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Dr. Michael W. Stuart

Dr. Craig E. Stannebein

2700 Grand Avenue, Suite D. Billings, MT 59102

Monday - Thursday 8am-5pm
Friday by Appointment Only

(406) 794-3114

Children And Teeth: Start Dental Care Early

  • March 1, 2017
Pediatric Dentistry 1 | Legacy Smiles - Billings, MT

When you become a parent, there a lot of things you have to introduce your children to. When it comes to kids, you have to be careful how you do it. That’s because a good or bad experience can affect how your child views things for years to come.

Medical checkups to haircuts to dental exams, it’s always best to make the experience as seamless as possible.

At Legacy Smiles in Billings, MT, Dr. Michael Stuart and his staff make your child’s first visit to our office a happy experience. We believe that having a stress-free experience at the dentist’s office can help your child develop good oral health and habits that will last a lifetime. In other words, that first visit can set the stage for how your child feels about the dentist for a long time.

When you bring your child into the office for the first time, we’ll just start out with some preliminary examinations. This will help your child get used to the office and will help us build trust with him.

When he’s age three, we’ll start more thorough dental care. We’ll begin by just cleaning and polishing your child’s teeth. We’ll take X-rays and do a preliminary exam.

If it looks like there’s an issue, we won’t push anything that you or your child isn’t entirely comfortable with. And unlike some dentists, we welcome you to stay in the room with your child during the exam. After all, you may be just as uneasy as your child and you may have questions to ask.

Preventative Care And Why It’s Important

Preventive care is the best ways to avoid dental problems in the future. We offer a wide range of preventive services that we can talk to you about. This is just a selection of what we offer here at Legacy Smiles:

  • Cleanings and Exams – The best way to prevent major problems is to catch them when they’re small.
  • Sealants – If needed, these protect your teeth from cavities by sealing against acid and bacteria.
  • Fluoride Treatments and Varnishes – These strengthen the enamel.
  • Mouthguards – If your child grinds or clenches her teeth excessively, mouthguards may help to protect them from damage.
  • Nutritional Counseling – We can talk to you about what foods are best for your child’s developing teeth.
  • Dental Health Education – We refresh your knowledge on dental health home care. You will probably only be bringing your child to see us a couple of times a year. That means that the rest of the time, the health of their teeth is up to you and your child.

How Can Baby Teeth Have Problems?

We tend to think that damage to our teeth happens over a long period of time or is the result of an accident. What many people don’t realize is that baby teeth need just as much care as adult teeth. Your child’s tooth enamel isn’t as strong as yours so it can be damaged more easily.

According to Medical News Today website, the level of dental cavities seen in baby teeth in the U.S. is 20.5 percent. Cavities can be the result of poor oral hygiene, insufficient exposure to fluoride, and a diet high in sugar. There’s also some evidence that they can be caused by secondhand smoke.

The ADA cautions against letting your child take a bottle in his bed. The milk or juice in the bottle can pool in your baby’s mouth and cause bacteria to form.

Although it’s rare, children can also develop gum disease. That’s because when plaque is allowed to accumulate, it can make your child’s gums sensitive and swollen.

Thumb Sucking

If you’ve ever had a child who sucks her thumbs, you know that it can be a hard habit to break. The problem with thumb-sucking is that it can put pressure on those tiny teeth, pushing them forward. That can possibly lead to braces or tooth removal later.

It’s important to get your child on the road to good dental care early. It establishes good habits that can serve him well for the rest of his life.

To make an appointment, call us at 406-794-3114 or use our online form to make an appointment. We will make your child’s dental experience a safe and happy one.

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