7 of the Worst Foods for Your Child’s Teeth

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You probably know that a lot of food items that line the aisles of the grocery store probably aren’t great for your child’s teeth.

However, when they’re saying, “Mom, can I get these please?” and it has been a long, tiring day, it’s easy to cave in and buy something for them that you know probably isn’t healthy (it’s okay– no one is perfect, we won’t tell anyone).

That being said, there are a few foods you should try to limit your child’s intake of if you want them to have healthy teeth and gums as they grow older. We know it isn’t always easy, but the effort will pay off in whiter teeth, brighter smiles, and less costly dental work down the road.

For all you moms and dads out there who want to keep your child’s teeth healthy, here’s our list of the 7 worst foods for your child’s teeth.

1 Chewy, Sugary Candy

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It’s no surprise that chewy, sugary candies are at the top of the list. Sugar isn’t just bad for your teeth, but can lead to a host of other health problems down the road. While there are hundreds of different types of candy, here are a few popular ones that should be limited:

  • Skittles

  • Starburst

  • Laffy Taffy

  • Sour Patch Kids

  • Twizzlers

  • Gummy Bears

  • Butterfinger

  • Warheads

  • Jolly Ranchers

  • Ring Pops

  • Airheads

  • Marshmallows

And so many more. Like we said at the beginning of this article, we aren’t saying that your children can never have any candy; that’s probably a bit unrealistic. What we are saying is that, as the parent, you can make a concerted effort to limit your child’s intake of sugary candy that can harm their teeth, gums, and cause other health problems.

It’s important that unhealthy candy is viewed as a “special treat” as opposed to a part of their daily diet.

2 Citrus Fruits

I can hear you now, “Are you saying that oranges and grapefruits aren’t healthy? That’s crazy!”

First of all, we all know that orange juice is delicious. Second of all, you can have too much of a good thing. There’s really just one reason and one reason only that oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits aren’t great for your child’s teeth:

They’re acidic fruits.

Acid can erode tooth enamel, which isn’t good for your child’s oral health and well-being.

Once again, everything in moderation is a good rule of thumb here. We’re not saying that your child can never have a citrus fruit, but it’s not something you want to go overboard with either.

Here is a great article from Colgate that you may want to read:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/acidic-foods-everything-in-moderation-0316

3 Bread, Chips and Pasta

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Starchy foods such as bread, chips, pasta, and so on should be consumed in moderation. If not brushed away quickly, starchy foods can be converted into sugar while stuck in between teeth, potentially damaging teeth (which can lead to cavities for your child).

It’s usually a good idea to brush your teeth after eating a big meal, especially if you’ve consumed bread, chips, or pasta. Consider teaching and passing along this “healthy habit” to your little one!

4 Dried Fruits

Oh these packaged food companies and their sneaky marketing! Often concealed as “healthy” and even “organic,” dried fruit snacks aren’t nearly as healthy as the food industry would lead you to believe.

While fresh fruits are great, they lose water as they dry and turn into something that resembles candy that’s made in the lab.

The result? A sticky, “natural candy” that has lost a lot of nutrients and will now get stuck between your child’s teeth.

Again, we’re not saying you should never give your child raisins, that would be crazy. What we’re saying is understand that dried fruit isn’t as healthy as fresh fruit. If you want to keep your child’s teeth healthy, it’s fresh fruit all the way!

5 Ice

Obviously ice isn’t real food and since it’s just water, how can it possibly be bad for you?

It’s not really the ice that is bad for you, it’s chewing on ice. When ice is fresh out of the icemaker or freezer, it is really hard (like hard as a rock). If your child bites into ice with too much force, there is a good chance that it will be their tooth and not the ice that gets the bad end of the deal.

So when it comes to drinks with ice, make sure your kids know not to chew on ice with too much force!

6 Sports Drinks

Powerade and Gatorade are healthy drinks, right? I mean after all Lebron James, Tiger Woods, and a whole lineup of athletes drink them. They must fuel performance?

Yes and no. These types of sports drinks are loaded with carbs that can give you energy, but they also contain sugar that, just like many other drinks, can lead to tooth decay and erosion of enamel.

While your child drinking the occasional sports drink with their teammates at the ballgame isn’t going to hurt, it’s not a great idea to make a habit of keeping them in the fridge for your child to consume on demand.

Water is a much healthier (and cheaper) alternative!

