Tips on pediatric dentistry for Indianapolis parents
Dr. Matthew Church and his team at Washington Street Dentistry love kids! We are parents, too, so we understand how oral health affects a child’s self-esteem, school and sports performance, and overall wellness.
We’ve put together a few tips to help parents in the Indianapolis area give their children good starts on a lifetime of dental health through home care and professional pediatric dentistry.
- Teething – Drooling, chewing, and interrupted sleep mean a tooth is about to erupt. It’s time to schedule your little one’s first dental appointment to be sure all is well in baby’s mouth. Meanwhile, massage those tender gums with a very clean finger or a cool washcloth, keep a supply of teething rings in the refrigerator, and have many bibs on hand.
- Fluoride – This naturally occurring element stops bacterial production of acids in the mouth that eat tooth enamel. Most kids get enough fluoride from public water and fluoridated toothpaste. However, if your child might be deficient, talk with your dentist about fluoride treatments or supplements to aid in reversing low levels of decay and keeping new cavities at bay.
- Wiggly teeth – It’s usually best to let baby teeth come out on their own. If a loose tooth is bothering your child, you may want to encourage him or her to pull it, to minimize drama. Eating apples can also be a stress free way to get the tooth out. Don’t worry if your child swallows a tooth – it isn’t harmful.
- Sealants – These thin coatings of plastic are applied to grooves on back teeth to keep food particles and germs out, deterring tooth decay. We recommend sealants as soon as the permanent molars come in at about age five.
- Home hygiene – Good home care starts early at your hands, progresses to patiently demonstrating, and eventually empowering your child to take responsibility for daily brushing and flossing.
- Fillings – Avoid cavities as much as possible with good oral hygiene. Maintain regular check-ups to catch them early. Baby teeth are important to the development of adult teeth, so have cavities repaired with natural-colored resin fillings.