Dentistry for Children

Dentistry for Children

Your child’s teeth are an important asset to their health and happiness! Their baby teeth not only help them eat and speak but also maintain the space for the adult teeth. It is imperative to prevent children from loosing their baby teeth to early to help the adult teeth develop and erupt as scheduled.

Your child should visit Dr. Cutler by his/her first birthday. This will begin a life long relationship that is enjoyable and positive. At this first appointment Dr. Cutler will have the parent hold the child and just let them take a ride in the chair, and at this appointment she and her staff with explain all the procedures and answer any questions. Prevention is Dr. Cutler’s key to a happy healthy mouth.

_DSC5394One of the best ways to help prevent any dental concerns with your child is to have regular dental visits. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends a dental check-up at least twice a year for most children to help stay cavity-free. Regular teeth cleanings remove debris that build up on the teeth, irritate the gums and cause decay. Fluoride treatments renew the fluoride content in the enamel, strengthening teeth and preventing cavities. Proper hygiene instruction improve your child’s brushing and eventually flossing, leading to cleaner teeth and healthier gums. X-rays may be needed to diagnose tooth decay or abnormalities, this will be discussed by Dr. Cutler prior to taking them.

The best way to ensure that your child enjoys good dental health is simple and effective! Beware of frequent snacking. Brush effectively twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Floss once a day. Have sealants applied when appropriate. Seek regular dental check-ups. Assure proper fluoride through drinking water, fluoride product or fluoride supplements. Visit Dr. Cutler on a regular schedule, and bring any questions/concerns to each appointment.

Quick Tips for the Busy Parents
Provided by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Your Child and Cheese
Did you know recent research shows cheese is one of the healthiest snacks for your child’s teeth? In addition to providing large amounts of much-needed calcium, cheese also does its part to fight cavities. Cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, and Monterey jack all stimulate the body’s salivary glands to clear the mouth of debris and protect teeth from acids that weaken them. This means cheese disrupts the development of cavities, especially when eaten as a snack or at the end of a meal. Calcium and phosphorous found in cheese reduce or prevent decreases in the plaque’s ph level and work to re-mineralize the enamel of your child’s teeth.

Brush up on Tooth Brushing
Tooth-brushing is one of the easiest methods of cavity prevention. But which type of toothbrush should your child use?

Manual or powered, both can assist with keeping your child’s smile cavity-free. When choosing a manual toothbrush, look for round-ended (polished) bristles that clean while being gentle on the gums. Choose one specifically designed for children’s smaller hands and mouths. Look for large handles that can help children control the toothbrush. Be sure to brush your preschooler’s teeth and supervise the brushing and flossing of school-age children until they are 7 to 8 years of age.

Dr. Cutler and the AAPD recommends using only soft-bristled toothbrushes. Also, remember to throw out a toothbrush after 3 months or sooner if the bristles are fraying. Frayed bristles can harm the gums and are not as effective in cleaning teeth.

Teen Pediatric Dentistry
Just because your teenager isn’t a child anymore, doesn’t mean she should stop seeing Dr. Cutler. Dentistry to meet the special needs of teens and adolescents is an important part of the specialized training for pediatric dentists. Growing doesn’t stop at childhood – teens experience important growth in their faces and jaws. Teens are also getting the last of their permanent teeth, and teeth that have just come through the gums are especially vulnerable to decay. Additionally, teenagers start becoming responsible for their own diet and nutrition choices, and it’s important that those choices are come from a solid foundation of dental health.

Sealants can seal the deal for healthy teeth
“Sealant” refers to a clear or shaded plastic material placed in the pits and grooves of children’s teeth to prevent decay. The pediatric dentist applies this invisible protector by drying and conditioning the teeth, painting on the sealant and then allowing it to harden.

Dr Cutler and the AAPD recommends sealants as an effective method for cavity prevention, especially for those children with a history of tooth decay. In addition, sealants are one of the most cost-effective means of preventing cavities – they cost less than half of what one filling costs!

Start the School Year Right
Students miss more than 51 million school hours per year because of dental problems or related conditions. Dental pain can distract students, cause their schoolwork to suffer or even lead to school absences. Children and adolescents with healthy teeth have better attendance, are more attentive in class and tend to participate more fully in school-related activities.

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To start the school year off on the right tooth, and prevent oral-health-related absences, teach your student to floss once a day and brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Beware of frequent snacking, as repeated exposure to sugary or starchy snacks can increase the risk for cavities. And most important, visit Dr. Cutler or your pediatric dentist twice a year. She will provide an ongoing oral health assessment and can help your student prevent cavities and school absences.