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The Top 10 Tips To Maintain Kids’ Dental Health

Did you know that babies are born with all their adult teeth already? You just can’t see them because they are hidden in the gums. It is important to start good oral care even before the first tooth comes in. Remember: from healthy gums come healthy teeth. Here are the top 10 tips to maintain kids’ dental health:The Top 10 Tips To Maintain Kids Dental Health

10 Tips To Maintain Kids’ Dental Health

In pediatric dental care, prevention is a priority. This means establishing good dental habits as early as possible. Building the right habits will prevent dental costs and problems in the future. Self-care is one of the most important habits a parent can teach to their children.

1. Start early. From brushing your child’s teeth to taking him to visit a dentist, care should be done as soon as his first tooth erupts. You can even begin to care for his gums before a tooth comes out by gently wiping it with a damp washcloth after feeding especially with solids. Habits form during infancy. Once your baby gets used to the routine of cleaning their teeth at certain times during the day, it will not be as hard to inculcate the good habit of brushing one’s teeth as they get older. Teeth also need care as it takes years before permanent or adult teeth come out. Dental caries and tooth decay are problems that are very preventable during your child’s early years.

2. Teach self-care. Include your child. The goal is to help our children maintain good oral hygiene by themselves once they grow up and become independent. From teaching them how to brush their teeth properly and encouraging them to do it consistently, you are not only teaching them independence but also self-confidence that they can accomplish such tasks.

3. What he eats is a huge factor. Did you know that aside from good oral hygiene, nutrition plays a big factor in maintaining good teeth? There are people who are consistent with regular brushing and flossing but still get more cavities than most people. Diet plays a big role in influencing caries and teeth strength. Eating a balanced diet will help your child’s teeth to develop properly becoming strong. Limit the sugars that they eat but be realistic that it maybe impossible to avoid sugars totally. If your child does snack on a sugary treat make sure they brush and rinse after finishing.

4. Be conscious of what he drinks. Juices, soda and sports drinks contain a lot of sugars that can lead to an acidic mouth conducive to tooth decay. If your child is still drinking formula, don’t let him sleep with a bottle in his mouth. This is different from breastfeeding. It’s not a good habit to let children enjoy colored drinks anyway. Water is best!

5. Be aware of certain medications. Medicines prescribed for children, in order to be more appealing, have a lot of sugar in their ingredients. This allows them to have better taste to make it easier to drink. Be conscious about this and let them rinse with water following medicine intake. Another tip is for children with asthma. Asthma inhalers will develop bacteria over time and need to be cleaned daily. These inhalers will also dry out your child’s mouth that can lead to tooth decay as well. Our saliva is our natural defense against tooth decay.

6. Beware of teeth grinding. Teeth grinding is common for children until the age of seven. If it persists, consult with your kid dentist for bite guards.

7. Stop using a pacifier by age of 2. Pacifiers are very dangerous to your child’s teeth as they get older. Continuing pacifier use past age 2 could lead to malocclusions (crooked teeth with an open bite).

8. Childproof your home and protect teeth against active contact sports. Research has shown that children under age 7 sustain over half of the dental injuries to their primary (baby) teeth playing in close proximity to home furniture. Always wear a mouth guard when playing active sports. A custom-made mouth guard offers better tooth protection than a shop-bought one.

9. Establish a good relationship with your dentist. Most children fear going to the dentist. There are ways to reduce your children’s fear but the best thing to do is make sure you bring them consistently and as early as possible so it would seems like a normal thing to do for them. A pediatric dentist not only ensures that your child’s teeth are taken care of, he also has ways to distract your child while he performs treatments and to make it a positive dental experience for them.

10. Choose a dentist that has experience with children. Dr. Ted Reese is an Indianapolis dentist who does pediatric cleanings (kids get a toy and a special bag with their own toothbrush and toothpaste) to prevent cavities, frenectomies for children with tongue or lip ties, and traditional or ceramic braces for teens and pre-teens. He practices minimally-invasive dentistry to make it as pain-free as possible (there are also various sedation modalities that can be used) for your child.

