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Kid’s. . .Teeth

By Victoria Squillante

“Mommy, I Hate the Dentist!” Or is she just following YOUR lead? Help your child be comfortable with his dentist before the first visit by taking a look at the dentist’s website. “This helps introduce him to the dentist and office so the atmosphere looks familiar,” says Dr. Korie Acord. Having fearful children speak with any friends who have gone to the dentist can also be very helpful. According to Dr. Kim Hansford, starting a child’s dentist visits early in life will also help ease his fears since it gives him time to build a relationship with the dentist. Dr. Will Engilman

believes it all boils down to early development of a child-orthodontist relationship before braces are even needed. “This gives the child a feeling of comfort. When it comes time for braces, they know what to expect and it’s less threatening,” he says. All three doctors agree that parents

should never make a big deal out of a trip to the dentist or the orthodontist. The bigger deal the parents make over it, the more stressed the child will be.

“If possible, discourage habits like pacifiers or thumb and finger sucking as early as possible. These habits can discourage development of teeth, their position, and how they come in. The longer the habit persists, the more likelihood of messing up the teeth in the long run.”

A Child’s Mouth

If they can tie their shoes or write their name in cursive, then they have the dexterity needed to be able to brush correctly, say both Dr. Acord and Dr. Hansford. But stay involved: kids will often only brush what they can see, so let them start and then help finish the job.

Dr. Korie Acord

Teething Pain Relief An easy solution is sticking a wet rag in the freezer for a few minutes and letting her chew on it. This helps by numbing the aching area. Or find a teething toy that has chewy and textured areas that massage gums.

How to Brush There are all kinds of methods for brushing your teeth, but some work better than others, according to Dr. Kim Hansford. Some people brush up and down, others go back and forth, and the rest brush in a circular motion. While all of these techniques work for getting teeth clean, the recommended and most successful approach is brushing in small circles. Often when using the other methods, bigger motions are used which cause some bumps and grooves to be missed. Circles take slower and shorter motions that tend to get in every spot better.



What age can your child brush on her own?

What age to consider braces?

“I usually say the best age to see an orthodontist is around 7 or 8 years old. We can look at things and give the parents an idea of what to expect down the road and can address any problems we notice right then,” says Dr. Will Engilman.

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