Early Orthodontic Care? Rocky Mount Pediatric Dentist Says Yes

child visits pediatric dentist for orthodontic evaluation

It’s well known that getting a teeth cleaning on a regular schedule is a great way to catch and prevent possible dental issues from occurring in the future. But at what age should your child have an orthodontic evaluation?

Read on to learn more about when your child should see an orthodontist.

When to Seek Orthodontic Care for Your Child

Orthodontic treatments, such as braces, are procedures that many people view as something that’s done in the teenage years. While it’s true that most kids end up waiting until all of their secondary teeth have come in, performing preventive or corrective orthodontic care on children as young as 6 or 7 years old can have developmental benefits.

With interceptive orthodontics — another name for early orthodontic care — your pediatric dentist can make sure that your child’s permanent teeth are developing in the correct position.

Dr. Jasmine Elmore recommends having your child screened when his or her permanent teeth begin to emerge, usually around 6 years old. At this young age, the jaw and palate are still growing, making it the ideal time to correct anything that isn’t developing properly.

Early orthodontic care uses appliances, such as braces and palatal expanders, to make sure your child’s mouth has space for adult teeth. It can also help straighten crooked teeth, steer the growth of the palate or jaw, and correct any damage that stems from bad habits, including prolonged thumb sucking and pacifier use.

We’re committed to ensuring the health and wellness of our young patients’ teeth. We understand that kids’ developing teeth have different needs than the teeth of adults. That’s why we monitor your child’s development to ensure his or her dental health is on the right track, and we’ll advise you when they need an orthodontic evaluation.

Pediatric Dentistry Near Rocky Mount, NC

Are you looking for a pediatric dentist near Rocky Mount, NC? Wilson Pediatric Dental will make your child’s visits for routine cleanings and preventative and corrective procedures as comfortable as possible thanks to our friendly staff and colorful exam rooms. Schedule an appointment online, or call our office today.

Why You Should Schedule Regular Dental Checkups for Your Kids

With homework, play, and exploring to do, your kids don’t have a lot of time to think about taking care of their teeth. That’s where your local Wilson, North Carolina, pediatric dentist comes in. An experienced pediatric dentist can help your children navigate their dental development with healthy smiles.

Here are a few reasons why regular dental checkups are necessary for kids of any age.

Why You Should Schedule Regular Dental Checkups With Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

Baby Teeth Matter More Than You Think

Why bother taking care of baby teeth if they’re only going to fall out in a few years? We hear this question all the time at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. Although baby teeth do eventually fall out, their health can play a large impact on the wellness of the incoming secondary teeth.

Baby teeth, also called primary teeth, serve as placeholders for permanent teeth. If a child loses a primary tooth too early, either to decay or injury, the primary tooth may shift and come out in the wrong position.

Regular dental checkups can prevent the premature loss of primary teeth and mitigate the effects when it does happen.

Different Ages, Different Goals

To contrast the dental maintenance performed by most general dentists, pediatric dentists have unique goals for their young patients: prevention, development, and habit-building.

Prevention

A good pediatric dentist can prevent most dental issues and the stress and pain that comes with them. When we see your child for regular checkups, we can spot and diagnose the problems your child can’t notice themselves and suggest treatments or behaviors to keep them from worsening.

Development

Childhood is also the heaviest stage of dental change. Whether their first set of teeth are coming in or falling out to make room for permanent teeth, kids’ mouths are constantly developing. Pediatric dentists are uniquely qualified to monitor this development and intervene if necessary.

Habit-Building

Seeing a dentist regularly and often also helps children develop healthy dental habits. Pediatric dentists like Dr. Elmore help create dental plans that help kids get accustomed to tooth-healthy foods and home care. Even getting into the routine of seeing a dentist twice a year is setting important behaviors in place during the most formative years.

Schedule Your Child’s Checkup With Your Local Wilson Pediatric Dentist

Looking for an experienced pediatric dentist in Wilson for your child? Dr. Elmore and the team at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry have been keeping kids’ teeth looking and feeling their best for years. Schedule an appointment or contact us at (252) 291-4300.

Ask Your Nearby Dentist: Is Mouthwash Safe for My Child?

child brushing her teeth to prepare for a dentist appointment near her

Although proper dental care is just as necessary for kids as it is for adults, your child’s routine won’t be exactly the same as yours. Children start with kid-safe toothpaste, brushes, floss, and eventually graduate to the adult versions. For this reason, you may have wondered about mouthwash. Is it safe for your child? When should they start using mouthwash? Fortunately, your nearby dentist is here with some answers.

Should Your Child Be Using Mouthwash? Your Nearby Dentist Explains

Mouthwash does more than just freshen your breath. Certain brands also wash away loose plaque and strengthen your teeth with fluoride. However, it isn’t right for every child.