We Value Preventive Dental Care

At Indianapolis Dentistry we care so much about preventative care that we have shaped our 5-year warranty program around keeping regular cleaning appointments. As long as you continue to keep your oral hygiene visits every 6-months you can be eligible for free replacement or repair of Dr. Reese’s dental work within the previous 5-years. And if you’ve already had dental treatment, existing patients can be grandfathered into this program.

Again, our number one goal is to provide you with gentle, quality dental care. Please feel free to call us today at 317-882-0228 to make an appointment in Indianapolis!

5 Ways to Reduce Kids’ Fear of the Dentist

If you get terrified or overly anxious just thinking about going to the dentist, do not worry you are not alone. Children especially seem to be terrified just at the thought of going to the dentist and fortunately, there are ways to reduce a kid’s fear of the dentist. Dental phobia and dental anxiety are very common among adults and children. Anxiety can lead to postponing a dental check-up or worse, not going to the dentist at all. Between 5% and 8% of Americans avoid dentists out of fear, estimates Peter Milgrom, DDS, director of the Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle and author of Treating Fearful Dental Patients. A higher percentage, perhaps 20%, experiences enough anxiety that they will go to the dentist only when absolutely necessary. There are patients who only go when their teeth problems have gone from bad to worse and no intervention can be done already other than surgery or extraction.

5 Ways to Reduce Kids’ Fear of the Dentist Dr. Reese has given assurance through an open letter on how he takes great effort to connect with patients and make them comfortable before performing any procedure. His clinic, Indianapolis Dentistry, also goes the extra mile to eliminate any factors that can contribute to a patient’s anxiety.

If a Father Fears the Dentist, His Children Follow Suit

Studies now show that children who fear going to the dentist actually inherit this trait from their parents.

Scientists at Spain’s Rey Juan Carlos University studied 183 children in Madrid, age 7 to 12, along with their parents, and found that fear levels among mothers, fathers and their kids are interconnected. The researchers found that fathers play a pivotal role when it comes to those fears being transferred from mothers to their children, since dads act as a key mediating factor.

“Although the results should be interpreted with due caution, children seem to mainly pay attention to the emotional reactions of the fathers when deciding if situations at the dentist are potentially stressful,” said researcher America Lara Sacido, writing in the International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry.

The authors conclude that getting kids not to dread the dentist’s chair means involving mothers and fathers in fear prevention, and making sure dads come to the dentist with their children and show no signs of fear or nervousness.

5 Ways to Reduce Kids’ Fear of the Dentist

Now that we have identified the importance of a parent’s role in reducing their children’s fear of the dentist, here are ways to ensure we stay on the right track:

Be a role model to your children.

Children are very intuitive. They easily pick up any negative feelings like anxiety you feel whenever you talk about going to the dentist. Avoid talk sharing negative dental stories from your own childhood. Worse, do not scare or threaten your children using the dentist. As a role model, you can take them with you whenever you have a dental check-up. When they see you comfortable, calm and not afraid of the dentist, they most likely will feel the same way when it’s their turn.

Be honest with your children.

Don’t falsely reassure your children that the check-up will be pain-free. It is important to tell them the truth and set their expectation but do this matter of factly. Tell them how a procedure is done and avoid inserting any possible emotions into the conversation. Tell it like telling a fact – like how leaves fall from trees when Fall season starts or how they need to follow instructions from their teachers.

Be consistent.

It is always a great idea to go to the dentist even when there aren’t any dental problems. In fact, dental care should start as early as possible. By making dental check-ups routine and consistent, children would most likely see it as customary and ordinary, just like going to school or to church.

Reassure your children, but don’t interfere during dental procedures.

Dentists usually assess parents if they will add to the agitation of the child during a dental procedure before letting them inside the room. Be a silent observer and let your dentist build rapport and explain the procedure. Practice positive reinforcement, praising and rewarding your child for behavior that helps procedures go smoothly. Avoid showing any facial expressions that show you are worried about your child.

Consider sedation options.

