Children's Dentistry – Ephrata, PA
Gentle, High-Quality Care for Young Smiles
Many of the habits children learn when they’re young will stick with them throughout their life. That’s why it is so important to help your little one understand the value of a solid oral health routine that includes regular visits to the dentist. At Ephrata Family Dentistry, we’re eager to work with patients of all ages. We have a special place in our hearts for children and want to help them maintain smiles that are both healthy and happy.
When Should My Child Visit the Dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have their first dental appointment within six months of their time their first tooth appears. Typically, this happens before they reach their first birthday.
Following this initial appointment, kids should see their children’s dentist in Ephrata at least twice a year for a routine cleaning and checkup. Some little ones, such as those with genetically weak teeth or other oral health issues, will benefit from more frequent visits.
What to Expect During Your Child’s First Appointment
We know that young ones can be nervous in an unfamiliar situation, which is why we go out of our way to put them at ease. We’ll set aside plenty of time for your child so we won’t have to rush them through their appointment. They should sit on your lap during the exam so they have a familiar presence to help them relax.
We’ll perform a thorough examination of your child’s teeth and gums to make sure everything is developing properly. We’ll also coach you on the best practices for caring for your baby’s smile at home. Feel free to bring a list of any questions you may have; we’re always happy to share our knowledge!
Kid-Friendly Dental Care
In addition to regular cleanings and checkups, we often recommend the following preventive treatments for kids:
A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating that we apply to the chewing surface of premolars and molars. It serves to act as a barrier between the tooth and all the bacteria and food particles that might otherwise cause cavities. This treatment is quick and painless, and your child will be able to eat and drink normally immediately after it is finished. Sealants are usually applied to permanent teeth rather than primary ones.
Fluoride is a mineral that plays a pivotal role in developing and strengthening teeth. It can even replace tiny bits of tooth enamel that get worn away through everyday activities. If we suspect your child is not taking in enough fluoride in their diet, we may prescribe supplements to help their new teeth come in nice and strong. To fortify their existing teeth, we might apply topical fluoride.
At-Home Tips for Oral Health
Here are some tips we often pass along to parents to help them keep their kids’ smiles healthy and clean:
- Don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle. The sugars in milk and/or juice can linger on the teeth for a long time, thereby increasing the risk of tooth decay.
- Supervise your child’s brushing and flossing. A child should be able to brush their own teeth by the time they’re coordinated enough to tie their shoes. However, you should still keep an eye on their oral hygiene routine to make sure they do a thorough job.
- Promote a healthy diet. Encourage your child to eat lots of tooth-friendly foods, such apples, dairy products, and leafy greens.