Is Mouthwash Safe for My Child?

This largely depends on their age. Although fluoride mouthwash can be incredibly helpful in helping your child right cavities, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends waiting until they are about six years old to introduce it to their routine. This is because these younger kids may have a harder time not swallowing the mouthwash. Fluoride is perfectly safe in small amounts (it is found in most municipal water supplies,) but consuming too much of it at an early age can result in fluorosis or discoloration of the enamel.

Don’t worry about your child getting enough fluoride before they can use mouthwash. Fluoride treatment is a major part of general exams and cleaning when you take them to your nearby dentist.

Look For Kid-Friendly Mouthwash

Like most other dental care tools, there are plenty of child-friendly varieties of mouthwash you can choose from. These usually feature popular cartoon characters or superheroes and come in sweet flavors like bubblegum or berry.

The differences are more than just superficial. Mouthwashes that are geared towards kids omit potentially harmful ingredients found in the adult versions, like alcohol. Alcohol is useful for killing bacteria for adults but can hinder healthy growth and development for children.

Supervision and Safety

The best way to make sure your child is safely using mouthwash is to supervise them for the first few months. Demonstrate to them how to rinse and spit the first few times. Tell them that even though it tastes good, they shouldn’t drink it. Watch them closely to make sure they don’t swallow and let them know when they’ve done a good job.

When your child isn’t using it, the mouthwash should be kept out of reach. Why? With its bright colors and sweet flavors, it may remind them of their favorite sugary drink. This means they may be tempted to try to drink it when you aren’t looking, and even the safest mouthwash shouldn’t be swallowed.

Want More Info? Ask a Pediatric Dentist Near You?

Still unsure of whether your child is ready for mouthwash? You can always check with a pediatric dentist near you. Dr. Elmore of Wilson Pediatric Dentistry has years of experience helping tiny teeth shine and grow, and she is happy to help you create a dental plan for your child. Schedule your appointment or contact us at (252)-291-4300 to learn more.

What You Need to Know About Your First Kid’s Dentist Visit

pediatric patient at a kid's dentist having his teeth examined

A kid’s first dental appointment can seem like an intimidating experience. Often the parent is just as worried as their child going in. What if it goes poorly and your child develops a fear of visiting the dentist? The team at Wilson Pediatric Dentist recognize how stressful the experience can be. That’s why we work to make the whole process easy with an understanding, gentle, and kid-friendly care.

Take the fear out of the first visit to your kid’s dentist by learning what you can expect from Wilson Pediatric Dentistry.

What’s Going to Happen at Your Kid’s First Dentist Appointment?

When Should My Child See the Dentist for the First Time?

The first thing to figure out is when you should start taking your child to the dentist. We recommend scheduling their first appointment shortly after their first tooth erupts, which usually occurs after about one year.

Starting care so early lets your kid’s dentist monitor the development of new teeth from the beginning. If your child is a little older, don’t worry. It’s never too late to get started on good dental care.

When You Get to the Waiting Room

Every aspect of our dentistry is geared toward making the experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible. This begins as soon as you enter our office. The waiting room has a fun, kid-friendly design and is filled with toys to help make their visit easier.

You and your child will be greeted by our warm and friendly staff. Every member of the team has training and years of experience working with children, and know how to ease them into treatment. We’re also careful to avoid any frightening language or tones.

When You See the Dentist

This gentle care continues into the examination room. If your child is very young, Dr. Elmore may have you hold them in your lap while she works. Older kids are encouraged to come into the office on their own so they can start to build a friendly relationship with the dentist, but you can still sit in on any appointment.

At the first appointment, we will keep treatment to a minimum and focus on examining the developing teeth. This makes sure that their first experience with a dentist is a positive one and helps them shed some of the anxiety for their next visit.

Making a Dental Care Plan

Since your child likely isn’t old enough to make their own dental care choices, you’ll need to take the lead on good dental health. That’s why the final part of your first dental visit will involve working with Dr. Elmore to create a home care plan to promote healthy tooth development.

This plan will be built around your child’s unique needs and stages of development. These typically cover:

  • Dental hygiene tips
  • Nutrition
  • Teething
  • What to do about habits like thumb sucking
  • Future developmental milestones
  • A dental examination schedule

By following the plan we create, you’ll be giving your child a great foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth. The plan is also flexible and open to amendments based on observations from future appointments.

Is it time to schedule your first visit with an attentive, gentle kid’s dentist? Make an appointment with Wilson Pediatric Dentistry or contact us at (252) 291-4300.

How To Protect Your Kids’ Teeth From Holiday Sweets

With the constant influx of candy, cookies, and other sugary treats, the holiday season can take a toll on teeth. This is especially true for children, who would probably subsist on the sweet stuff if they were allowed. As a parent, you need to take extra steps to protect your kids from holiday sweets before their next dental visit.

