& Second Opinions
Convincing a child to go to the dentist is as tough as persuading them to go to school. It takes time for them to start doing something out of their comfort zone. Studies show that the fear of the unknown plays a vital role in the behavior of the child during dental procedures. However, once a kid feels a sense of security, which is tough to accomplish, everything will be set for the next steps. At David Crumpton, DDS, we will look to do just that as we will not only treat the dental problems of your child but also make them feel safe during the process.
Get it done before the age of one. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggest that the first visit for your child should not be later than the age of two to prevent dental problems at the earliest possible time. It is also the best way to avoid common childhood dental problems, such as sensitive teeth, bad breath, thumb sucking, grinding, gum disease, wisdom teeth, dental anxiety, and tooth decay, which happens to be the most common chronic disease among children.
The first visit is about building trust not only with the parents and the office but also between your child and our dentists. It is also not uncommon for our dentists to ask toa parent to wait in the reception area. This will help our providers gain your child’s confidence and faith in someone that they are unfamiliar with.
While preparing the child for their big day can be easier said than done, it is an excellent way for them to learn that they are going to be free from danger. Displaying a positive attitude towards the upcoming visit can be contagious. The more relaxed and easy-going you are about the visit, the more your child is going to mirror your behavior. This means a much easier appointment all around for everyone involved, but more importantly, your child.
Once your child feels protected and at ease with our office environment, we will start examining for problems in your child’s mouth, such as tooth decay, gum infection and further complications that may cause speech and chewing problems. Also, we will discuss fluoride use and proper nutrition with you and your child. In addition, we will go over proper oral hygiene practices and the importance of these habits.
As your child reaches the age of three to five years old, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the American Dental Association encourage dentists to take X-rays of their teeth to immediately identify dental problems that are not visible with the naked eye. Also, it is advisable for children to have regular dental exams to help monitor and track any oral conditions they encounter. We strongly recommend 6-month checkups, however, if there is a dental emergency or a problem that you would like us to look at, do not hesitate to come and see us.
Since children are still learning how to take care of their mouths, they need some additional help to keep potentially problematic teeth as clean and healthy as possible. Dental sealants are usually placed on the molars near the back of the mouth. These teeth are hard to reach with a toothbrush – especially for someone who is still getting used to brushing in the first place – but sealants will go a long way towards protecting them from bacteria and food particles while your child is developing.
As important as it is to support your young athlete while they play the sport they love, you also need to make sure they’re well-protected while doing it. Stop by our office to ask about having a customized athletic mouthguard made for your little one. These oral appliances are essential for helping to prevent chipped, broken, and knocked out teeth, and they also help prevent the rest of the mouth from the forces they’d experience from a blow to the head.
Sometimes the band of tissue connecting the lip or tongue to the rest of the mouth (known as a frenum) is overly developed, resulting in a lip or tongue tie. While these issues might go away as your child grows older, sometimes they persist and get in the way of your child’s speech development and their ability to swallow comfortably. Fortunately, a restrictive frenum can be removed in a quick procedure known as a frenectomy.
From those with physical disabilities to those suffering from cognitive or developmental impairment, there are many children that require specialized attention and care during their routine dental checkups. Dr. Crumpton values all of the qualities that make his younger patients unique, and he will do all he can to accommodate your child’s needs. Be sure to share anything we need to know about your child when you first call to set up your first appointment.
Your child should eventually stop their thumb-sucking habit on their own. If they don’t, they could be setting themselves up for orthodontic issues later on in life without knowing it. There are methods you can use to help your child break their non-nutritive habits, and we’re here to make sure you know what your options are if need be. We can also help identify other non-nutritive habits, such as falling asleep with a bottle in their mouths, and offer advice depending on the situation.
You can’t see the pulp of your child’s teeth with the naked eye, but you’ll likely be able to tell when it’s injured or infected when your little one is constantly suffering from dental pain. If we find signs of pulp inflammation or infection, we can plan a procedure to remove the affected tissue and stop your child’s pain. A pulpotomy will only remove parts of the pulp and leave the healthy tissue alone; if the decay or trauma is too severe, a pulpectomy is performed to completely remove it.
About 16% of school age children have a fear of dentists. There are a few different ways we can work with you to help them deal with their anxiety, but if need be, we can also offer oral, conscious sedation to help them stay calm while we work on their teeth. Nitrous oxide is also generally appropriate for children with mild to moderate dental fears, and since it wears off so quickly once the procedure is done, you’ll be able to take your little one straight back to school.
The Healthy Start system can be used to treat and even prevent a wide variety of symptoms associated with Sleep Disordered Breathing, or SDB, including chronic daytime exhaustion, ADD/ADHD-like behavior, frequent headaches, and more. It involves a child wearing a specially-made oral appliance to bed (or as directed) to promote proper growth of their mouth and airway. In addition to solving sleep problems, it can also straighten the teeth without braces while helping a child avoid more serious orthodontic issues in the future.