How Important are Baby Teeth to my Child?

How Important are Baby Teeth to my Child?

The baby teeth first appear when your child is between six and 12 months of age, and they start falling out around the age of five or six. Since these teeth are only around for a short time, it’s common for parents to question their importance. However, baby teeth actually play a vital role in your child’s overall and dental health — both now and as your child continues to grow.

Why Are Baby Teeth Important?

We often get asked why baby teeth need to be cared for as thoroughly as adult teeth. The answer is very simple: the baby teeth help your child to speak and chew, and they hold space for the permanent teeth to come into the right spots. By the time your child turns three, they will most likely have a full set of twenty teeth. Over the course of several years, those teeth will start to fall out and get replaced by adult teeth.

Keeping Baby Teeth Healthy

As an adult, you know that having too many sugary drinks, sweets, and unhealthy snacks can be detrimental to your dental health. Your child’s baby teeth are no different. In fact, they can develop a cavity quicker and more easily than an adult tooth. The enamel (the outer layer of the tooth) is much thinner on a baby tooth than on an adult tooth, so it’s important to brush and floss your child’s teeth every day just like you do your own.

Teaching your child to care for their teeth at an early age will help them understand the importance good oral hygiene and set them up for decades of happy and healthy teeth. Emphasize the importance of brushing and flossing daily, and help your child brush until they are capable of doing so on their own. Talk to your child about healthy snacks, and keep plenty of low-sugar alternatives in the home. String cheese, carrot sticks, and nuts are all healthy snacks that help keep baby teeth in good shape.

The Importance of Dental Care

Regular visits to the dentist also help keep your child’s baby teeth healthy. A dental hygienist can remove plaque that often forms at the gum line, helping to prevent cavities. They can also point out areas your child may be missing while brushing and help teach them techniques to brush more thoroughly. If your child does develop cavities in their baby teeth, their dentist can make sure they are detected and filled early before serious harm occurs.

Baby teeth may not last forever, but they are vital for your child’s ongoing health. Take good care of these baby teeth, and contact us if you’re looking for a kind and knowledgeable pediatric dentist.

4 Fun Activities for Father’s Day

4 Fun Activities for Father’s Day

Are you looking for Father’s Day ideas that will encourage parent-child bonding and create memories for the whole family? Grilling in the backyard or going to Dad’s favorite restaurant are enjoyable options, but consider thinking outside the box and doing something a bit more unique this year. The following are four Father’s Day activities that will bring everyone together and allow for a day full of laughter.

Go Fishing

Fishing may be an activity that Dad enjoys on his own, but has your entire family ever gone on a fishing trip together? This could be an exciting opportunity for Dad to pass his fishing knowledge and skills down to the next generation. He’ll love sharing something he is passionate about with the kids.

Head to a local fishing store the night before to stock up on basic poles and tackle for the kids, and then enjoy a day by the shore of a local lake or pond. When the day is over, grill your catch. Just make sure you have some burgers in the fridge as backups, since fishing is not always as productive when kids are involved.

Make Pizzas

If Dad loves spending time in the kitchen, then making pizzas together is the perfect Father’s Day idea. Buy some pre-made dough from your local grocery store, along with sauce, cheese, and a variety of veggies to use as toppings. (As a tooth-friendly tip, look for pizza sauces that are low in sugar; some contain far too much.)

Let each family member shape their dough into a circle and apply their toppings. Dad can oversee the baking process. A personal-size pizza should bake for between 15 and 18 minutes in a 400 degree F oven.

Visit a Local Historic Site

Is Dad a history buff? Visit a local historic site as a family to engage his interests and perhaps spark a similar interest in the kids. If you’re looking for Father’s Day ideas in Holland, Michigan, consider visiting Van Raalte Farm Park. Featuring a 1872 farmhouse, trails, and picnic shelters, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy history, a hike, and a picnic with the family.

Make Matching Shirts

Get artistic, and make matching shirts with Dad! All you really need are some plain t-shirts and fabric puff paint, which are readily available at most craft stores. Have each of the children make their own shirt, and then have them work together to create a custom shirt for Dad. Once the paint is dry, you can wear your matching shirts to lunch or dinner to celebrate.

Other Father’s Day Ideas

The secret to a great Father’s Day in the Holland, Michigan area is to get creative! You could work together as a family to build a fort in the backyard, make homemade ice cream (which is often lower in sugar and therefore better for your teeth than store-bought ice cream), or plant a garden. The important thing is that you’re having fun together as a family and honoring Dad’s love.

