Child Dentistry in Westfield NJ

The importance of child dentistry was not something you thought about before. Now that you're a parent, things have changed. There's a lot about the dental health of infants and children that you don't know. Fortunately, a pediatric dentist can fill in those blanks.

One thing you should understand is that child dentistry is important. Just as you want to ensure the child has access to medical care on a regular basis, attention early on to dental concerns matters. This means now is the time to find the right dentist and be ready when the day comes for that first dental appointment.

Choosing The Right Pediatric Dentist

As with choosing a pediatrician, you want to select a child dentist with care. One approach is to make use of the listings provided by your insurance company. Assuming you have dental coverage that extends to the child, the company will have a number of pediatric dentists who are considered to be in the provider's network. That means the dentist accepts the coverage.

You can also ask others in your social network about local pediatric dentists. A simple question such as "do you know any experts in pediatric dentistry near me?" is likely to provide several helpful responses. Those can help you compile a listing of local practices to consider. Since the suggestions will often come with recommendations, see this as a good way to begin collecting feedback about those practices.

Finally, put the Internet to good use. Check for local pediatric dental clinics, and pay close attention to the ratings and reviews others have left. Read the comments carefully, since they may contain clues about how well the dentist gets along with kids, the professionalism of the staff, and what elements help to put kids at ease.

Teaching Your Child Proper Dental Hygiene

One of the challenges of child-rearing is teaching about dental hygiene. Early on, you will be handling most of that yourself. As the child gets older, he or she will need to know how to use a toothbrush, the frequency of brushing, and how to make use of floss. These are all areas where an expert in pediatric dentistry can help.

The dentist can make recommendations for toothpaste and other products that are likely to attract positive attention from your child. That will make brushing less of a chore, and more of a fun thing to do after meals.

Support With Developing Good Habits

You'll find that a professional trained in pediatrics dentistry will be in a position to support your efforts to teach the child good dental hygiene. What you're saying and doing at home gets reinforcement during dental exams and treatments. This is good since the child gets to hear the same thing from more of the adults in his or her life.

The dentist will also work with you to identify the next steps in keeping those habits on track. That makes it all the easier to provide a united front and ensure the child isn't confused by seemingly conflicting information. The result is that those habits are likely to take, and remain in effect well into adulthood.

Frequent Questions and The Answers

Having questions is common. Just as your child will likely have some for you and for the dentist, there are issues you want to discuss with a dental professional. Here are a few of the most common ones.

1. When should I bring my child in for a first dental visit?

A good rule of thumb is to follow the old saying "first visit by the first birthday." The goal is to ensure the gums are healthy and that everything seems to be in order. After the first visit, you and the dentist can plan out a plan for future visits.

2. Why a children's dentist instead of a family dentist?

Family dentists are trained to take care of the dental needs of people of all ages. By contrast, a pediatric dentist undergoes additional training that's geared toward the needs of infants, children, and adolescents. That makes it easier for the dental professional to address the unique needs of your child.

3. Does thumb sucking really harm my child's teeth?

Thumb sucking may be comforting, but it should be discouraged as the baby teeth arrive. This helps to break the habit before the permanent teeth begin to come in. Doing so is important since the activity can lead to crooked teeth and bite problems.

4. When should my child start using toothpaste?

Prior to the age of three, it's fine to use a soft toothbrush and warm water to clean the teeth. After that age, you can begin to introduce fluoridated toothpaste to the child. This is also the time when you stop brushing your child and begin teaching the proper way to brush. Remember to supervise your child's brushing until you're sure he or she has the hang of it.

There will be other questions about your child's dental health and habits as time goes on. Never hesitate to call us and ask. Together, we can make sure your child enjoys excellent dental health and develops the habits needed to keep the teeth and gums healthy in the future.