When your child becomes three years of age, we recommend they have their first hygiene visit. This visit has two goals. First, to gently introduce your child to the dental experience and second, to begin in-office preventive procedures.
Our staff is highly trained and experienced in treating children and will make their initial visit comfortable, easy and even fun. Each new step is gently introduced and positively reinforced by our staff.
At this visit, we want to examine your child's teeth and gums, clean their teeth, apply topical fluoride and take appropriate x-rays. What is actually accomplished depends upon the ease in which your child adapts to this new experience.
The first visit can often be anxiety producing for a young child. Parents are expected to accompany their children. It helps to prepare them for the visit by following these simple steps:
It's never too early to keep an eye on your child's oral development. Your dentist can identify malocclusion - crowded or crooked teeth or bite problems - and intervene early to guide the teeth as they emerge in the mouth. Malocclusion is often inherited but can be caused by dental injuries, the early loss of primary teeth, or dental habits such as thumb sucking, fingernail biting, or lip biting. Early orthodontic treatment can prevent more extensive treatment later.
Early orthodontics can indeed improve your child's smile, but the benefits are more than just for appearance. Pediatric orthodontics can straighten teeth, guide erupting teeth into position, correct bite problems, and prevent the need for tooth extractions. Straight teeth are easier to keep clean and less susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
It is imperative that your child maintains good oral hygiene during early orthodontic care. The child must regularly brush and floss to keep the appliance and your child's health in top shape. Removable appliances should be brushed each time the teeth are brushed. Regular dental check-ups will continue to protect your child from tooth decay and gum disease. Also, contact your dentist if the appliance breaks to keep orthodontic treatment on-time and on-track.
Your child can eat a normal diet except sticky foods (gum, hard candy, caramels, taffy) and hard foods (peanuts, ice, popcorn). Some orthodontic appliances can alter speech, but most children adapt quickly and speak clearly within a day or two. Generally, children can safely run, jump, swim, and play with an orthodontic appliance. Check with your dentist for specific advice on your child's activities.