There are dental procedures that will require the full cooperation of your child. If anxiety is a big issue, there are different sedation techniques available in the clinic that are safely practiced and enforced by Dr. Reese, a sedation dentist. Dr. Reese will be more than happy to explain to you what are the different options for your child and recommend the safest one.

Choose Indianapolis Dentistry Clinic for an Anxiety-Free Dental Check-up for Your Child.

At Indianapolis Dentistry in Greenwood, IN (near downtown Indianapolis), our number one goal is to provide you with stress-free, quality dental care. There are major consequences to skipping dental visits! Avoiding dental visits means you are missing a chance to identify and treat dental problems well before they become major health issues.

Dr. Ted Reese is an Indianapolis dentist who does pediatric cleanings (kids get a toy and a special bag with their own toothbrush and toothpaste) to prevent cavities, frenectomies for children with tongue or lip ties, and traditional or ceramic braces for teens and pre-teens. He practices minimally-invasive dentistry to make it as pain-free as possible (there are also various sedation modalities that can be used) for your child.

Again, our number one goal is to provide you with gentle, quality dental care. Please feel free to call us today at 317-882-0228 to make an appointment!

Dentist Games for Kids

Dentist games can be a great tool to educate your children about dental care and good oral hygiene. It can also help them get acquainted with the dentist, the clinic and the usual treatments done to one’s teeth. Fear of the unknown is one of the major reasons kids are afraid of going to the dentist. Take the fear out of going to the dentist with fun, learning games about dental hygiene! Below are a few dentist games that might help your children feel a little bit calmer about going to do the dentist:

Dentist Office Kids

Dentist Office

(available on iTunes and Google Play)

You get to play the role of a virtual dentist and practice dental procedures in this fun game. By selecting a variety of patients with common dental problems (rotten teeth, cleanings, root canal, tooth extractions and crown placements are just a few examples), your child can be acquainted with what usually occurs in common dental procedures. This might help when they become overwhelmed in the dental clinic. You can point out common dental instruments they have encountered with the game so they can overcome their fear. This can help give your child a better dental experience with his dentist.

Glenn Martin DDS Dental Adventure

Glenn Martin, DDS: Dental Adventure

According to the description, you get to, “Hit the road with Glenn Martin and family to drill, fill, hammer, and file in mouths around the country. In addition, you'll blast aliens in Ohio, throw fish in Seattle, dodge the cops in Mississippi, and play tons of other all-new mini-games. Featuring 10 characters from the show (including the dog), 10 tooth-defying procedures, new mini-games, and clips from the upcoming season, Glenn Martin, DDS is the dentist you'll love to visit.”

If your child relates and admires superheroes, Glenn Martin, DDS is a dentist they can call a hero.  By identifying dentists as friends and “good” guys, your child will look forward to his dental appointments than dread going to it.

Dental Games

Plackers Kids Club

Education plays a big role in helping children overcome their fear. When they know what to expect and are familiar with what is happening, you can expect dental visits to feel like walks in the park. The Plackers Kids Club have memory games, printable coloring pages, mazes and connect the dot activities that are ideal if you don’t like the idea of exposing your child to electronic gadgets yet. The activities also aim to promote dental health.

Role-Play as a Dentist

Not all games are digital on a computer. Children love role-playing games in real-life too! Role-playing helps children understand faster and better. By playing this way, children learn how things work and how to properly behave. Here are some ideas on how to play dental role playing games with your children:

  1. You can give your child a toothbrush for a toy. Encourage them to be dentists to their doll or bear and have them care for their teeth.
  2. Let your child be your dentist and act like a patient. Let them give you a check-up!
  3. Convert toothbrush time into a game! Be dentists to one another and brush each other’s teeth. Afterwards, one gets to check if the other one’s teeth are sparkly clean. This simple game teaches your child proper brushing techniques without making it like a chore for them.

