UMKC Dental Faculty Practice Childrens Dentistry Patient Eileen

We enjoy working with all of our young patients and are aware that they have different needs when seeing the dentist. We try not to push children so they wind up afraid of going to the dentist. We’d like their appointment to be as enjoyable and comfortable as possible, as well as for them to establish life-long relationships with our dental practice.

We also recommend that the little one’s first visit be between twenty four months and 3 years of age. At that age we will start to monitor the growth and progression of their mouth and teeth.

When New Teeth Arrive:

Your child’s first tooth erupts between ages 6-12 months and the remainder of their 20 primary or “baby” teeth typically erupt by age 3. During this time, gums may feel tender and sore, causing your child to feel irritable. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring.

Your child’s primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood, and their permanent teeth begin erupting at age 6 and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth, or 32 including wisdom teeth.

“Happy Smiles” Pre-School Visit

Prevent any fears of the dentist by bringing your child in for their own special appointment. Your child will enjoy a tour of the office, sit in the big dental chair, make faces in the dental mirror, and make the whiz tools whir. We look forward to introducing your child to the basic sights and sounds of a checkup appointment. Our children’s hygienist is absolutely wonderful with children; and through her charisma and humor, they’ll prove to them that going to the dentist is a truckload of fun.

UMKC Dental Faculty Practice Childrens Orthodontics Patient Jack

Pre-School Orthodontics Dental Checkup

A lot of parents of young children didn’t wear braces when they were teenagers. Truth is, a lot of them only had orthodontic treatment if their teeth were embarrassingly crooked and out of line. Some families didn’t have enough money for braces. However, it was usually because their parents didn’t think that their teeth were misaligned enough for orthodontic treatment, and their dentist didn’t bring it up unless the parents asked about braces.

Back then, if you had crowded teeth the dentist simply pulled some permanent teeth. Of course, upon reflection, we realize that doing so was short-sighted and harmful to the balance of the bite.

Only in the last decade or so did we become aware of the chronic oral health consequences of misaligned teeth. Orthodontic dentistry isn’t just for making a teenager’s teeth look straight and pretty anymore. Now, they concentrate on much more. Misalignment and malocclusion can bring on chronic headaches and full-blown migraines. A misaligned bite can cause ringing in the ears and vertigo (dizziness). Completely healthy teeth can start to chip and wear away, producing a ragged-edged smile.

Worst of all, malocclusion usually isn’t something a parent can just “see”. It lurks in the background continuously exerting strain and pressure on the jaw joint, the teeth and the chewing muscles.

UMKC Dental Faculty Practice Childrens Dentistry Palate

There are some real benefits in starting orthodontic treatment when children are much younger. The children usually don’t have to wear braces for a long period of time during those awkward teenage years. It is also much easier to expand the palate and allow room for all of the adult teeth to have the proper growing space. In most of those cases, young children will not get braces, however they will have their palates expanded by an appliance. This will make their arches wider. It allows space in the mouth for all of the child’s adult teeth to properly grow.

Our dental practice has developed relationships with some excellent orthodontists in the area and we can refer you and your child to an orthodontist if an exam reveals crowded or crooked teeth, or issues with the palate. We can help you choose the best orthodontist that meets the needs and temperament of your child.

Cavities Went Away in the 70’s… Didn’t They?

Scientists in the 1960’s found that fluoride helped build a stronger defense against the teeth’s enemies like bacteria and acids and sweets. And, yes, when fluoride was added to a city’s drinking water, the incidence of cavities dropped sharply. It was even predicted at one time that there would come a time when we wouldn’t need dentists anymore.

However, even the scientists of the 60’s couldn’t predict the development of Mountain Dew, Power Aid Energy Drinks and Gummy Worms. There is no way they could have foreseen that the average teenager would now eat their own weight in refined sugar every year. And, finally, even those scientists with a dark pessimistic vision of the 21st century, couldn’t imagine the power that high-fructose corn syrup would wield against fluoride, regular toothpaste and even daily flossing.

Tips For Your Family’s Oral Health:

• Limit frequency of meals and snacks.
• Encourage brushing, flossing and rinsing.
• Watch what your child drinks.
• Avoid giving your child sticky foods.
• Make treats part of meals.
• Choose nutritious snacks.

Correct oral hygiene at home is extremely important and needs to begin at a rather early age. We take the time to advise parents and kids on correct flossing and brushing techniques to enable them to enjoy great dental health for life.