The American Dental Association has designated February National Children’s Dental Health Month with the slogan “Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile.”
In addition to teaching your kids to care for their teeth properly at home, it’s essential to schedule cleanings and exams for them every six months. At Aberdeen Smiles, we offer the children’s dentistry services that your family needs.
To request appointments for you or your children at our Aberdeen, SD dental office, call (605) 277-9049.
Baby’s First Dental Visit
Did you know that you can bring your baby to the dentist before she even has a tooth? We encourage parents to bring their children to see us at around six months of age (or when the first tooth comes in, whichever comes first).
This initial appointment isn’t just a regular dental visit. Our primary objective is to get parents on the right track with their baby’s oral care. So we advise you on proper dental hygiene for young children, discuss nutrition and why it matters, and emphasize the importance of taking care of your teeth and gums — both for your own sake and to set a good example for your little ones.
Our Children’s Dental Services
It’s normal for very young children to suck their thumbs, but if your child still does it when the adult teeth begin to come in, that can cause problems. It can affect speech and lead to problems with tooth alignment, necessitating expensive corrective treatments down the road. Dr. Drake or Dr. Fettig will be happy to advise you on strategies for curtailing this damaging habit.
When your baby begins teething — that is, when the baby teeth begin to emerge through the gums — he or she may experience gum swelling and pain. Of course, babies can’t talk, so the only way they know how to communicate their discomfort is through fussiness or crying. If you believe your baby is suffering due to teething, we can offer suggestions for alleviating symptoms and bringing relief to baby’s mouth.
Cleanings and Exams
Children should start getting twice yearly dental cleanings and exams as soon as they have teeth.
One of our skilled and gentle hygienists will clean the teeth of any decay-causing tartar and plaque. She will then polish the teeth until they gleam. Dr. Fettig or Dr. Drake will thoroughly examine your child’s mouth for any signs of cavities or other problems. We may take non-invasive digital X-rays. Don’t worry, they expose the patient to a small fraction of the radiation of conventional X-rays! These enable to see problems not visible to the naked eye, like decay between the teeth.
Fluoride is a mineral that’s essential for strong, healthy teeth. Minerals including fluoride are continually shed from the teeth (demineralization) and must be replaced (remineralization). Fluoride is important because it makes the tooth enamel better able to resist bacterial acid attacks, and may even reverse early decay. For kids younger than six, fluoride consumption assists in the development of permanent teeth, helping make them strong and able to fight off acid attacks.
We offer special treatments to ensure your kids are getting the fluoride their need.
People of any age can get dental sealants, but they have been proven to be beneficial for children’s smiles in particular. The Center for Disease Control says that kids without sealants have three times more cavities than children with sealants.
A sealant is a thin plastic coating that is painted over the back molars of the teeth, preventing harmful bacterial acids from reaching the enamel. It is not a substitute for good brushing and flossing, but does add an extra layer of protection. The process is painless, fast, and simple, and remains effective for several years.
Mouthguards are now required for some children’s sports, but they are a good idea if you kids participate in any physical activity that could potentially result in injury to the mouth. Unlike the type that you’ll find at the drugstore or sporting goods store, our guards are custom fitted to your child’s mouth’s dimensions. This makes them more comfortable and effective.
If you life in or around Aberdeen, SD, come to Aberdeen Smiles for children’s dentistry services. Our staff members are warm, fun, and know how to make kids feel comfortable. Your child will go home with a fun goody bag. You may fill out and submit our online form to book an appointment. Or call our office directly at (605) 277-9049.