Routine Pediatric Dental CareCape Girardeau, MO
Many kids get nervous about dental visits. The right preparation can keep your child calm and relaxed during a checkup. Before your next appointment, take some time to research dental procedures. Rest assured, you don't need a medical background to understand what goes on in a pediatric dental office. Routine pediatric dental care often remains simple and straightforward.
Pediatric dentists are available at Jayne F. Scherrman JS Pediatric Dentistry in Cape Girardeau and the surrounding area. Our team offers routine cleanings and checkups to keep your child's mouth healthy. We also offer a range of procedures to treat common dental troubles. Call us at (573) 271-3062 to learn more about our services.
The Importance of Routine Dental Care
Dental care plays a vital role in overall health. Gum disease can lead to life-threatening health problems like heart disease. Tooth decay can put a patient's health at risk too. Researchers have found that dental problems are linked to diabetes and dementia. Fortunately, good oral hygiene can reduce your risk of serious health concerns.
Dental care also prevents cavities, gum disease, and foul-smelling breath. Brushing and flossing keep your teeth looking healthy. Establishing good dental care habits during childhood can deliver lasting results. Parents can help children protect their oral health by making dental care a daily habit. Make sure that children brush and floss twice a day.
Pediatric providers can teach patients how to care for their mouths. Professional brushing and flossing techniques remove plaque and keep breath fresh. At home, some families find it helpful to brush and floss together. Children benefit from watching their parents model good oral hygiene.
“Researchers have found that dental problems are linked to diabetes and dementia.”
Planning Routine Dental Care
Routine exams and cleanings represent a must. Even patients who maintain good oral hygiene need regular checkups. Most patients should plan to see their dental provider every six months. But in some cases, more frequent exams may be necessary. Your dentist can develop a customized appointment schedule.
During a checkup, the dentist examines the patient's teeth. They often take X-rays or perform other screenings. Next, they administer an in-depth cleaning. Professional dental cleanings remove plaque and tarter. These substances increase the patient's risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing and flossing alone can't remove plaque buildup. Professional cleaning gets rid of stubborn plaque before it can cause cavities.
Many children get nervous about dental visits, and routine checkups can leave children restless. Parents can help promote good behavior by modeling healthy dental habits. Let your children see you visit the dentist, and talk to them about your dental visits. Books and television programs about dental visits can help, too. They let your children know what to expect on the big day.
Establish routine dental visits as a normal, predictable activity. The office staff can often schedule appointments well in advance. Making appointments ahead of time allows your family to prepare. Advance appointments ensure that you never forget a dental visit.
“Parents can help promote good behavior by modeling healthy dental habits.”
What to Expect During Checkup
During a routine pediatric visit, the dentist examines and cleans your child's teeth. If your child has a cavity, the provider makes arrangements to fill it. Minor dental problems, like chipped or cracked teeth, can usually be repaired in-office. In some cases, the dentist may schedule a separate appointment to finish the treatment.
A routine appointment might include preventive treatments like dental sealants. Dentists apply sealants to newly erupted molars to prevent decay. Sealants can help reduce a patient's risk of cavities. Your provider can offer a suggested timeline for sealants and other preventive care.
If your child has unique dental needs, they might need to see the dentist more often. Your provider can offer more information about specialized care plans. Severe injuries might need special attention, too. In the event of a jaw injury or knocked-out tooth, you may receive a referral to another provider.
Many pediatric patients receive orthodontic evaluations as part of their routine childhood care. The dentist may perform this evaluation in the office or refer your child out. If your child needs braces, the provider can discuss treatment costs and expectations. Keep in mind that these will vary between patients.
“During a routine visit, the dentist examines and cleans your child’s teeth.”
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Routine At-Home Dental Care
Parents can protect their children's oral health by encouraging daily brushing and flossing. Both children and adults should brush and floss twice daily. Some patients may need to brush after every meal.
Ensure that your child flosses thoroughly and brushes for at least two minutes. Sloppy brushing can lead to tooth decay. It may be helpful to set a timer to make sure your child doesn't skimp on their oral hygiene. Stickers or reward charts can help, too. Ask your child's dental provider for tips on establishing healthy habits.
