Dental health

Your Child’s First Dental Visit – Everything You Need To Know

Depending on the pediatrician, recommendations of when to see a dentist, as well as how to best care for your child’s teeth before they formally visit the dentist, vary. Some parents may shrug oral hygiene off as something that will take care of itself or something to worry about later – that surely nothing that bad could happen to little baby teeth. However, nothing could be further from the truth. If not taken care of, children can end up with a mouth full of cavities in their baby teeth which will in turn affect the health of their adult teeth that begin to come in around the age of six.

What many parents fail to realize is proper dental health begins as soon as they have get teeth. If those habits of good dental health are ingrained early enough, children have a much greater chance of having beautiful, healthy smiles. Part of parents understanding the importance of dental health is having this message being delivered by their pediatrician. According to the American Dental Association, there is more of an effort being made for a partnership in overall health (including dental health) between pediatricians and dentists. Based on the 2014 United States Preventative Services Task Force, the new recommendation for fluoride varnish for instance, is to have medical providers apply fluoride to primary teeth from the first emergence of a tooth until the age of five.

Even with this strengthened medical-dental partnership, getting your little ones comfortable with the dentist is an excellent idea.

(Insert quote of how one of dentists helps make a dentist visit fun/not scary)

Even with the fluoride treatments and check ups that are available, how can parents adequately care for their children’s oral health at home?

• Be sure to have your children see you practice responsible oral health regimines – have them watch you floss and brush your teeth. Also, make it clear that you do it multiple times a day.

• Make teeth brushing fun for your kids while helping them learn proper techniques. There are plenty of kid-specific tooth brushes and toothpastes to choose from. There are also little songs or competitions that you can do together in the morning and night.

• Begin to teach your children about the effects certain foods and drinks can have on their teeth – there are different kinds of hands on experiments you can do at home to show how surfaces can get stained or eroded.

• Try to prevent sugary snacks in the evening right before bedtime – even if you’re brushing afterwards.

• When brushing, talk with your pediatrician and dentist about their recommended brands/amounts for your child’s specific situation. In most cases starting at the age of two, kids can start brushing with children’s toothpaste, using an amount smaller than a pea. Before two, still help your kids brush with water.

• Also, be sure to keep an eye of the state of your toothbrush and be prepared to replace every couple of months – a worn brush will not clean teeth.

Things to Consider when Choosing a Dentist

When shopping for a new dentist, there are important factors you need to consider. Key among these is the reason why you want to see a dentist. For instance, you may be seeking a general dentist to help with ongoing care, checkup, and maintenance or scouting for a specialized professional to help with a particular restorative or cosmetic procedure. Other factors such as reputation and recognition by the appropriate dental board, training, and location may also matter. Here is a detailed look of the things to consider when choosing a dentist.

Choosing a Dentist

1. Reputation and practice history

Several methods offer insights into dentists’ reputation. There are online reviews filled by patients as well as referrals given by friends, relatives and acquaintances are just two. Secondly, state dental boards track practitioners and file claim history of every dentist. Use these to ensure you select a dentist with no history suspicious claims.

2. Breadth of training and clinical experience

Check the level of training as well as clinical experience that your prospective dentist has and most especially, in specialty procedures. Not every dentist gets training that enables him or her perform all dental procedures, be they restorative or cosmetic. Such dentists will refer you to colleagues. If you think referrals are inconveniencing, find an appropriate alternative dental practice.

3. Emergency care

Dental emergencies, damaged restorations, and oral trauma can happen anytime. It, therefore, is important to ascertain the wealth of resources your dentist offers in case such accidents occur. While certain practices have no problem attending to patients after hours and during weekends, some may insist on regular office hours. You should establish the flexibility of your prospective dentist or dental practice before making a decision.

4. Diversity of services

As mentioned above, not all dentists offer similar services. If you want a specific treatment then you will have to inquire whether your prospective dentist offers such. You may want a specific brand of product for example, and, even though you usual dentist may be able to offer a solution that serves a similar purpose; he may not have certification to provide the specific solution that interests you. If you are very particular about such a solution then you may want to factor that in your search.

5. Investment in innovative dental technology and retraining

Good dentists invest in applicable technological advances so they can enhance treatment processes and improve the patient experience. New equipment such as CAD/CAM machines and dental lasers may improve the outcome of treatment and in most instances, affect aspects of treatment experience such as the number of visits necessary or amount of chair duration per visit. Do note, however, that dentists who offer such innovative technologies are a lot likely to charge higher compared to practices that insist on traditional treatment options.

6. Cost

While the cost of dental care may vary significantly from person to person and case to case, the general cost depends on traditional factors like processes involved as well as the cost of running a practice. As such, the cost of the procedure in downtown New York may be up to 30% higher than the cost of a similar procedure in Rochester. Overall, do ensure you request for estimates before settling on a particular dentist or practice.

While these points above are essential, there are several other equally important things to consider when choosing a dentist. These include your comfort, past patients’ gallery with pictures of the teeth before and after a procedure and dental health plans, the dentist accepts.