Dental Services in Livingston

A Healthy Child's Smile: The Foundation for Optimal Oral Health

March 25, 2024

Establishing Good Oral Habits at a Young Age Sets the Stage for Lifelong Oral Health

Parents want nothing more than to see their children healthy and happy. When good oral care, including routine dental checkups, begin at an early age, our office can closely monitor the development and health of your child's smile as they grow. It's essential to understand that preventive care and timely treatment for any emerging dental issues not only help maintain optimal oral health but also support overall well-being and contribute to a positive self-image.

Our Dentists Prioritize Preventive Care

At Dental Artistry of Livingston, we emphasize the importance of dental prevention as the key to good oral health. We provide you and your child with the resources as well as the tools to establish an effective brushing and flossing routine and offer nutritional guidance and advice on potentially harmful oral habits. Our entire team strives to make each visit with your child a positive, informative, and beneficial experience.

Regular Checkups and Routine Care are Crucial for Children

Research shows that children and teens lose an estimated 51 million school hours each year to dental problems. To help your child maintain optimal oral health and a smile that's healthy and bright, we recommend dental checkups and cleanings twice a year.

As skilled and compassionate providers of care, we understand all aspects of dental development and are sensitive to the unique needs of children. At each periodic exam, we'll review your child's medical and dental history and then perform a thorough clinical assessment of the teeth, gums, jaws, and surrounding oral tissues. We'll also check your child's bite, jaw alignment, and function.

Because it's vital to see what's going on below the surface, we may take digital radiographs as needed to detect the presence of any cavities or infection and evaluate the position of your child's developing teeth and the health of the jawbone. We'll also perform a professional dental cleaning to eliminate any plaque or debris accumulated between the teeth or in hard-to-reach places.

Tooth Decay is a Common Childhood Malady

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease. Over 50 percent of 5-9 year old children have at least one cavity or filling, with that proportion increasing to 78 percent among 17-year-olds. Although cavities can develop at any age, children are especially susceptible to tooth decay because of dietary indiscretions and ineffective oral hygiene routines.

For these reasons, added levels of protection, such as periodic fluoride treatments and the application of dental sealants, may be prescribed. While fluoride supports the re-mineralization of tooth enamel, dental sealants provide a durable, thin coating to the biting surfaces of the back teeth to shield their deep crevices from decay.

At every stage of your child's development, we'll advise you on the most effective methods of keeping their teeth clean and discuss the foods, beverages, and habits that can lead to problems. While it can be difficult sometimes to get children into a regular oral hygiene routine, we'll give you tips and advice on making brushing and flossing a fun part of their daily activities. As your trusted partner, you can rely on us at Dental Artistry of Livingston to keep a close watch on your child's oral health and development.

Establish Good Habits Early in Your Child's Life

  • Starting regular dental visits with your baby or toddler
  • Cleaning your baby's teeth regularly, as soon as they emerge
  • Not letting your baby sleep with a bottle of milk or juice.
  • Bringing your child in for routine checkups and care at our office
  • Leading by example and encouraging the recommended tooth brushing and flossing routine
  • Promoting healthy dietary choices, including replacing sugary drinks with water and limiting sweets
  • Supporting your child in weaning off their pacifier or stopping thumb sucking at the appropriate age
  • Making sure your child wears a protective mouthguard during sports activities.

Your Baby's First Teeth: The Foundation of Good Oral Health

Even before your child is born, your little one's first set of teeth is already forming. As a matter of fact, by the time your baby is a year old, some of the front teeth will have already emerged into place. For this reason, it's essential to establish an oral care routine at an early age. As per the recommendations of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, parents are encouraged to have their baby see a dentist around the time of their first birthday.

Dental Care for Children and Teens

Childhood is a time of incredible physical and emotional changes. As kids go through several stages of development, so do their teeth. Many things, including both genetic and environmental factors, contribute to the health and appearance of your child's smile. While some issues cannot be prevented, there's still a lot you can do to help ensure your child experiences optimal oral health and develops an attractive, functional smile.

Our office will make sure your children are instructed in the best methods for caring for their teeth and will provide them with useful, age-appropriate information on following a healthy diet as well as make them aware of which oral habits and activities may be harmful to their teeth and overall well-being.

Monitoring Facial Growth and Dental Development

In addition to checking for the presence of dental disease, we also monitor your child's facial growth, jaw development, and alignment of their smile. If orthodontic treatment is indicated, we'll advise you of our recommendations for care. Since many children and teens wear braces, paying extra attention to what they eat and how they maintain their oral hygiene is of the utmost importance.

Good Nutrition is Essential for a Healthy Smile

Beyond good oral hygiene and routine dental care, a balanced, nutritious diet is essential for a healthy smile in a growing child. Sticky, sugary foods and drinks are not only harmful to children's oral health but also detrimental to their overall well-being. A diet rich in nutrients is critical for optimal growth and development and keeping the teeth and gums strong.

Responding Quickly to Dental Emergencies

Recognizing the fact that children have active lifestyles means there is always a chance an accident involving a hit or blow to the mouth or teeth can occur. These traumatic injuries can happen at home, in the playground, or on the playing field. Common injuries to the teeth and oral cavity seen in a pediatric dental office include everything from soft tissue lacerations of the lips, cheeks, or tongue to chipped, fractured, dislodged, or "knocked out" teeth. Equally frequent reasons for children to require urgent dental care are painful toothaches, dental infections, and mouth ulcerations.

Whatever the reason, your child needs emergency dental care; you can rely on our office at Dental Artistry of Livingston to provide the skilled, compassionate, and reliable treatment required. Our goal is to get your child back on the road to oral health while alleviating any associated discomfort and preventing more severe consequences to their dental health and overall well-being.

Your Child's Oral Health Journey Begins with Us

At Dental Artistry of Livingston, we are dedicated to providing your child with the highest level of care. We encourage you to get in touch with us by calling or emailing us, and one of our team members will be happy to assist you in scheduling an appointment. Our office is here to help your child maintain optimal oral health and develop a positive attitude towards dental care. Let's work together to build a foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

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Pediatric Dentist in Livingston