Dentistry Designed for Children’s Smiles
Just like their parents, children should visit the dentist at least once every six months for routine exam and cleaning appointments. Unlike adults, however, children often have unique dental health needs and treatments, which require a skilled family dentist and dental team to successfully address. At Gateway Dental Group, Dr. Burds and our team happily welcome patients as young as six months old for their first visit, and as young as three years old for regular checkup and cleaning appointments. These visits include tips and education on maintaining good hygiene, as well as recommendations for preventive care, if necessary, to help your child avoid issues like cavities.
What Children’s Dentistry Means
Prevention is vital in all aspects of dentistry, but for children, it’s an especially important concept. For instance, preventing a cavity doesn’t just save your child’s primary (baby) teeth, but also benefit the permanent teeth that are developing underneath them. Likewise, preventing more complex issues, like tooth misalignment, can help prevent more serious oral health concerns as your child grows. In addition to exams and cleanings, other common children’s dental treatments include:
Cavities are caused when oral bacteria erode a tooth’s outer layer of enamel, allowing the bacteria to reach the tooth’s main structure. To help prevent enamel erosion, we may recommend that your child undergo fluoride treatments during routine exam and cleaning appointments. Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, is able to strengthen a tooth’s weakened outer layer by bonding to the minerals that make up tooth enamel. With topical fluoride treatments, we can bolster your child’s tooth enamel and make it harder for oral bacteria to weaken it.
For additional protection against cavity-causing bacteria, we may also suggest placing dental sealants on the chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth. Sealants are made from invisible, biocompatible acrylic that Dr. Burds can apply to the surfaces of your child’s teeth, providing an additional barrier between the tooth and the bacteria that can harm it. Dental sealants not only effectively keep harmful bacteria off of your child’s teeth, but they also dissolve safely on their own so you don’t have to schedule a subsequent visit to remove them.
Schedule a Dental Appointment for Your Child
Children should first visit the dentist as early as six months old, or by the time the first tooth appears. Regular visits should begin by the age of three. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Dr. Burds and Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, today at (515) 244-9565. We also proudly serve patients from West Des Moines, Ankeny, Urbandale, Johnston, and all surrounding communities.