Pediatric Dentistry in Cloverly & Silver Spring, Maryland
There is no time like the present when it comes to caring for your child’s oral hygiene. The sooner your child begins regular dental checkups and an oral hygiene routine, the happier and healthier they will be throughout their life. Though their needs are similar to adult oral hygiene, your child requires specialized care. In addition to regular dental care, our pediatric dentist makes sure your child’s teeth are developing properly. Of all people, those little ones deserve a healthy, functioning smile they can find confidence in.
Basics of Pediatric Dentistry
Silver Spring & Cloverly Pediatric dentistry is an age-defined branch of dental care. This specialty is designed for both preventative and restorative treatments for infants, children and adolescents. Our Dentists have gone through unique training involving child psychology, growth and development. As such, Dr. Keith is well-equipped to manage the oral health and development for children. We will monitor your child’s individual needs and provide the best, most comfortable treatment for their smile.
Why You Need to Take Care of Baby Teeth
Just like adult teeth, primary teeth can develop cavities and lead to infection. In fact, the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that for children in the United States, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease. Over 40 percent of children will have dental decay by the time they are old enough for kindergarten. Why? Children’s immune systems are underdeveloped and dental decay is a highly transmissible disease. Without treatment infection will spread rapidly and could lead to more serious dental problems or health problems. Bottom line, child tooth decay is serious. Fortunately, with pediatric dentistry in Cloverly & Silver Spring, you can take action now to fight off decay and infection.
Good Oral Health Starts With Baby Teeth
Your child’s first teeth usually appear as early as three months of age, and will continue to emerge until all 20 primary teeth are in place. Though there is no designated time for all teeth to arrive, it will most likely happen before they reach the age of three. This stage of development is often called “teething,” and marks the time when you should start paying closer attention to dental hygiene. Not only should you take care to clean your child’s teeth, but you will also want to reduce discomfort caused by emerging teeth. You can do this by rubbing gums with a clean, cool cloth or by making use of the ever popular teething rings. Just be sure to keep their mouth free of bacteria and you will be well on your way to great dental health for your child.
Common Questions About Pediatric Dentistry
Are Baby Teeth that Important?
Yes! Many people think that because the primary teeth fall out, they don’t need that much care. They would be wrong. Though they are deciduous, your child’s primary teeth are important for several reasons. They help your child learn to properly chew and speak. They act as placeholders for permanent teeth. Most importantly, they help set the stage for lifelong oral health and dental care. Because baby teeth are just as susceptible to cavities, it is critical to start an oral healthcare routine as soon as possible.
How Should I Clean my Baby’s Teeth?
Initially, before the teeth even emerge, you can clean your baby’s mouth and gums by gently rubbing them with a warm, damp wash cloth. Don’t worry about a toothbrush and fluoride-free toothpaste until their first teeth erupt. Once this happens, select a soft-bristle toothbrush with a small head. You should also start flossing your baby’s teeth as soon as two of them are touching. Between ages 2-5 you can switch to fluoride toothpaste. We recommend you use a pea size amount and make sure your child spits out the excess toothpaste when they finish. You should continue to help your child brush until they are capable of effectively performing the task on their own.
When Should I Schedule my Child’s First Appointment?
Good oral hygiene should begin during infancy, and so should regular visits to Cloverly & Silver Spring dentist. It may seem young, but your child should have their first appointment at least by the time they turn one. Ideally, they should see a dentist when their first teeth come in. The earlier you start routine dental care, the more comfortable your child will be with later visits to the dentist’s office.
Are Dental X-rays Safe for my Child?
At Dana Keith DDS, we do all we can to limit the amount of radiation children are exposed to. With the use of customized lead aprons and high-speed film, there is very little risk involved in dental X-rays. Your child will be safe and their oral health will only improve by getting annual X-rays from our pediatric dentist.
Other Ways to Care for your Child’s Teeth
One thing you want to do is examine your child’s teeth every couple of weeks. You will want to be on the lookout for lines, fissures, pitting, and any discoloration. These might all be signs of dental decay. As a parent, you should also provide your child with a healthy and well balanced diet, avoiding foods high in sugar. You should help your child brush at least twice a day, especially after meal time. Lastly, you will want to maintain regular visits to our pediatric dentist.
Best Pediatric Dental Care in Silver Spring
Our main concern in pediatric dentistry is diagnosing and treating any developmental problems. Our dentist will want to keep a close eye on how your child’s teeth emerge and grow. We will do everything we can to ensure disease free gums and teeth. This includes teaching proper dental hygiene techniques and assisting parents as best we can in oral health. If you keep up regular visits to the best pediatric dentist Dr. Keith we can prevent decay, provide restorative treatment when appropriate, and preserve that little smile you love so much. Our services are effective and affordable, making them the perfect option for you and your child.
Most Common Services in Pediatric Dentistry
- Dental exams
- Fluoride application
- Space maintainers
If you are looking for pediatric dentistry that provides gentle, expert care through all ages of development, then you have come to the right place. For more information about pediatric dentistry or to schedule your child’s first appointment, please contact us.
Call Silver Spring dental offices at (301) 236-9000 to schedule an appointment!