Call Us Today: 215-898-PDFP(7337)

Attention 3 Year-Olds! It’s Time To Come Visit Your Local Pediatric Dentist

Giving your child a good start for a healthy smile can last them a lifetime.

You read that right! If you have a toddler approaching the age of 3 and they have yet to visit a pediatric dentist, now is the time to schedule. With Penn Dental Family Practice as the core of your family’s solutions to all your dental needs; let us tell you why now is the perfect time.

Let’s start off with a few facts on pediatric dentistry; and why it is so important that your child visits a pediatric dentist versus a general dentist.

  • A pediatric dentist spends an extra 2-3 years studying pediatric dentistry and the psychology needed to best address children in their current stage of development.
  • A pediatric dentist specializes in infants, toddlers, children, adolescents and teens; as well as those with special needs.
  • Being as the specialty for pediatric is with children, a pediatric dentist is trained for those with dental fears and a short attention span, providing comfort and additional patience for those patients.
  • A pediatric dentist will be able to provide an atmosphere that is more inviting to small children.
The question remains.
Why should I bring my child into the dentist by age 3?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, studies show that 1 in 4 kids will develop cavities by the time they are in preschool. (AAPD) This statistic presents a challenge to dentists and families alike, making it very clear that dentists need to strive more to educate parents even further on healthy home habits for their kids.

A very common misconception of going to the dentist means that you will be in pain. A visit to your  dentist in Philadelphia is nothing like your nightmares probably suggest. We encourage you to realize that we are living in a new era. Many dental offices are consistent in attending Continuing Education courses (ADA), learning new techniques and innovative ways to make your visit as comfortable as possible, with a PAIN-FREE goal in mind.

Interestingly enough, while there are still a number of people who avoid the dentist, there are a large amount of people who trust their dentist over their own doctor! A study done in 2012 shows that 88% of people that were surveyed trust their dentist (Dentistry Today).

How do you trust your dentist? Develop a relationship with them. Form a trust between the two of you, and be honest about your hesitations and fears. Once you make your fears known, your dentist will be able to better help you in achieving the healthy mouth you’ve always wanted.

If a baby tooth presents decay, your pediatric dentist may suggest to perform a filling on that tooth, to prevent the need of a pulpotomy and stainless steel crown. If your child needs a pulpotomy and stainless steel crown, your child may experience symptoms of an infection including pain and swelling. In this case, the dentist will remove the decay and nerve and place filling material and a crown over the tooth.

Aside from maintaining space, if decay is deep enough, it may reach the permanent tooth as well, enabling your child to have decayed permanent teeth at an early age as well. (Children’s Dental Health).

Baby Teeth Are Just As Important As Permanent Teeth

So what if your toddler has a decayed baby tooth? It’s just gonna fall out anyway!

Wrong.

First of all, baby teeth (also known as primary teeth) serve the important purpose of maintaining an appropriate amount of space in a child’s mouth, allowing room for their permanent teeth to grow in. If a baby tooth is extracted too early without the permanent tooth on it’s way out, the tooth adjacent to it will begin to drift in and fill the empty space. This may cause serious problems when the permanent tooth does finally begin to grow in.

If a baby tooth presents decay, your pediatric dentist may suggest to perform a filling on that tooth, to prevent the need of a pulpotomy and stainless steel crown. If your child needs a pulpotomy and stainless steel crown, your child may experience symptoms of an infection including pain and swelling. In this case, the dentist will remove the decay and nerve and place filling material and a crown over the tooth.

Aside from maintaining space, if decay is deep enough, it may reach the permanent tooth as well, enabling your child to have decayed permanent teeth at an early age as well. (Children’s Dental Health).

Instilling Good Oral Hygiene Habits In Your Child Can Last A Lifetime

It is never too early to teach children how to brush their teeth. In fact, just because you show them when they’re babies does not mean that they will maintain good oral hygiene throughout the rest of their adolescent years. Teaching good hygiene is a continual process that takes tweaking and basic teaching over and and over again, but it is well worth it. Here are 11 tips on how to create easy oral hygiene habits in your children.
Affordable_Dental_Implants_Near_MD

  1. Start your oral hygiene as soon as you can by rubbing a damp washcloth over their gums to clear away any harmful bacteria.
  2. When your baby gets teeth, brush their teeth with an infant toothbrush and a tiny (rice size) bit of fluoride toothpaste. Be sure the toothpaste has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. (ADA)
  3. Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle can cause more harm than good, due to the amount of bacteria that remains on a baby’s teeth for hours. It sometimes can cause decay, also known as bottle rot or bottle mouth. (KidsHealth)
  4. When your baby has teeth that can touch, you can begin flossing their teeth.
  5. At age 2, you can begin to teach your toddler to spit while brushing, as to avoid them swallowing the toothpaste.
  6. Once children reach age 3, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  7. As long as you suspect that your child may habitually swallow toothpaste, monitor children while brushing. Normally this is up to age 6.
  8. Encourage brushing 2-3 times a day, specifically after meals.
  9. Avoid sugary foods and drinks like candy and juice.
  10. Keep your children on regular check-ups and cleaning routines with their pediatric dentist as to maintain a healthy gum tissue and catch decay before it starts by getting sealants (a thin resin material that is placed over molars with deep grooves to prevent decay).
  11. Be a good example to your children, all of their days, and attend regular dental check-ups and tell them how great you feel when your teeth get nice and clean. Kids tend to copy things in excess to their parents, so this would be a great moment for such examples.

Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Depending upon your specific needs, your child’s first dental visit should go something like this:

  • A review of your child’s health history.
  • You will be asked if you have any specific questions or concerns.
  • The dentist will talk with you about your child’s overall health, including:
    • Oral development
    • Teething
    • Your child’s bite
    • Areas such as gums and cheeks (AKA soft tissue)
    • Oral habits such as thumb sucking or the use of pacifiers
    • Diet and how it can affect oral health
    • Hygiene practices and fluoride use
    • Accident prevention (such as horseplay and sports injuries)
  • Go over your child’s current development and what to expect.
  • Explain age appropriate at-home oral hygiene.
  • Discussing getting your child on a routine schedule for exam and cleanings.

The Penn Dental Family Practice Difference

So now you must decide where to go to provide your child with the best pediatric dentist in the area. Fortunately, Penn Dental Family Practice has everything you need when it comes to taking care of the whole family.

Among our variety of pediatric dentists, we also have general dentists and those who specialize in:

  • Endodontics
  • Aesthetic Dentistry
  • Implant Dentistry
  • Prosthodontics
  • Oral Surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Periodontics

Our dentists bring an in-depth knowledge in the art and science of dental medicine. Our dentists not only teach the next generation of dentists, but some also work at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania.

Penn Dental Family Practice also has a number of professors on staff, so our dentists are not just innovative in the technique of patient care, they are also raising up the next generation of dentists.

So what are you waiting for? Get your toddler on the right track today, by taking them to see a pediatric dentist at Penn Dental Family Practice. With 3 convenient locations in Bryn Mawr, Locust Walk and University City, you’ll never have to travel far to get the highest quality of care.