Avoiding Time in the Dentist Chair

July 2, 2019 Mitten Kids Dentistry

Pediatric Dentistry in Grand Rapids, MI

Tooth decay is the #1 chronic childhood disease in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, you have a lot of power as a parent to make sure your child maintains healthy teeth and gums.

As a pediatric dental practice, our priority is to make sure your child builds a foundation for good oral hygiene early in life. From the dental chair to the hiking trail, we want to make sure your child starts their next adventure with a confident smile.

How Often Should My Child See a Dentist?

It’s important for your child to see us every 6 months for their routine teeth cleaning and oral examination. If you forget to schedule their next appointment, our dentists won’t have the opportunity to detect the beginning signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues.

Even if your child takes excellent care of their teeth at home, our dentists will be able to spot issues invisible to the naked eye by taking X-rays and performing oral cancer screenings. We can’t overstate the importance of preventive dental care.

Schedule Your Child’s Dental Appointments

Schedule your child’s teeth cleaning and oral examination at least every 6 months. By routinely visiting our pediatric dentists, your child will learn about problems before they become serious. This helps prevent costly restorative treatments to repair damage that could have been prevented in the first place.

Brush Teeth Twice a Day

It’s important that your child brush their teeth twice a day to remove dental plaque. For the best results, have them brush for 2 minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Your child doesn’t have to brush very hard. In fact, doing this can make your child’s teeth more sensitive to hot and cold foods. Instead, they should use gentle circular motions as they clean around each tooth.

Floss Teeth Once a Day

Plaque likes to hide where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. This is why it’s important your child floss their teeth at least once a day. (We recommend before bedtime.) That way, they’ll be able to remove plaque and food particles trapped in the tiny spaces between their teeth.

Drink Fluoridated Water

Enamel is the white outer layer of your child’s tooth that protects the more sensitive layer of dentin beneath. For this reason, it’s important that you make sure your child’s enamel doesn’t lose minerals over time. Drinking fluoridated water is a great way to strengthen your child’s tooth enamel, increasing its resistance to cavities over time. In fact, communities with fluoridated water supplies tend to have lower rates of tooth decay.

Limit Sweets

Does your child like eating donuts, chocolate, and other sugary foods? If so, your child isn’t alone. The dental plaque that lives inside their mouth LOVES sugar. Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that sticks to your child’s teeth and gums.

As plaque consumes sugar, it produces an acid that erodes away your child’s natural tooth structure. While a certain amount of plaque is unavoidable, you can help your child limit sugary foods so they’re not rolling out the welcome mat for bacteria.

If left untreated, plaque buildup leads to tooth decay and gum disease. This is why we recommend your child see our pediatric dentists at least every 6 months for their routine teeth cleanings. Over time, plaque hardens into what we call tartar. While you can remove plaque at home, only a dental professional can remove tartar with special tools.

Call Mitten Kids Dentistry

Our pediatric dentists in Grand Rapids and Caledonia are accepting new patients! To request an appointment with Mitten Kids Dentistry, call (616) 942-9840.

[This post has been updated.]

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