From questions on the frequency of brushing to the proper techniques for flossing, there are many gray areas within the world of effective pediatric dental care.
The professional community is looking to educate the public.
Recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and American Academy of Pediatrics are for regular dental visits for children starting at one. Dr. Matt Davis of Davis Pediatric Dentistry in Encinitas is on board with the recommendations, and continuously looks for ways to spread the word.
He and his staff recently took time to answer some basic questions on pediatric dental care and how we can all work together to improve patient and parent knowledge. Visit www.davispediatricdds.com find out more information on the importance of early-age checkups and to learn more about the staff at Davis Pediatric Dentistry.
Why is it so important for children to have their teeth checked this early?
Baby teeth are very important to your overall dental health. They are important to normal development of the jaws, they save space for permanent teeth and help guide them into position. Many people don’t realize that the last baby teeth are typically not lost until 12 to 14 years of age.
What are some of the best things parents can do during infancy/toddler years that can help set their children up for good dental health?
At our office we refer to the first visit as a well baby check. Our goal is to provide information about how to start caring for your child’s teeth. We will discuss any habits such as bottle-feeding at night, pacifiers or thumb sucking and answer any questions you may have. We also may clean your child’s teeth and apply fluoride.
For young children, do you see a lot of anxiety for dental visits? Are there certain things you do that help make it a positive experience?
Children’s books and videos are available to help familiarize them with what to expect at their ?rst appointment. Your child’s dental visit should be an important and fun adventure and if you are relaxed and positive about this experience, it will help them be positive, too.
To that point, how big of a role do parents play in making sure their children have positive attitudes toward dentist visits?
A parent will play a large role in preparing their child for their dental visit. Children are keen and can sense if you are nervous or display any anxiety. You can help to make their visit to the pediatric dentist enjoyable and positive by following these few tips: Use positive language around your child when discussing his or her first visit and participate in role-playing with your child such as counting teeth together.
You do a lot of community education – why is this so important to you as a family-run practice?
I believe what makes our practice different is our great mix of doctors and staff that we have here. Every person truly cares in providing for our patients and making it a positive experience for both parents and patients from their first steps in the door.
Dr. Davis urges parents in the Encinitas area to schedule their child’s next dental checkup. For more information, www.davispediatricdds.com or call 760-942-1131.
Davis Pediatric Dentistry
North Coast Health Center
477 N. El Camino Real, Suite# B203 Encinitas, CA