 

Calming Dental Visit Jitters 101

Calming Dental Visit Jitters 101

Whether it’s your child’s first or their 25th visit, they might get anxious going to the dentist. They may dread going and a little jittery when they’re in the dental chair.

You can prepare your child for their dental visits and make all future dental visits less anxiety filled. Here are some simple but helpful ways to calm dental visit jitters.

First, Why Is My Child Afraid of The Dentist?

Almost 20% of school age children are afraid of visiting the dentist according to Dentistry Today.

  • Obstructed Breathing
  • Powerlessness
  • Pain
  • Fear by Proxy

You can learn more about your Child’s Fear of the Dentist in Ease Your Child’s Dental Anxiety.

Calming Dental Visit Jitters

There are plenty of ways to help ease your child’s dental jitters, some are easy and some take a little bit more time but are well worth it.

Give Your Child a Sneak Preview

Take your child with you for your next checkup to see you having your teeth examined and cleaned.

Give Them as Much Information as Possible

Children, especially ones with anxiety, tend to do better when they’ve got a sense of predictability. They are more likely to tolerate a procedure when they have been told in advance what to expect.

Parents can help with this by describing what will take place and also what sensations the child might experience.

  • What type of noises they might hear.
  • What type of vibrations they might feel.
  • What they might taste.

Pretend Dentists Visit (Practice)

Take turns being the dentist and the patient with your child.

Examine each other’s teeth with a mirror or use your fingers to count each other’s teeth so that your child will be familiar with the feel of a dentist examination.

Having a fun and friendly environment can help reduce anxiety. Learn more about the difference between Family Dentist vs. Pediatric Dentist.

Timing Is Key

Plan plenty of time so that the dental visit isn’t rushed, and make sure your child is well-rested before the visit so that he or she feels relaxed and comfortable.

When you’re calm and relaxed going to their dentist visit, they’re more likely too be as well.

 

It’s natural to be a little jittery or worried about going to the dentist for children but you can help ease their worry and help them build a healthy oral habit!

We’re here if you have questions! Contact to set an appointment.

3 Things to Consider when Choosing a Pediatric Dentist for Your Child

3 Things to Consider when Choosing a Pediatric Dentist for Your Child

Whether you’re a looking for your first born or finding a new pediatric dentist, there are things to consider to make sure you’re taking care of your kid’s oral health.

It may seem early but this is a pivotal time as your child’s baby teeth are appearing. You can get things off to a great start by visiting a pediatric dentist who can examine the health of your child’s first few teeth.

Here are 3 key things to consider when choosing the right pediatric dentist for your child:

1. Do They Have Special Training?

Like all dentists, pediatric dentists attend four years of dental school in addition to receiving a bachelor’s degree. Unlike other dentists, pediatric dentists undergo an additional two to three years of training.

The specialty training teaches them how to deal with children’s behavior, make kids feel comfortable, and create a pleasant experience. Pediatric dentists also receive training and qualifications for treating patients with special needs.

If you’re not sure on whether to visit a pediatric dentist or family dentist, read Family Dentist vs. Pediatric Dentist.

2. Do They Provide a Fun, Welcoming Environment?

Many people fear going to the dentist…even adults. Our primary responsibility is to ensure that going to a pediatric dentist is not a frightening experience. We designed our offices to be bright, happy places for both the physical and psychological needs of children.

Pediatric dentist offices also tend to revolve around children. They have a play area, they use smaller tools that look more kid-friendly, and they are great at explaining dental procedures and terms to their patients. Because pediatric dentists only treat children, their experience enables them to quickly identify issues unique to children, and help solve those issues, as well.

We use positive language, even when things might be uncomfortable, to help children have a positive experience. We describe things with words like pinch, wiggle, whistle, and raincoat to describe the dental environment.

3. Do They Take a Preventative Approach?

Waiting until your child already has a cavity that causes pain is too late. It’s always better to be proactive instead of reactive, and pediatric dentistry is no exception. Since children are much more susceptible to tooth decay than adults, you want to find a dentist who understands the mouths of children and can recognize problems before they become even more problematic.

At our dental office, we offer several treatments that help prevent tooth decay in children. One example is a dental sealant, which forms a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.

Baby teeth have tiny grooves that make it almost impossible to keep clean, even if your child brushes regularly. Dental sealants help protect those grooves and prevent tooth decay.