You can also make sure that any extra holiday plaque is taken care of by scheduling your kids’ next dental cleaning at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry.

Ways to Protect Your Kids’ Teeth From Holiday Sweets Ahead of Their Next Dental Cleaning

Ration the Sweets

It is impossible to keep holiday sweets from your children completely, but you can lessen the negative health impact by dolling candy out over a long period of time. If you give your just a few sweets every couple of days, they’ll see it as a special treat and not a regular part of their diets. It can also be a fun way to count down the remaining days until they get their real gifts.

Be Wary of Hard Candies

All sweets can promote plaque buildup, but hard candies, like candy canes, pack extra risks. Children often lack the patience to wait for these candies to dissolve naturally, so they bite down. Doing so may lead to them breaking or chipping a tooth. Limit hard candies when possible and encourage kids not to bite.

Don’t Let Them Crack Nuts With Their Teeth

Your kids may be tempted to try to crack nuts open with their teeth after they see holiday nutcrackers do the same. Like hard candy, this also puts them at risk for fracturing teeth. Unlike hard candy, nuts are packed with healthy proteins and nutrients you want your kids to consume. Just make sure to give them pre-shelled nuts.

Their Teeth Aren’t Box Cutters

Children are often so enthusiastic to break in their new gifts, they throw all manners to the side and dig into the packaging with their teeth. This can lead them to damaging their teeth, cutting their gums, or getting something lodged between their teeth. When it comes time to open presents, keep a pair of scissors handy and brace yourself for flying wrapping paper.

Maintain a Routine

With all the traveling that comes with the season, it can be hard to maintain a regular schedule of brushing twice and flossing once daily. Unfortunately, it can be hard getting back into a habit once it’s broken. Make sure your kids brush and floss at around the same time every day, even when you’re on the road.

Schedule Strategically

Experts recommend you take your child in to see a pediatric dentist once every six months. You can get more out of these visits with smart planning. Schedule one of their regular dental cleanings for one of the weeks after the holidays. This will help them eliminate all the extra candy plaque and start the new year with fresh smiles.

Contact Wilson Pediatric Dentistry to schedule your child’s dental cleaning to help them recover from the deluge of holiday sweets.

How Parents Can Encourage Proper Dental Care for Their Kids

family brushing their teeth, good pediatric dental care

 

Any parent knows it can feel impossible to get kids to do what you ask. When your child is a toddler, you’re likely brushing their teeth for them. Eventually, they reach an age where they start to take care of their own dental care.

Having them take care of their own oral hygiene is easier said than done when taking care of teeth gets in the way of play time. We’ve compiled some easy ways you can encourage proper pediatric dental home care for your kids.

Tips To Help Parents Encourage Better Pediatric Dental Home Care

Pediatric dental care is all about setting up good foundations for dental health as an adult. A major part of this is scheduling regular cleanings and checkups, but good home care matters even more. That is why the first few years your child is brushing their teeth for themselves are so important. They’re establishing habits that will they will stick with for years.

Lead from the Front

You shouldn’t ask your child to do anything you aren’t willing to do yourself. Be a model for your child to follow. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and eat a healthy diet. Your children admire you, and people learn most of their behaviors from their parents.

Make sure your kids see you brush and floss regularly. Let them in your bathroom when you’re getting ready in the morning. They’re picking up more from you than you think.

Answer “Why?”

Your son or daughter likely bombards you with dozens of questions a day, and most of them are probably the same one: “Why?” They’ve certainly asked this more than once about dental care.

Encourage this creativity. Tell them why brushing and flossing are necessary. Just make sure not to make it scary.

Children can have a hard time conceptualizing the invisible benefits of pediatric dental care. Invest in some plaque disclosing tablets, which temporarily dyes plaque bright colors. This makes it real for them by showing them the gunk they brush away every morning and night.

Give Them Ownership of Their Dental Care

Your little one will be a lot more likely to keep up with brushing if they feel some ownership in over the activity. Letting your child choose their own toothbrush, toothpaste, and rinse cup gives them a part in making decisions about their dental care.

Let them choose a brush with their favorite cartoon character or toothpaste that comes in a flavor they like. The minty taste of most adult toothbrushes is too harsh for kids. Childrens’ options come in milder fruit flavors. Just make they choose a fluoride toothpaste.

Turn Brushing into a Game

Anyone who has transformed a spoonful of peas into an airplane knows the benefits of visualization and playing pretend with your kids. Use a similar strategy for brushing time. Have your child make believe that the brush is a high-powered laser beam that takes out the alien invaders in his mouth. Base the game around their interests or favorite shows.

If the game doesn’t work, try writing a toothbrushing song for them. Pick a well-known melody and make up some lyrics they’ll enjoy. Make the song about brushing, family, pets, or something else in their life. You can also use one of these already written songs.

