In Louisiana, school is either just around the corner or already in full swing. That means back-to-school shopping and setting up your children’s class schedule and extracurricular activities. But August is also a tremendous time to square away your children’s dental care.
Tooth decay is the number chronic disease in children, and if left untreated, it can lead to serious dental issues later in the child’s life. According to the National Education Association, children in American miss about 51 million hours of instruction every year because of dental problems. Of course, when children miss valuable class time, they are more likely to have lower grades. Likewise, parents also spend valuable time away from work taking their children to dental appointments to fix these problems. The solution is to maintain and schedule dental visits for the entire family once every six months.
Children’s dentistry is one of the things I’m most proud of to offer this community. In fact, I make it a point to only hire dental assistants, hygienists, and front office employees who love working with children. We understand what a huge responsibly we have in treating your loved ones, and we work to make your child’s visit a positive one.
I’m a firm believer that it’s best to introduce children to a dentist at an early age because it takes the fear away. Fear, of course, is one of the biggest enemies of dentists and healthy mouth. There are millions of Americans so terrified of the dentist that they avoid dental offices at all costs. They skip cleanings and ignore aches and pains until the problems become unbearable. That’s a huge problem, because only a dental professional can stop decay or gum disease before it takes over your mouth. Skipping dental appointments leads to serious dental problems and very costly dental bills down the road. I’m convinced that the best way to avoid this is to introduce children to the dentist early in their life!
What to Expect on Your Child’s First Visit
Your child’s first visit to the dentist is a big moment in the life, as it will set the stage for how they perceive the dentist for the rest of their lives. We recommend that parents bring in their children when the child’s first tooth appears or before the child reaches the age of 2.
During your child’s first visit, we will simply examine the teeth and the oral cavity to see how the teeth are growing. We let the children play with the water hoses, and we try our best to make the visit fun and enjoyable. I also speak with your child about the importance of oral health and give them fun tips on how to brush their teeth and floss. After the visit, your child gets to pick a prize out of our special treasure chest.
Treating Your Children
Much like adult checkups, we recommend that parents bring their children to the dentist every six months. Children are at a high risk of dental decay, so it’s important to keep every visit and not skip an appointment. During your children’s early visits, we will examine the teeth and begin conducting cleanings once the teeth fully develop. Once your children begin to lose their baby teeth, we will begin monitoring the growth of the adult teeth and checking for potential bite or jaw issues.
Because dental decay is common in children, our office has gentle ways to treat cavities and keep the tooth healthy for years to come. We use a technology known as Air Abrasion. This technology is revolutionary because it allows use to treat decay without shots, drills, or fillings. It’s ideal for children because it works best on teeth that have shallow cavities that do not need a full filling.
Unlike a traditional drill, Air Abrasion does not require use to use local anesthesia, which means the treatment is basically pain-free. The tool allows us to remove the decay without removing a substantial portion of the enamel, which is a common when we place fillings.
If you child has a cavity that cannot be fixed with Air Abrasion, we can treat that area with minimal discomfort. Most of the time, the children are not even aware that we used a shot!
Our office is here to serve patients of all ages, and I love teaching children about the importance of their oral health. It’s a great feeling to see your child walk out of the office with a smile of their face. Call us today to schedule your child’s dental visit!