child getting dental work
child getting dental work

February Is National Children’s Dental Health Month!

Dr. Ryon Reckling and Dr. Stacy Seaborn want to promote healthy developing smiles in our Sioux Falls Community. Doctors Reckling and Seaborn are parents also, and want to share some tips and advice on the care of your young child’s developing smile!
Your child’s baby teeth are just as important as their permanent teeth. Kids may not keep their first teeth forever, but they require just as much diligent care as future permanent teeth.
In fact, maintaining your child’s dental health when they are young will provide health benefits well into adulthood as well as set them on the right track of good oral health habits!

Sadly, Some Children Don’t Get the Preventive Dental Care They Need

Early childhood caries—more commonly known as a dental cavity—is the #1 chronic disease affecting young children. In light of this statistic, you may be surprised to learn that 1 in 4 children between ages three and 18 don’t visit the dentist at all!
Although common, dental diseases like tooth decay and gum disease are quite preventable: healthy habits are taught during early childhood and when children receive twice yearly dental exams and cleanings.
In recent years, the A.C.A. (Affordable Care Act) has placed requirements for pediatric dental preventative care coverage on many health insurance plans. We encourage everyone to follow up with your insurance carrier and learn if this a benefit of your individual family’s health plan.

Start Oral Health Regimens Early
Even before your child’s teeth have erupted, an infant’s gums should be wiped down with a wet cloth or gauze after eating to protect from bacteria.
The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist by their first birthday or as soon as their first tooth appears. At this visit, we can teach you more about proper pediatric oral hygiene and check for cavities. As soon as your child turns two, establish a daily brushing routine.
As your child gets older, there are two specific treatments we recommend to prevent tooth decay.

These treatments are:

Topical Fluoride – By applying fluoride directly to your child’s teeth in higher concentrations than found in toothpaste or water, they will be more protected and resistant to decay. Fluoride treatments are safe and we offer them to all patients at their twice yearly exam and professional cleaning.

Dental Sealants – These are thin, plastic coatings painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent tooth decay. Even thorough brushing and flossing can’t always get into the depressions and grooves of the molars. Sealants form a protective shield over these vulnerable areas, keeping out plaque and food. Generally, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as they come in. Check out our East Ridge Dental You Tube page on the following link and see our patient Nathan age five receiving dental sealants.

East Ridge Dental Cares About Your Children’s Oral Health

Baby teeth set the stage for the permanent teeth to develop and come in correctly. By taking care of them and teaching their children correct habits (healthy snacks, brushing, and flossing etc.) parents ensure lifelong dental health for their children. Bringing your child to the dentist for regular exams and cleanings sets the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles. East Ridge Dental offers dental care for the whole family. We pride ourselves on ensuring your child is comfortable and offering a calm, reassuring environment for both kids and parents!