As a parent, you want the best for your child! You take great care in choosing the right doctors to take care of them, you provide them with nutritious food options, and you make sure they are healthy and active.
Their oral health is no exception. Building a relationship with a children's dentist in Plano, TX, is essential to help your child feel safe and comfortable at the dentist in the future. Your team at Plano Family Dental understands how important first visits to the dentist are for children, and we strive to provide an environment that feels safe and comfortable, and fun!
The First Visit
Did you know that your son or daughter should be visiting the dentist every six months just like you do? Our dentists recommend that you bring your little one in for their first visit around the age of three years old. When you're child reaches this age, it is likely they'll be ready for a ride in our "big chair" and able to let us count and maybe even clean their teeth.
Rest assured that we will explain everything we're doing the entire time and that we won't proceed with any types of procedures until you're child is completely comfortable and ready for it.
Early visits to your children's dentist in Plano give us the opportunity to monitor your son or daughter's oral development and also teach them about the importance of their oral health.
What if Your Child has Dental Anxiety?
Do not fear! At Plano Family Dental, we understand that the initial visits are always tricky. If you did not know, almost 20% of all children under the age of 8 are afraid of the dentist! It may be difficult for them (sometimes even you) to come to a dentist voluntarily, but Dr. Varun Joseph has trained and worked with many children to overcome their fear. There are two roles in helping a child for a first visit, the parent's and the dentist and his staff.
Most important of all, paperwork is essential! Parents can find the information here, also informing the dentist if they fear the dentist. Second, parents must always tell the child they will visit the dentist so they can mentally prepare. Children need predictability to adapt to unfamiliar situations, do not wait until the last moment as it can sometimes worsen their anxiety. Answer any questions they may have about what to expect and why they are visiting, remember not to go into too much detail, and remind them that they can also ask the dentist!
Dr. Joseph and the team at Plano Family Dental's role is a larger one. Most important is making sure your child is comfortable and reinforcing a positive experience! From being welcomed at the door, occupying the waiting time at the children's corner, or just having fun in the dental chair with Dr. Joseph! In a few other ways, Dr. Joseph reassures them by explaining during the exam what he is doing and using simple words they understand. Engaging the children in questions and conversion, such as their favorite things to do or what they want to be when they grow up (hopefully a Dentist). If they still have a problem, there are other alternatives, such as conscious sedation, but it is usually unnecessary. If you have any questions or your child, feel free to call us!
Why Primary (Baby) Teeth Are So Important
Many parents wonder why it's a big deal to take care of baby teeth that will fall out in a few years anyway? Great question!
Believe it or not, baby teeth have a few critical jobs to do before they fall out, so it's important to keep them clean and healthy. Some of the things baby teeth are responsible for are:
- Helping your child learn how to speak
- Introducing your little one to solid foods
- Holding a place for, and then guiding adult teeth into their correct position
If baby teeth are damaged by tooth decay or fall out too soon, your son or daughter's oral development can be affected.
What to do When Your Child has a Dental Emergency?
Dental accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. Knowing how to handle a dental emergency can mean the difference between saving and losing your child's permanent tooth. For all dental emergencies, it is crucial you contact us immediately.
Safety Tips for your child to Avoid a Dental Emergency
Dr. Joseph knows children MUST have fun, but here a few ways he recommends to prevent accidents or severe injury to your child's teeth:
- Wear a mouthguard (and helmet when appropriate) when participating in sports.
- NEVER use teeth to cut or open things. Use scissors (supervised if your child is young).
- Do not run around with objects in your mouth (eg. toothbrush, pencils, suckers, etc.)
- Use gates to block stairways and areas with a great fall.
- Visit the dentist every 6 months to make sure your child's teeth are healthy and strong.
Preventing Tooth Decay and Cavities for Children
Do you know what the number one childhood disease is? You might think of asthma or diabetes, but it is actually tooth decay! Cavities and tooth decay are the most prevalent childhood problem, and it's one issue; as a parent, you can do a lot to prevent from happening.
Here are some ideas on how to prevent childhood tooth decay:
- Begin brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they arrive with a soft bristle brush made for infants.
- Continue to assist your son or daughter with brushing and flossing until they are the age seven or eight years old.
- Use toothpaste fortified with fluoride when your child is able to spit after brushing.
