar intake in milk and juices. Your pediatric dentist will teach you the best ways to prevent corrosion and protect your baby’s teeth from any harm.
A pediatric dentist’s office is full of fun activities and games to help your child relax. They are well-trained in communicating with infants and advising on the best oral care strategies. During the first visit, your pediatric dentist will ask questions about the child’s oral health and diet. He will examine the newly emerging milk teeth, all the while ensuring your child is relaxed and happy.
If the teeth appear stained or dirty, he will clean them out and teach parents the proper way of brushing and flossing an infant’s teeth. Your dentist may also apply a topical fluoride treatment to strengthen the teeth and gums.
The first appointment will end with the dentist talking to your child in a fun and calming manner. He will create a good relationship with you and your younger ones, so they look forward to the next visit and aren’t scared away.
The Right Questions to Ask
As a caring parent, you’re probably wondering what questions you should ask the pediatric dentist to make the most of your first visit. Here are some examples so you can develop the best diet and cleaning pattern for your kid.
- How to prevent dental accidents?
- What should be done in case of a dental injury?
- Should you be adding fluoride and xylitol supplements to your baby’s diet?
- Choosing the right brush and toothpaste for your child.
- Which is the best orthodontically correct pacifier that wouldn’t harm the teeth development of your child?
- What teething and developmental milestones should you watch out for?
How Often Should Your Child See A Pediatric Dentist?
Your pediatric dentist will appoint you a time for your second visit and so on. You can expect him to recommend check-ups every six months to ensure your child’s best oral health.
However, if your kid has been experiencing any dental hygiene issues like tooth decay or cavities, your dentist will ask to see him every three months or even more frequently. Don’t worry; it’s a standard procedure that will improve your little one’s dental health. Once your dentist is satisfied with the results, you can resume bi-annual visits for dental maintenance.
Pediatric Dental Insurance
If your child has good dental health, he will have an easier time speaking, eating, playing, and even sleeping. While we often don’t realize it, dental health is one of the most significant factors contributing to our children’s general health and well-being. It allows them to focus better in school and perform to the best of their abilities, without any pains or pesky toothaches hindering their growth.
Unfortunately, tooth decay is one of the most widespread chronic childhood diseases experiences by millions of children in the United States. Parents often don’t have the financial budgets to cover expensive dental check-ups and treatments. Therefore, dental problems are left untreated and allowed to grow and get worse.
The easiest solution for maintaining your child’s dental health is selecting a proper dental insurance plan for the family.
Pediatric dental insurance is considered essential but not mandatory under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The difference is that health insurance companies are required to offer pediatric dental coverage to their customers, but it’s your choice whether you wish to purchase it or not.
What is Included in Pediatric Dental Coverage?
Different insurance companies offer additional coverage for your children. While most family health plans already include dental for your kids, some require you to purchase a stand-one policy for pediatric dental services.
The services covered depend upon the cost of the plan you choose. If you aren’t sure about your insurance company’s pediatric dental coverage, log on to your plan’s account and look at the different dental plans. You can even call up the company and request further guidance.
Most Commonly Asked Questions
This section will discuss the most frequently asked questions and confusions that parents have about pediatric dentists in Sacramento. It will help you understand the insurance procedures better and realize exactly why it’s essential to take your child to the dentist asap.
Can Sippy Cups Damage a Child’s Teeth?
If your child drinks milk or fruit juices in their sippy cup, the sugar in the liquids increases the risk of tooth decay due to bacterial growth.
As the sippy cup comes into contact with the child’s mouth, this bacteria is transferred to the cup, turning it into a breeding ground for bacterial growth and proliferation.
When your child drinks from the sippy cup again, this increased bacterial growth will enter their mouth and accumulate on their teeth. It can cause bad breath, rotting teeth, and sensitivity in the gums.
Do Pediatric Dentists Cost More?
Yes, they do.
Pediatric dentists often cost more than a regular dentist because they require more extensive training before starting their practice. Moreover, they have specialized equipment and other tools needed for the optimal oral health of your children. All of these factors come together to increase the charges of a pediatric dentist; however, it is well worth it since they offer an experienced dentist for your child.
How Long Can You Have Your Child on Your Insurance?
Under the current laws, if your insurance plan covers children, you can keep them on it until they turn 26. This is called young adult coverage and can be quite useful, especially if your children aren’t earning an income of their own yet.
Children can join in on their parent’s insurance policy or remain on their parent’s plan even if they are married.
Does My 2 Year Old Need Dental Insurance?
Dentists usually recommend taking your child for their first dental appointment as they turn 1. Having dental insurance will take away the financial burden if any expensive treatments are required to ensure your child’s best oral health. Keep in mind that most workplaces offer dental insurance for the family. Moreover, your insurance plan may also cover your child’s services.
Ask around and gather all the required information before buying a new dental insurance plan for your two-year-old.
Is Laughing Gas/Nitrous Oxide Safe?
Most dentists use nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, to help their patients relax and be more comfortable during their dental treatment. People often believe that this gas is harmful to your child; however, that isn’t necessarily true.
The percentage of nitrous oxide administered during a pediatric dental appointment is always under safe levels and mixed in with oxygen to further dilute its effect. Your pediatric dentist will cover your child’s nose with a nitrous hood for the dental procedure and ensure they stay awake throughout.
Once the dentist completes the services, your child will be given pure oxygen to breathe. They will be kept at a resting place until the gas’s sleepiness and drowsy effects have worn off, and they can safely stand upright. Remember, your dentist will customize the exact dosage to give to your child. Hence, you can be assured that it’s completely safe.
At the End
Taking care of your child’s oral health will directly impact their general health as well. People often neglect taking care of milk teeth with the belief that they’re bound to break away sooner or later. They don’t realize that the tooth may be lost, but not taking care of dental health from a young age can have terrible, permanent consequences later on.
Pediatric dental care will ensure the best oral health of your child’s mouth. The dentist looks after the gums, ensures there is no bacterial accumulation, and cleans out the tongue. All of these practices ensure your child’s mouth is fresh and clean, no matter what they eat.
To get the best oral care, you need to seek an expert pediatric dentist in Sacramento for your child. At Soft Touch, we are dedicated to helping our clients, young or adult, achieve their best smile with no toothaches or gum sensitivity. Request an appointment today!