Avoid sugary drinks like juice or soda, and don't put your child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup. Dentists recommend switching children to a normal cup around their first birthday. Using a normal cup may take some practice. But giving up a bottle or sippy cup early on may help protect your children's teeth.
Model good oral hygiene at home. Brush or floss daily, and talk to your children about your dental appointments. Try to avoid sugary foods and drinks, and opt for plain water. Explain to your children that sugar can damage teeth. If you prioritize dental health, your children will learn to do the same.
“Ensure that your child flosses thoroughly and brushes for at least two minutes.”
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Planning for Follow-Up Care
Not every dental procedure can be performed during a routine office visit. Sometimes, dentists may need to schedule another appointment. Patients might need to return another time for a filling or deep cleaning. Dentists also use follow-up appointments to monitor the results of complex dental procedures.
If you need a follow-up visit, your provider can let you know when these visits will occur. They can explain how many visits are needed and complete treatment.
Before each dental visit:
- Check with the office to confirm the appointment
- Determine what information the patient needs to bring
- Pack dental paperwork, ID cards, and payment methods
- Ask whether the child should brush and floss in advance
Avoid eating or drinking during the hour before the appointment. But try not to bring your child to the office with an empty stomach, either. Tired or hungry children often have trouble sitting through an exam or procedure. A light snack or meal a few hours before the visit can help children stay calm.
“If you need a follow-up visit, your provider can let you know when these visits will occur.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What kind of routine dental care does my child need?
A. All children need regular checkups, X-rays, and cleanings. Most children can expect to see their pediatric dentist twice a year for routine care. During these visits, your provider discusses preventive services like dental sealants. They might also perform a brief orthodontic assessment. Ask your provider for more details about their services and care plans.
Q. How often should my child see the dentist?
A. Most children need checkups every six months. In some cases, though, your child might need to see their pediatric dentist more often. Your provider can create a customized care plan that meets your child's needs.
Be sure to report any changes in your child's dental health. Your dental provider needs to know about mouth injuries and new medical diagnoses. Let the dentist know about changes in oral hygiene habits, too. The dentist may need to increase the frequency of your child's checkups and exams.
Q. What should I do if my child develops a problem between visits?
A. If you notice any changes in your child's mouth, don't wait until the next checkup. Call your pediatric dentist right away. Dental problems can worsen quickly, so it's important to act fast. Your dentist can provide a full assessment.
Q. What should I do during a dental emergency?
A. If your child experiences severe oral bleeding or a head injury, don't wait until the office reopens. Call 911 or head to the nearest emergency room. Reach out to your dentist afterward and let them know about the situation.
For less urgent dental needs, call the office. Your pediatric dentist can schedule a same-day appointment or provide other helpful advice. Either way, don't wait until the child's next scheduled appointment. Seek immediate guidance from a qualified dental provider.
Q. My child has dental anxiety. What can I do to help?
A. Let the dentist know if your child gets anxious about dental visits. The provider can offer tips on how to set your child at ease. Your child may want to visit the office or talk to the staff. Young children find it reassuring to know what will happen during their appointment. Many young patients also enjoy reading books about dental care. Your pediatric dentist can recommend helpful resources for child dental education.
Start Feeling Better – Visit Us Today
By visiting us as soon as possible, our team can help get you the professional treatment you need. Instead of waiting around and allowing the symptoms to get worse, we can provide you with treatment options.
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Good oral hygiene habits help your child avoid many dental problems. But preventive cleanings and treatments also play an important role. Our team can create a customized care plan to protect your child's teeth.
Looking for a new pediatric dental provider? Let Jayne F. Scherrman JS Pediatric Dentistry in Cape Girardeau help. Call us at 573-271-3062 to learn more about our services and policies.
If you live in the Cape Girardeau area, call 573-271-3062 for an appointment in our Cape Girardeau office.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Terms. 2021
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- Jayne F. Scherrman JS Pediatric Dentistry was established in 1978.
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