Dentistry for Children and Teens
October 7, 2016
Healthy smiles start at a young age; patients who form positive experiences with the dentist and who practice a thorough at-home care routine are more likely to enjoy fewer dental problems into adulthood. As family dentists, Drs. Bowen and Wang care for children by protecting their teeth, educating parents, and making sure that kids feel good about the way their teeth look.
How are Children’s Teeth Different?
Most people understand that children’s teeth are not permanent and eventually fall out, to be replaced by their adult dentition. However, children’s baby teeth are also less mineralized than adult teeth, making them particularly susceptible to decay. Foods that are sugary or acidic can appeal to a child’s palate but present a greater risk to kids’ teeth, as their smiles are not able to fight off decay in the way that hardened adult teeth might. The surfaces of children’s molars can also be pitted and be the perfect hiding spot for debris and plaque build-up if not properly brushed twice a day.
Protecting your Child’s Dental Health
Ensuring that your child’s smile remains cavity-free involves making good choices about how they care for their teeth and what kinds of foods they eat. For patients of all ages, foods and drinks with added sugar can be dangerous, but this is particularly true for baby teeth, as the bacteria and acid created by these eat away at dental enamel. As children may not be the most diligent teeth-brushers, there’s a greater chance that bacteria won’t be swept away with regular hygiene routines. To combat this, parents can limit sugary food items and cut the acidity of fruit juices by diluting them with water.
It’s also an excellent idea to show your child how to brush their teeth to make sure no parts of their smiles are missed. With an excellent at-home routine, routine dental check-ups become easier as well. During routine appointments, Drs. Bowen and Wang provide children with fluoride rinses to help strengthen enamel on baby teeth and/or sealants, which coat the back surfaces of teeth to prevent debris from sticking and promoting decay.
Dentistry for Teens
While we are most concerned with ensuring that young patients can grow into strong and healthy smiles, we know that slightly older, teenaged patients are more preoccupied with how their teeth look. For these patients, minor cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening can give them a boost in confidence after we have confirmed that their teeth are healthy and free of decay or periodontal disease. As many young patients spend their adolescence in appliances meant to straighten teeth, whitening can give teeth a bright new look to go along with better alignment.
Questions about dental care for your child? Contact our office to speak to a member of our team.