Our pediatric dentistry treatments help your young child or children achieve and maintain excellent oral health in a comfortable, family-friendly office. Teaching children how to maintain good oral health at a young age will help lay the foundation for their continued oral health throughout the rest of their lives. Dr. Donald Ross and Dr. Neal Shah handle all aspects of pediatric dentistry in our Atlanta, GA, practice.
Did You Know?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends scheduling your child’s first visit around the time their first tooth erupts, but no later than their first birthday. Although this may seem early to start thinking about visits to the dentist, studies have shown that 25% of children in the United States develop their first cavity by the time they turn four years old. Beginning dental checkups for your child at an early age allows the doctors to find and treat dental problems in their earliest stages.
Understanding the Importance of Baby Teeth
Many people mistakenly believe you do not need to take care of your children’s baby teeth since they will eventually fall out. However, baby teeth help our children in many ways. Baby teeth help children learn how to chew, which fosters good nutrition, and allow them to pronounce words correctly, aiding in speech development. These teeth also help develop self-esteem, by forming beautiful smiles.
The startling statistics about cavities in young children have brought about new guidelines from the ADA regarding the use of fluoride.
Perhaps most importantly, baby teeth hold space in the jaw for the permanent teeth. If a child loses a baby tooth prematurely, due to decay or another dental problem, adjacent teeth may drift into the resulting space. This can lead to problems when the permanent teeth erupt, including crowding and misalignment.
Preventive Dentistry for Children
The startling statistics about cavities in young children have led to new guidelines from the ADA regarding the use of fluoride. Fluoride helps prevent cavities by boosting dental enamel's ability to repair itself on a regular basis. It also helps prevent the bacteria in your child’s mouth from weakening and destroying enamel.
The ADA now recommends brushing your child’s teeth with a smear of fluoride toothpaste, no bigger than a grain of rice, from the time that first tooth erupts. When the child learns not to swallow the toothpaste, typically around the age of three, you can increase that amount. Our doctors can explain these guidelines to you in detail, and provide in-office fluoride treatments for children.
As your child grows older, and their permanent molars erupt, the doctors may recommend dental sealants. This involves placing a thin plastic coating over the deep pits and grooves of the molars, adding an extra layer of protection from decay.
Our Focus on Comfort
Many children fear the unknown, and the first visit to the dentist can be frightening, especially if they have seen or heard stories about painful dental visits. Our doctors will help ease your child’s fears by explaining every procedure they perform in terms even our youngest patients can understand. We will never proceed with an exam if they become uncomfortable or anxious. The doctors may also recommend bringing your child along to your own dental checkup so they can become comfortable in the office.
Schedule Your Child's First Appointment
Regular check-ups are one of the simplest ways to protect your child's smile and health. Contact our office to schedule an appointment today.