 

If you are looking for a pediatric dentist for your child, then look no further! You can talk to us about your child’s first appointment.

FDA: Don’t Use Teething Jewelry to Relieve Pain

FDA: Don’t Use Teething Jewelry to Relieve Pain

There has been a new trend of giving infants teething jewelry that is marketed to relieve an infant’s teething pain.

It Can Be Fatal.

“The FDA has received reports of death and serious injuries to infants and children, including strangulation and choking, caused by necklaces and bracelets often marketed for relieving teething pain,” according to a FDA notice.

The FDA warns that parents and other caregivers may use these products to help relieve teething pain or to provide sensory stimulation in people with special needs. Teething jewelry, according to the FDA, is made with various materials, including amber, wood, marble or silicone.

Tragic but Real Stories

However, the risks of using teething jewelry include choking, strangulation, injuries in the mouth and infection, the FDA said in a news release. In addition, choking may occur if the jewelry breaks and small beads or the whole piece of jewelry enter the child’s throat or airway. According to the FDA, it received a report of a 7-month-old child who choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet while under parental supervision, and an 18-month-old child who died after getting strangled by his amber teething necklace during a nap.

Recommendations for Parents and Caregivers

  • Do not use necklaces, bracelets, or any other jewelry marketed for relieving teething pain. The use of these products can lead to serious injuries including strangulation or choking.
  • Be aware that the use of jewelry marketed for relieving teething pain or provide sensory stimulation to people with special needs can lead to serious injuries including strangulation or choking.

Please ask us what to do to help reduce the pain for your teething baby.

You can also read more on on teething at mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/teething

 Full FDA Warning – The FDA Warns Against Use of Teething Necklaces, Bracelets, and Other Jewelry Marketed for Relieving Teething Pain or Providing Sensory Stimulation.

When Should I Take My Baby to the Dentist?

When Should I Take My Baby to the Dentist?

Your babies health is one of your biggest priorities and starting a lifetime of their good habits begins with you.

Learn when and how to prepare for your Barbie’s first dental visit.

Dental Care is Crucial During the First Year of Life. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend a dental visit for children by age one.

The Importance of Child Dental Visits Before 1 Years Old

Proper care for baby teeth is imperative as they serve several critical functions, including:

  • Fostering good nutrition by permitting proper chewing
  • Aiding speech development
  • Helping proper development of permanent teeth by saving space for them

Baby teeth are vulnerable to tooth decay from their very first appearance, on average between the ages of six and 12 months.

The associative pain of tooth decay can prevent a child from eating correctly, impacting overall health and development. Additionally, undetected and untreated tooth decay can lead to infection, loss of teeth and expensive and mostly preventable emergency and restorative interventions.

A scientific paper in the journal Pediatric Dentistry  revealed that children who wait to have their first dental visit until age two or three are more likely to require restorative and emergency visits.

Pediatric dentists can detect early tooth decay, provide parents with information on proper oral and facial development, determine fluoride needs and more.

How to Prepare

Start early! To get your child ready for the visit, talk to him or her about what’s going to happen and be positive. Have your child practice opening his or her mouth to get them ready for when the dentist counts and checks their teeth. Reading books or watching videos about first dental visits may help your child be less fearful and more confident.

Learn more about Your Baby’s First Teeth in our short article.

Make a list of questions, as well. If your child is teething, sucking his or her thumb or using a pacifier too much.

Tips for a Great Visit

  • Don’t schedule an appointment during nap time. Instead, pick a time your child is usually well-rested and cooperative.
  • Make sure your child has had a light meal and brushes their teeth before their appointment so they won’t be hungry during their visit.
  • Save snacks for after the visit so they aren’t on your child’s teeth during the exam.

What to Expect During the Visit

The dentist will examine your child to make sure their jaw and teeth are developing in the way they should. During the visit, you will be seated in the dental chair with your child on your lap if your child isn’t able to — or doesn’t want to — sit in the chair alone. The dentist will check for mouth injuries, cavities or other issues. Once that part of the exam is over, the dentist will clean your child’s teeth and give you tips for daily care.

If your child cries a little or wiggles during the exam, don’t worry. It’s normal, and your dental team understands this is a new experience for your child!

 

How soon will your baby need their first visit?

Location
291 W. Lakewood Blvd.
Suite 5.
Holland, MI 49424
Contact
616-392-1100
Hours

Monday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday: Closed
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

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