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Dentistry for Children

Healthy Smiles Begin in Infancy!

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What is Pediatric Dentistry?

At Forest Acres Dentistry we are general dentists that provide general and family dentistry to all ages, which means our patients’ ages range from 2 to 92. Dr. Jeanette Wingate, Dr. Bryan Wingate, and Dr. Natalia Antley are able to see and treat most children in Columbia, SC. If your child has unique or advanced needs that we feel is beyond our scope, then we have strong relationships with local Pediatric Dentists to refer you to if needed.

Keeping your child’s teeth and gums healthy is an important part of their overall health. Making routine dentistry a part of your child’s overall health care plan is just as important as regularly visiting your pediatrician. Kids who learn to practice good oral hygiene early on are more likely to adopt positive healthy habits for their entire life. It is important to see a dentist early in a child’s life because it allows the doctor to examine his/her mouth and discuss specific oral hygiene instructions for the child.

The Importance of Pediatric Dentistry in Columbia, SC

  • Pediatric dentistry provides the focused care and attention that little teeth require, including dental issues that are common among children, fluoride treatments, cleanings, sealants, mouth guards, braces, and more.
  • Early, regular exposure to the dentist promotes healthy habits and removes the fear often associated with visiting the dentist.
  • Knowledgeable dental health providers can show parents and kids how to properly care for young teeth and gums in between visits.

When should I first bring my child to the dentist?

The first baby tooth usually erupts between six and twelve months old. By age three, children should have a full set of baby teeth. By age six, the teeth may start to fall out, or exfoliate, and permanent teeth begin to erupt. We usually recommend scheduling an appointment with us by the time your child is three years old for his or her first exam and cleaning. However, if you have any concerns regarding you child’s teeth before they turn three, we gladly will see them and address any questions or concerns you may have.

Proper Brushing and Flossing

Brushing should begin after your child’s first tooth appears, and flossing should begin as soon as any of your child’s teeth touch. Removing plaque and bacteria from the mouth will help prevent cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss in the future. Floss and brush after meals, or at least twice day, for a minimum of two minutes and remember to change your child’s toothbrush every three months. Younger children will also need help flossing until they reach an age when they can do it properly, usually around age eight or nine. Flossing devices with handles may also be easier for kids to use.

Eating Well

Good food is an important part of maintaining your child’s dental health. Keep sugar to a minimum to help prevent tooth decay. This includes sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice, which also contain acids that can harm tooth enamel and make them more susceptible to cavities. It is also important to not allow your child to sip on sugary drinks or graze on snacks throughout the day. A higher frequency of eating and drinking, particularly sugary or sticky foods, results in a higher risk of developing cavities.

Breaking Bad Habits

Do your best to get children to stop sucking their fingers. Prolonged finger sucking can affect the way their adult teeth develop, making them malpositioned or causing serious problems with their bite.

Tooth Grinding

Tooth grinding, or bruxism, is a common behavior that many young children develop. Research is unclear as to why children grind their teeth. Bruxism often starts after the first few permanent teeth arrive. If you child continues to grind their teeth, we advise you to visit with us so that we can discuss the problem and find a solution if needed.

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