Pediatric Dentistry: An Overview
We are happy to provide our general dental servicesto patients of all ages, including infants and young children. A lifetime of good oral hygiene begins at your child’s first dental appointment, and our Laurel Smiles Dental Care team is here to make sure that the first appointment goes well. We want to make a good first impression on your child so that they do not have to fear visiting the dentist in the future. Our goal is to provide compassionate, understanding dental care that builds trust with your child, and helps them better understand how important it is to take care of their teeth, gums, and jaw.
Pediatric Dentistry in Laurel, MD
We look forward to meeting with both you and your child to go over our pediatric dentistry services. Feel free to schedule an appointment for your child or give us a call if you have any questions on how to prepare for your child’s first appointment.
Preventing Dental Fear
By taking your kids to the dentist early in life, you can help to prevent dental fear or anxiety later in life. Your child can sit in with you while you’re getting your teeth cleaned and realize that they have nothing to be afraid of. You can also stay in the appointment with your child to reassure them if it’s needed. We work hard to give children a positive experience in the dentist office. We want them to have happy memories for the future, not ones that cause anxiety.
Dental sealants are an extra layer of protection for your child’s teeth against tooth decay. We paint material onto your child’s teeth, focusing on the ones that are most susceptible to tooth decay. When the material dries, there’s an extra layer between the tooth enamel and the bacteria that live in our mouths. Tooth decay is most likely to occur in children compared to other age groups because their diets are usually higher in sugar and their oral healthcare skills aren’t as good.
Pediatric Dentistry FAQs
When should I schedule my child’s first dental appointment?
We recommend scheduling your child’s first dental appointment after the eruption of their first tooth, and no later than the child’s first birthday. Starting good oral hygiene habits like seeing a dentist early on can help begin a lifetime of prioritizing dental health.
What should I expect during my child’s first dental appointment?
The first appointment will be a gentle exam and dental cleaning. We want to ensure that your child’s teeth, gums, and jaw are all growing normally and without issue. Our team makes every effort to explain the procedure to you and your child as we go along so that they become fully accustomed to having their teeth examined.
How can I best prepare my child for their first dental appointment?
Speaking positively about their first dental appointment goes a long way in ensuring that they are excited and curious about going to the dentist. Do not warn them of needles or loud noises, as this often only scares them and makes them less likely to trust our doctors. We will make sure they are informed about our procedures as we go along with the appointment.
How can I prevent my child from getting cavities?
To prevent cavities, there are many things you should do as a parent. You should schedule regular dentist appointments for your child as well as adhere to a strict oral hygiene routine at home. This should include brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once. We also advise that you limit the amount of sugar they consume which includes candy and sugary drinks. If you suspect your child has a tooth cavity, it is important to have it looked at as soon as possible. Early treatment will stop the decay from progressing.
Can dental problems in baby teeth affect permanent teeth in the future?
Yes, dental problems in baby teeth can significantly impact a childs permanent teeth and their development in the future. Tooth decay or cavities that are left untreated or early tooth loss from tooth decay can lead to many dental problems. The adult teeth eruption pattern will be affected and the child could suffer from alignment issues. Also, dental infections can spread beneath the gums and cause harm to the permanent teeth. Proper oral care and early visits to the dentist at a young age is very important for these reasons. The dentist can treat dental issues in the baby teeth to ensure the health of and development of the permanent teeth.
What are dental sealants?
A dental sealant is a thin coating that your dentist will place on the chewing surface of your childs molars and premolars. These particular teeth have many grooves and pits where food particles and bacteria can get trapped. This makes these teeth more susceptible to tooth decay. Dental sealants are recommended for children because they create a barrier on these teeth to protect them from cavities. The process to get them is painless and non-invasive. Dental sealants can help your child prevent tooth decay and the need for future dental work.
Is thumb-sucking bad for my childs teeth?
It is okay if your infant begins sucking their thumb when they are a baby. It is a natural reflex for infants. However, there will come a point where they should stop because it could do harm to their teeth. We recommend encouraging your child to stop the habit after their permanent teeth begin to erupt. Prolonged thumb sucking can lead to misalignment issues and it can also affect the roof of the mouth.
What role do baby teeth play in speech development?
Baby teeth play a vital role in speech development. They help children learn to pronounce sounds and form words correctly. When children lose baby teeth prematurely due to decay or injury, it can affect their speech patterns and pronunciation. Additionally, baby teeth serve as placeholders for permanent teeth, maintaining proper spacing in the mouth. Any issues with baby teeth can impact speech clarity and overall oral development, emphasizing the importance of their role in speech acquisition.
Schedule A Dental Exam Today
Laurel Smiles welcomes new patients of all ages to our dental practice serving Laurel and many surrounding communities including Burtonsville, Elkridge, and Savage, Maryland. If you would like to join our growing dental family please contact our office to make an appointment by calling 301-490-7007 or request one online. We accept and file most dental insurance, and offer convenient payment options and dental financing.