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.
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, 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.