About Dr. Reese and Indianapolis Dentistry

Dr. Reese is a holistic dentist in Indianapolis that serves children and adults. He specializes in helping calm the fears of those afraid to go to the dentist. He does this by creating a calm, relaxing atmosphere that is low-pressure. He compliments that atmosphere with sedation modalities like IV sedation, gas sedation, and pill sedation, which help calm an anxious patient during treatment. If you or your child is afraid of the dentist and you are in the Indianapolis area, consider calling Dr. Reese at 317-882-0228 for a consultation.

Indianapolis Kid's Dentist

Dental care should start as early as possible. To be able to have the best teeth one’s dental experience should start when one is young. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child should see a pediatric dentist once his first tooth appears. Ideally, a pediatric dentist should have seen a child no later than his first birthday. Indianapolis Kids Dentist

Dr. Reese and his staff is so nice! My son is not afraid to go to the dentist anymore. On his second appointment he didn't want me in the room with him. My son is only 7 years old. If you want a dentist that will accept children, then I highly recommend that you book your next dental appointment with Dr. Reese today. You don't want to pass a wonderful, inviting experience up." -Nicholas B., Indianapolis

What is a kid's dentist?

Kid's dentists are also known as pediatric dentists. They take care of the oral health of children – from infancy through their teenage years. They have the necessary experience to care of a child’s developing teeth and gums in various childhood stages. Ideally, we are talking about children from infancy up to twelve years of age.

How does a kid's dentist differ from a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists are similar to pediatricians in the medical world – they specialize in children’s dental care. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialty training after dental school.

A pediatric dentist specializes in the early growth and the prevention of disease in the teeth and gums.  For instance, a child's mouth is smaller than that of an adult. They grow baby teeth (primary or milk teeth) that will soon be replaced by bigger permanent ones. A pediatric dentist's trained eye can see if there is enough room for those big teeth to come in and recommend steps if your child's jaws will need some extra help for the teeth to be properly spaced. This alone can help you save money on getting braces when they reach their teens.

What types of treatments do kids' dentists provide?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a kid’s dentist provide comprehensive oral health care, some of which are listed below:

  • Infant oral health exams, which include risk assessment for caries in mother and child
  • Preventive dental care including cleaning and fluoride treatments, as well as nutrition and diet recommendations
  • Habit counseling (for example, pacifier use and thumb sucking)
  • Early assessment and treatment for straightening teeth and correcting an improper bite (orthodontics)
  • Repair of tooth cavities or defects
  • Diagnosis of oral conditions associated with diseases such as diabetes, congenital heart defect, asthma, hay fever, and attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder
  • Management of gum diseases and conditions including ulcers, short frenulae, mucoceles, and pediatric periodontal disease
  • Care for dental injuries (for example, fractured, displaced, or knocked-out teeth)

The Importance of Dental Care in Children

Not only do pediatric dentists help prevent tooth decay they also help keep your children’s teeth in good condition until they lose them for permanent teeth. Baby teeth play a vital role in your child's overall development, helping children chew their food properly, have good speech and ensuring teeth are spaced properly so that the permanent teeth come in straight.

Education is also one of the primary objectives of a pediatric dentist. He teaches you and your children how to maintain good dental hygiene and oral care. As much as we encourage our children to practice good dental habits like daily teeth brushing and flossing, hearing the same information from their own dentist is usually more effective.

Finding a Kid's Dentist

A pediatric dentist not only ensures that your child's teeth are taken care of, he also has ways to distract your child while he performs treatments and to make it a positive dental experience for them. In this way, your child is less likely to be afraid of going to the dentist! His office and exam room is kid friendly with videos to watch, toys to distract, and kid-oriented staff.

About Indianapolis Dentistry

Dr. Ted Reese is an Indianapolis dentist who does pediatric cleanings (kids get a toy and a special bag with their own toothbrush and toothpaste) to prevent cavities, frenectomies for children with tongue or lip ties, and traditional or ceramic braces for teens and pre-teens. He practices minimally-invasive dentistry to make it as pain-free as possible (there are also various sedation modalities that can be used) for your child. And as your child is getting ready to become an adult, Dr. Reese can also help with wisdom teeth removal. You can schedule an appointment by calling 317-882-0228.