- Teach children to brush twice consistently every day, and floss once.
- Attend regular cleaning and checkup appointments at your Plano dentist every six months.
- Offer your children healthy snacks and meals, as fruits and vegetables will help reduce acids in their mouth and increase saliva flow.
- Lead by example and be sure your child sees you brushing and flossing your own teeth every day.
Children's Dental Services Offered at Plano Family Dental
Dr. Joseph and Dr. Chapman love taking care of children! We look forward to building a relationship with your son or daughter over the years, and our Plano, TX practice offers the services your child needs to build a foundation of optimum oral health.
Here are some of the services you can expect to find at Plano Family Dental:
Cleanings, X-Rays, and Preventive Care
When they're ready, we'll provide your child with cleanings to remove the excess plaque buildup that contributes to tooth decay and cavities. As they grow, we'll also take x-rays to monitor their development.
Our dentists may also recommend treatment with fluoride to help build and strengthen your little one's developing teeth.
As your son or daughter gets older, our dentists may recommend sealants to cover the chewing surfaces of their back teeth. This thin protective coating prevents the acids that cause cavities from damaging their enamel.
If your little one does encounter tooth decay, we will use tooth-colored fillings to restore their teeth to health and preserve the aesthetics of their smile.
Sometimes removing a tooth becomes necessary in order to protect your child's oral health. Our dentists will explain why this procedure is needed and gently guide your family through the process.
Crowns for Children
If a tooth becomes broken, cracked, or damaged by decay beyond what a filling can repair, a crown may be necessary to preserve your child's tooth. A crown fits over the remaining tooth structure and protects the root of their tooth.
Since more than half of dental emergencies are sports-related, if your son or daughter participates in sports, it's important to protect their teeth and mouth from injury. Your dentist in Plano can recommend the right mouthguard for your child's needs as a custom fit offers better protection from injury.
WE'RE LOOKING FOR NEW MEMBERS!
We know that great oral habits begin at home, and we love rewarding our young patients for their hard work and diligence. All patients under the age of 12 are rewarded for being cavity-free at their continuous care appointments. Rewards include receiving an entry for an exciting prize in a contest!
Keep up the excellent brushing, flossing, and oral care, kids. We would love to see all of you have your photo displayed on our Cavity-Free Club Wall! And thanks Mom and Dad - we know excellent habits begin with you!
Cavity Free Club!
It's not easy being a kid, especially when parents ask them to do things like eating vegetables, clean their room and brush their teeth!
Could anything be worse? Maybe. How about cavities?
Recent studies indicate that over 40% of kids will have a cavity by the time they enter kindergarten, and 21% of kids between 6 to 11 will have a cavity in their permanent teeth! So, what's a kid (and their parent!) to do? Use an incentive (or a bribe)!
Because kids are getting more cavities than ever, Plano Family Dental is here to help kids, and their parents, battle those pesky sugar bugs throughout the year – not just during National Children's Dental Health month!
Besides offering routine exams, teeth cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, and lots of coaching, we're giving our young pediatric patients an additional incentive to stay cavity-free by entering our Kids Cavity Free Club drawings throughout the year.
How the Kids Cavity Free Club Works!
1. Schedule your child for a teeth cleaning and dental exam – any time throughout the year.
2. Every "kid" – those of you between 4 and 18 – who is declared cavity FREE will be entered into a drawing for a gift card:
A $25 Amazon Gift Card!
3. When are our drawings? We do these every few months, so your kid will have plenty of other chances to win (besides having cavity-free teeth)!
While a gift card might be a great incentive to stay mindful about cavities, here are some other tips to help your kids stay cavity-free!
When you're ready to make an appointment, call (972) 867-5090. And if you're child is between the ages of 1 to 3, we also do complimentary Well Baby Dental visits – we'll examine your child's teeth, allow them to get comfortable visiting a dentist, and also offer parents some helpful oral care tips.
Contact Plano Family Dental to Schedule Your Child's Next Visit Today
Do you have more questions or concerns about your son or daughter's oral health? Is it time to schedule their first visit or their next visit? Whatever the case may be, the entire team at Plano Family Dental looks forward to welcoming your child to our practice! We offer convenient early morning, afternoon, and Friday appointments designed to accommodate any busy schedule.
Give us a call today to arrange a convenient time for their next visit.