You and your child have different needs when it comes to your oral health. Your little one needs a special mix of friendly and expert care -- and that means it’s time to visit the trusted children’s dentist in McKinney! At Thrive Dental and Orthodontics, we are pleased to offer exceptional care for the whole family. Keep reading to learn what that means when it comes to kids’ growing smiles.
We agree with the American Dental Association’s recommendation that children should visit the dentist around the time that their first tooth erupts through the gum line, with regular visits beginning no later than age 3. It may seem early, but getting started during babyhood will help to ensure that your child gets started on the path to a lifetime of clean, happy, and healthy smiles.
The very first appointment is a good chance to simply introduce your child to the dentist’s office. They will sit in your lap while we take a quick look around their mouth. We will count their teeth, provide a quick clean, and make sure everything looks A-OK. This is also your opportunity to ask any questions you may have, so don’t hesitate to ask anything you may want to know about your child’s growing smile. We always block off plenty of time for this initial appointment!
Visiting the dentist is only one aspect of a child’s healthy smile. You should clean their mouth with a moist washcloth after each feeding during infanthood. Brush with a rice-sized amount of toothpaste as soon as the first tooth emerges. After the age of 3, you can begin to use a pea-sized amount. Floss as soon as two teeth are touching each other. Once your child reaches the age of 6 or so, they should be able to brush their own teeth -- but continue to monitor their habits to ensure that they are doing a good job every single time.
Between the ages of 6 and 14, your child’s teeth will be especially vulnerable to tooth decay. Dental sealants can help to prevent cavities. This treatment creates a thin barrier over the irregular chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. This prevents food particles and bacteria from building up to accelerate the rate of tooth decay. Dental sealants can be quickly placed after a checkup and cleaning and provide years of protection for the smile.
Another wonderful preventive treatment for kids is topical fluoride. A single treatment only takes a minute or two and can significantly strengthen the tooth enamel to help protect against cavities. In some cases, a cavity can actually be reversed if a weak spot is detected in time. We will evaluate your child’s teeth and determine how often they should be getting fluoride treatments. For most kids, twice-annual applications can provide significant protection.