It’s never too early to start your child on a path to a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles! At Dental Care South, we are committed to helping patients of all ages achieve their best dental and oral health. For kids, that means coming in at a younger age to ensure that teeth develop properly, stay strong, and are protected against decay.
Your Child’s First Dental Appointment
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you bring your child in for his or her first dental visit by age 1. This may sound early, but it is important that we begin instilling proper children’s oral hygiene techniques, checking for cavities, and watching for developmental problems from an early age. At Dental Care South in Tuscaloosa, AL our trusted family dentist, Dr. Grant Skalnik, offers great professional hygiene appointments for your kids for those exact reasons!
Starting with Us
We want to ensure your child has a positive experience at our Tuscaloosa office from the start, and will become a regular visitor for years to come as a result. Moreover, we want to keep your child’s smile healthy and bright. There are a number of forms of tooth decay that can affect babies and small children. Early Childhood Caries tooth decay, for example, can develop rapidly—progressing from the hard, outer enamel layer of a tooth into the softer, inner dentin in 6 months or less.
Our Tuscaloosa practice offers dental sealants for kids as a means to safeguard teeth against decay. Dental sealants are made of a clear, acrylic-like material that shields the chewing surfaces of teeth from bacteria. Ideally, dental sealants are placed within 6 months of a new tooth coming in.
Why Get Dental Sealants?
Decay-causing bacteria seek out pits and grooves in your teeth to hide and grow in. These are places that sometimes even regular and thorough brushing/flossing can’t reach. Dental sealants are thin coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth that help prevent bacteria from nestling into those deep, vulnerable crevices and thus, help prevent the formation of cavities.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants can last for several years and their longevity depends a lot on each patient’s chewing pattern. That aside, all dental sealants are temporary so ongoing children’s dentistry appointments every 6 months are vital check-up times with Dr. Skalnik. Our Tuscaloosa office usually replaces sealants for little to no cost once during a 3-year period, as long as patients maintain their 6-month appointments and their teeth stay free of decay.
By age seven, most malocclusions have become evident. Interceptive orthodontic treatment around this time can help direct proper tooth positioning and/or jaw growth, eliminating or simplifying the need for more extensive orthodontic treatment later on. There are many orthodontic problems that can be detected early, so it is important that a skilled family dentist who also specializes in children’s dentistry, like Dr. Skalnik, evaluates your child during his/her growth and development.
Sports and Your Child’s Teeth
If your child is active in sports, our family dentist highly recommends a custom-made sports mouth guard or sportsguard. According to the American Dental Association, an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer dental harm when not wearing one of these protective devices. We can have a mouthguard custom-made specifically for your child using a model of his or her teeth that will offer greater protection than an off-the-shelf model. It’s an investment that can save you pain, suffering, and dental expenses down the road! Please ask us about sports mouthguards/sportsguards at your child’s next appointment in our Tuscaloosa office.
Getting Started with Beautiful Smiles
Set your child on the road to a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. Contact Dental Care South in our Tuscaloosa office today to schedule a children’s dentistry appointment with our trusted family dentist, Dr. Skalnik!