Make a Checklist and Offer Prizes

When all else fails, it may be time to resort to bribery. Make a checklist of morning and nighttime chores, and make sure brushing and flossing are included. When they complete a task, have them come to you to check off the activity on their list.

Every day they complete the list, give them a ticket to exchange for a prize at the end of the week. These can be anything. Trips to the park, visits with friends, and video game time all work great. Just make sure your prizes aren’t tooth decaying snacks like candy.

By using these simple tricks, you can instill good dental routines in your kids that will last them a lifetime. Another good pediatric dental care habit to start on early is regular check-ups and cleanings. Schedule an appointment for your son or daughter at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry in North Carolina.

What You Need to Know About Your Children’s Dental Care

child brushing her teethAll parents want to help their children get the best possible dental care, but it can be difficult. When should you start taking your child to the dentist? What kind of dentist should they see?

How do you promote good home care? Wilson Pediatric Dentistry in North Carolina is here to help get your little one started off right.

What Parents Need to Know About Taking Their Children to the Dentist

You Need To Start Earlier Than You May Think

Most children should have their first dentist appointment when they turn one year old. This is usually about the time the first primary tooth emerges. The early start is necessary so that your child’s dentist can monitor the teeth as they come in, and establish a dental plan.

Pediatric Dentists Have a Unique Focus

It is true that family dentists can treat children. All dentists are licensed to work on people of all ages. However, pediatric dentists undergo several additional years of specialized training with kids. Pediatric dentists, like Dr. Elmore, focus more on setting up dental plans and ensuring healthy development than treating issues after they happen.

Children can also be very fearful of dentists. Offices like Wilson Pediatric Dentistry are made to be warm and welcoming, and the staff is specifically trained on making young patients feel at ease. By taking your child to a pediatric dentist, you’re getting them the best possible dental care.

Baby Teeth Matter, Too

It can be easy not to see the point in taking your young one to a pediatric dentist. They’re going to lose all of their baby teeth anyway, so why bother taking care of them?

The truth is, what happens to the baby teeth can have a significant impact on the development of the secondary teeth. The primary teeth serve as a placeholder for new teeth. Any disruption or early loss of these baby teeth can have adverse effects on the way the permanent teeth come in.

Baby teeth are also just as prone to cavities as adult teeth. Taking care of your child’s dental health can prevent the unneeded pain of a cavity.

They Need Your Help

One of the most important things pediatric dentists do is create a dental plan for our patients. This individualized plan lays out healthy eating strategies, proper home care, and an appointment schedule.

Since young children can’t plan their own lives, they’ll be counting on you to help them keep with their plans. Pediatric dentists empower parents with the tools to be their children’s greatest dental allies.

Get your child started off right on the path to healthy smiles. Call Wilson Pediatric Dentistry at (252) 291-4300 to learn more, or request an appointment online.

Get Your Child the Best Care at a Pediatric Dentist

boy holding teeth and a red toothbrush

Your child’s first dentist appointment is an exciting step in their life, but where should you take your child? Should they see a general, a family, or a pediatric dentist? Is there even a difference between them?

How Do Pediatric Dentists Differ from General Dentists?

Children have unique dental needs compared to adults, and pediatric dentists, like Dr. Jasmine Elmore at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry, have specialized training to help meet those needs.

Additional Training

Any licensed dentist who has graduated from an accredited institution is qualified to serve patients of any age. However, pediatric dentists don’t just go through different training, but additional training. These dentists require an additional two or three years of education and training focused on issues and treatments specific to children.

A Unique Focus

Children have special dental needs compared to adults. Pediatric dentists are uniquely qualified to help with those issues. The primary focus for a pediatric dentist will not be on dealing with issues after they’ve happened. Instead, they will build a plan for your child based on their needs, to help foster healthy development.

Pediatric dentists also specialize in treatments that are more helpful to kids, like dental sealants, disking baby teeth, and fluoride treatment.

Friendly Setting

General dentist’s offices are often cold and clinical. This is fine for an adult, but for a younger child, this environment can be terrifying. This kind of atmosphere is the biggest contributing factor to kids hating the dental visits. Pediatric dentists create a warm, colorful setting that puts children at ease.

Most dentists also lack training or experience working with children who don’t want to be there. Pediatric dentistry offices are staffed with people who love working with kids. They have experience helping calm nervous children.

Why Should You Take Your Child to Wilson Pediatric Dentistry in Wilson, NC?

Dr. Elmore and the team at Wilson Pediatric Dentist, in Wilson, North Carolina, have years of experience helping to build healthy smiles for their young patients. With specific experience working with kids who have had negative experiences with dentists, we will make your child’s experience both comfortable and fun.

Our team looks forward to working with your daughter or son. Contact us at (252)291-4300 to learn more about how we can help your child.