Dr. April Davis and our team absolutely love having kids in our office, absorbing new information and forming new habits every day that they will carry with them for life. Plus, they’re adorable and say the funniest things. We just love kids! We especially love the opportunity to teach them all about oral health, so they will grow up healthy and smiling, and with positive feelings about the dentist so regular visits become routine and enjoyable. We do everything we can to ensure their first visits are educational, rewarding, and even a little fun so they’ll look forward to coming back.
Dr. Seuss is famous for imparting bits of wisdom in ways that are fun and interesting for kids, and that’s how we like to approach teaching kids about dentistry, too. We may not have the rhyming skills he had, but we do our best to make oral health education fun and intriguing for kiddos.
Dr. Seuss was no dentist, but he did make a point to drop oral health knowledge where he could with his famous quotes, “Only brush the teeth you want to keep” and “teeth are always in style.” For more lessons on oral health, you should bring your little one in to see Dr. April Davis twice every year for cleanings and exams.
Baby teeth do not develop or fall out at random. There is a specific order in which teeth appear and are replaced by adult teeth. The two front teeth are almost always the first to go, which makes for the most adorably awkward toothless smiles and whistling speech around age 6-7. The rest follow, working their way outward until the back molars make their exit around age 10-12, when they’ve grown up too fast and you’re wondering where all that time went. So, embrace the memories, snuggles, and baby teeth while you still can!
We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t provide some education on how to best care for growing smiles. It’s mostly up to you in these early years, of course, so we start by educating mom and dad on how to care for baby teeth. Once they’re old enough, we educate your little learner, too.
You should start wiping your baby’s gums with a warm wet washcloth from day one because even though no teeth are present, the mouth can still harbor harmful bacteria and acid that forms after feeding. You should bring your bundle of joy in to see us as soon as their first tooth emerges, which is usually around their first birthday. Happy birthday, welcome to a lifetime of seeing the dentist!
Once that first tooth emerges, you should begin brushing with an infant-sized toothbrush and only water to start. Once two teeth are touching, flossing should commence. Once they develop the ability to spit, around age 2-3, you can begin using a small dollop of training toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. You will continue brushing and flossing for them until they are able to do so themselves, around age 8 or 9.
As we mentioned above, your bundle of joy’s lifelong dental journey should begin around their first birthday, and you should bring them back for regular cleanings and exams every six months (until they’re old enough to schedule their own dental appointments).
Only we have the tools, technology, and expertise to remove any plaque or tartar that’s been left behind as we assess their oral development to ensure we catch any small problems before they progress. Our hygiene team is friendly and gentle for tear- and fear-free cleanings, and digital x-rays can be taken easily right from the chair.
You may wonder why taking care of baby teeth is important if they’re just going to fall out anyway. The truth is, dental decay can cause serious problems for both primary and adult teeth. Healthy baby teeth set the stage for healthy adult teeth. Allowing oral hygiene to slip in these early years is a sure path to lifelong dental problems, so make sure you set the stage for oral health for life by taking good care of their tiny teeth.
Fluoride is a mineral essential for developing smiles. It’s likely your child is already consuming a healthy dose of fluoride from tap water in your home or at school, but fluoridated oral care products and fluoride treatments from your Waterville kids’ dentist will give them just the amount they need to prevent decay.
Baby teeth are much more prone to tooth decay than adult teeth because kids lack the knowledge and dexterity to properly care for their teeth. Fluoride is one of our best defenses against childhood tooth decay, which is the most common disease in the world. If your kiddo is prone to decay, or you just want to prevent decay before it starts, we’re happy to provide regular fluoride treatments in fun flavors they will actually enjoy. Bubblegum, yum!
There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about the benefits and risks of fluoride. Let us clear things up for you. Yes, fluoride CAN cause fluorosis and can be toxic in high doses. However, the amounts found in tap water and oral healthcare products should be no cause for concern. Decades of studies have proven fluoride is completely safe in these low doses. In fact, the CDC considers fluoridated tap water one of the top 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.
If homecare and fluoride aren’t enough to keep tooth decay at bay, we also provide dental sealants to protect vulnerable teeth. Sealants literally seal out bacteria and acid from wearing away tooth enamel and are particularly beneficial for the back teeth that are hard to clean and tend to suffer the most from decay.
To apply sealants, we simply paint a thin coating of resin material over every surface of necessary teeth, usually the back molars, but we can use sealants on any and all teeth to protect them from decay. They only take a few minutes to apply and can protect teeth for up to 10 years!
Sealants work by coating the teeth in a protective layer that acts as a barrier between teeth and decay-causing bacteria and acid. Sealants also fill in the pits, fissures, and grooves in the teeth where bad bugs like to hide and make a home. By smoothing out the tooth’s surface with this protective layer, keeping teeth clean and decay-free becomes much easier to ensure healthy, cavity-free checkups.
Remember the days when metal fillings were the only option? Opening your mouth to take a bite or share a laugh would reveal unsightly dark spots—the ghosts of cavities past. Today we thank our lucky stars that dentistry and the materials we use have advanced, so we can now fill cavities without compromising the look of your little one’s precious smile.
Bringing your babe in to see us regularly will ensure we catch any small areas of decay before they grow larger and become more difficult (and more expensive) to fill. We use digital x-rays that are easy to take and help us see and treat tooth decay early on. Tooth-colored fillings help stop decay and bring teeth back to full health—and aesthetics!
There is still a time and a place for amalgam fillings, even in the tooth-colored world we live in today. Amalgam fillings are more durable for use on chewing surfaces, not to mention they’re cheaper and covered by most insurance plans. However, tooth-colored composite resin fillings won’t expand and contract with temperature changes, making them a stable, long-lasting, and attractive solution for teeth that are more visible.
Kids play hard on the field, and oral injuries are all too common across all types of sports. Whether they’re running drills or competing for the all-star championship, a custom mouthguard is a wise decision.
Even for sports that don’t require a mouthguard, we highly recommend them because oral injuries are no fun for anyone. Better safe than sorry, eh? We’re happy to provide custom mouthguards that provide the best fit and the highest level of protection against oral injuries.
Yes, you can buy stock and boil-and-bite mouthguards from the local sporting goods store. However, stock mouthguards do not fit each athlete’s mouth, so they are uncomfortable and therefore unlikely to be worn. Only a custom mouthguard is fitted precisely to your athlete’s mouth for the best fit with the utmost comfort. Custom mouthguards create space between the mandible and the skull, which can dramatically reduce impacts, and may even reduce the risk of concussions. Your child’s brain is at stake here—don’t settle for inadequate protection. Get a custom mouthguard right here at Gracious Smiles!
If you’re looking for a children’s dentist in the greater Toledo area, look no further than Gracious Smiles Aesthetic General Dentistry. If you don’t have insurance and are concerned with working dental care into your budget, we would be happy to speak with you about our in-house savings plan. Get in touch with your Waterville kids’ dentist, Dr. April Davis, and our team today to get your kiddo started on a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles. We can’t wait to meet your family!
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