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Scarsdale Pediatric Dental Associates

Why are baby teeth Important

Baby teeth, or primary teeth, play a crucial role in a child’s oral health and overall development. They help in proper speech development, chewing, and guiding permanent teeth into proper alignment. Premature loss of baby teeth due to decay or other issues can lead to misalignment of permanent teeth, potentially requiring orthodontic treatment later. Healthy baby teeth also promote good nutrition and contribute to self-esteem. Additionally, early oral care habits established during baby teeth stages can influence lifelong oral hygiene practices. Overall, nurturing baby teeth sets the foundation for a child’s oral health and well-being.

At what age should a child start flossing?

Your baby can begin flossing when their teeth start touching, usually around the age of 2 to 3. Start flossing for them and gradually involve them as they develop dexterity, typically around 6 to 7. Flossing removes food particles and prevents plaque buildup in areas a toothbrush can’t reach. It’s crucial for preventing cavities and promoting healthy gums. Teaching proper flossing techniques early establishes good oral hygiene habits. Consult your dentist for guidance on when and how to introduce flossing, tailored to your child’s individual dental development.

Are Dental x-rays safe for kids?

Yes, dental x-rays are safe for children. The radiation exposure from dental x-rays is minimal, and modern techniques further reduce the dose. The benefits of early diagnosis and treatment of dental problems far outweigh the potential risks. Dentists follow strict guidelines to ensure that x-rays are used judiciously, employing protective measures like lead aprons. The frequency of x-rays is tailored to the child’s specific needs, minimizing unnecessary exposure. Overall, the safety protocols and benefits make dental x-rays a valuable tool in maintaining children’s oral health.

Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes, there are certain foods you should avoid while wearing braces to prevent damage and ensure successful treatment. Foods that are hard, sticky, or chewy can be problematic as they may cause brackets to break or wires to bend, prolonging the treatment process. Avoid items like hard candies, popcorn, chewing gum, nuts, ice, and tough meats. Also, minimize consumption of sticky treats like caramel, toffee, and gummy candies. Instead, opt for softer and braces-friendly foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, soft fruits, and pasta. Remember to follow your orthodontist’s guidelines and maintain good oral hygiene to ensure a smooth and efficient braces experience.

Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

Yes, in many cases, you can still wear braces even if you have crowns and missing teeth. Braces can be designed to work with existing dental restorations like crowns, bridges, or implants. Your orthodontist will assess your specific dental condition and customize a treatment plan to accommodate the presence of crowns and missing teeth. Braces can also help improve the alignment of your remaining natural teeth, which can be beneficial for both cosmetic and functional reasons. However, if you have a significant number of missing teeth, your orthodontist might recommend additional dental treatments, such as implants or bridges, to provide better support for the braces and optimize your overall dental health. Consult with an experienced orthodontist to evaluate your specific situation and determine the most appropriate treatment options to achieve your desired smile and dental functionality. 

What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?

If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see an orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every four orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist. Some orthodontic issues can develop as a child begins to get the adult teeth.  These problems may require a form of early interceptive orthodontic treatment, Phase 1 orthodontic treatment. Other adolescents do not need orthodontic treatment until all the baby teeth fall out and the adult teeth erupt. Phase 2 comprehensive treatment often begins between the ages of 11-13. When in doubt, best to check it out and schedule a consultation with an orthodontist.

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