A child’s experiences early in life shape the worldview and values they’ll carry with them into adulthood. At Bell Dental Group, we recognize that by providing high-quality dental care in a family-friendly environment, we can help set our youngest patients up for years of healthy smiles!
Our practice, which was started by two twin brothers who love dentistry, is built with family in mind! And we recently added Dr. Maggie Ernst to our team. She enjoys building relationships with families and watching our littlest patients grow. We understand that a patient’s needs change as they get older, and we’re ready to care for your loved ones during every stage of life!
Since February is Children’s Dental Health Month, we wanted to highlight some of the ways we can partner with parents in the Cincinnati, OH area to help their kids establish great oral health habits and maintain beautiful smiles.
Read on for that information, and then come experience our family-focused care for yourself! Call us at 513-802-9440 to schedule an appointment.
1. The First Dental Check-Up
When you bring your child to Bell Dental Group for the first time, your little one will receive the same comfortable and personalized care that our adult patients receive! Our goal during this visit is to familiarize your child with the sights and sounds of the office. We want to help your child understand from the get-go that visiting the dentist is nothing to fear — and can even be fun!
Though what’s accomplished during this first appointment depends on the child, it typically includes a gentle cleaning and fluoride treatment, cavity detection, as well as a fun demonstration of how to properly brush their teeth. We can give your child a special tour of the office, and if your child is OK with it, we might even take a set of X-rays.
Many of our staff members are parents, aunts, and uncles themselves. We understand that going anywhere with young children can be an adventure (and slightly unpredictable). We’re patient with children and know how to make things fun and comfortable for them! If they’d like a pillow, blanket, music or video entertainment while we work, we can make it happen.
And after the first visit is over, you’ll do it all over again in six months! Regular visits are important for developing a relationship between the child and dentist. They also help ensure any complications in your child’s oral development are detected early.
2. Dental Health Education In The Office And At Home
Helping a child establish healthy habits at home requires teamwork on the part of parents and dental health professionals. When you come in for regular exams, we’ll demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques and help your child understand why it’s important to take care of their teeth and gums.
Then, we rely on you to reinforce good habits at home! This means brushing twice a day, for roughly two minutes each time. Children under the age of 3 need only a very small amount of toothpaste — only the size of a grain of rice. For children older than 3, increase the amount to roughly the size of a pea.
And as long as a child has two teeth that touch, it’s important to floss once a day to prevent gum disease.
Need some help making dental care fun for your kids? Here are some ideas from the American Dental Association to get you started:
- Make it part of your child’s schedule. Once your child understands that dental hygiene is just as routine as getting dressed, eating lunch, and taking a nap, it’ll be less of a struggle to get them to brush or floss.
- Blast your child’s favorite songs while they brush and floss.
- Make up a fun two-minute story for them to listen to while they brush. For example, tell a short tale of a tooth-brushing superhero who fights “sugar bugs.”
- Bring in your child’s favorite characters. The American Dental Association has partnered with Sesame Street to produce education materials about brushing and flossing.
- Reward good behavior, whether it’s with a simple high-five or a particular bedtime story.
3. Protecting Your Child’s “Adult” Teeth With Sealants
When your child loses their first baby tooth, it’s a big deal! Not only will your child be excited about tooth fairy visits, but it’s when your child’s “adult” teeth will start coming in. They’re called “permanent” teeth for a reason — they’ll be with your child for the rest of their lives! And that’s why it’s important to protect them with sealants soon after they come in.
Sealants are clear plastic coatings, made of plastic or other materials, that are painted on the chewing surfaces of permanent teeth. Studies have shown that sealants reduce the risk of molar decay by 80 percent!
At Bell Dental Group, we see sealants and fluorides as on one of the first steps to a lifetime of healthy teeth!