7 Dark Cola

Most children don’t like coffee, but they do like dark colas. These dark, sugary drinks are one of the worst things your child can consume on a consistent basis. They can stain your child’s teeth, as well as erode tooth enamel.

Sure, having one every now and then (and brushing afterwards) won’t hurt much, but it’s good to get your child in the habit of drinking healthy drinks as opposed to dark, sugary colas.

Avoiding These Foods Will Help Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy!

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By avoiding some of the worst foods for your child’s teeth, you’re setting them up for a lifetime of better eating and drinking habits, as well as healthier teeth!

It’s important to note that avoiding the foods/beverages above will not only have a positive impact on your child’s oral health, but will help keep their body healthier, as well.

Oh and one more thing…if you happen to be in the market for a new pediatric dentist for your child, we thank you for visiting our website. Please find our location nearest you and contact us today to schedule your child’s first appointment!

My Child Started at a Regular Dentist. Should I Switch to a Pediatric Dentist?

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You probably have a general or family dentist that you really like, and as a result, you’ve been taking your child to see them as well. So far, so good.

Then maybe you see an advertisement or talk with a friend and realize that they actually take their child to a pediatric dentist!

A pediatric what…you think to yourself? That’s a real thing?

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Most parents take their children to a pediatrician because while a general physician is great, pediatricians have the extra skills, experience, training, and expertise to treat children.

The field of pediatric dentistry is no different!

So while you may see a general dentist who you absolutely love, they may not be the right dental provider for your child at this critical stage of their young lives. So the question then becomes “should I switch, and if so why?”

Yes, You Should Switch and Here are 6 Reasons Why:

We Only See Children

You want your child to have the best dental care that is personally tailored to their needs. A big part of this is making sure that the dentist or dental office you select for your child works with children day in and day out, and that nothing will catch them off guard.

Imagine that you are building an outdoor kitchen, pool, or something else at your home that requires experience and expertise. You wouldn’t just hire a handyman to complete this very specific job, would you?

Sure they might do it and do a good job, but if you had the choice to hire a company that specialized in building outdoor kitchens, or specialized in building amazing pools, wouldn’t you choose that option (assuming costs are comparable)?

Of course, you would!

In any walk of life the more a person works with a specific group of people or performs specific tasks day in and day out, the more knowledge and experience they gain that can be applied to those specific situations.

Since you have the opportunity to take your child to a dentist who has been clinically trained to care exclusively for children, shouldn’t you take advantage of it? We think so!

Our Practices & Pediatric Dentists are Very Kid-Friendly (Clinical Compassion)

Many general dentists have a warm and inviting office…for adults. The potential issue is that while general dentistry offices are typically very neat, clean, and friendly to adults, a child may not view that office the same way.

Your child probably doesn’t care that there are fresh flowers on the counter and soothing, neutral paint colors on the wall. What they need is an office where they can walk in and immediately be distracted by all of the amazing kid-friendly things.

In addition to our practices being warm and inviting for kids, our pediatric dentists are too!

As a mom or dad, you know firsthand that it takes a special person to work with children day in and day out; you must have a heart for it; there’s no faking it!

At Chester County Dentistry for Children, all of our pediatric dentists have a huge heart for what they do, and the children and parents they serve (yes, we are here to serve. You can read our core values below):

https://www.cckidsdmd.com/mission-statement-core-values/

Your Child May Actually Look Forward to Going to the Dentist (Less Anxiety)

What if instead of dreading a dental appointment, your child actually looked forward to it? Can you imagine how that would turn your world upside down (in a good way, of course)?

One of the great things about taking your child to a Chester County Dentistry for Children is that they form a bond with a dentist or team of dentists who are excellent at forming bonds with children.

We’ll ask them about their favorite superhero, or what sports and activities they are involved with, etc. Everything at our locations is done to make sure that your child is happy, comfortable, and walks away after their appointment with a smile on their face.

We Help Your Child Build Healthy Dental Habits for Life

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Helping your child to create healthy habits is one of the most important things that you can do as a parent. In his best-selling book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg says the following:

“Habits are powerful but delicate. They can emerge outside our consciousness or can be deliberately designed. They often occur without our permission but can be reshaped by fiddling with their parts. They shape our lives far more than we realize—they are so strong, in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense.”

It may seem like no big deal, but a great parent and pediatric dentist relationship can help your child develop quality dental habits early (brushing, flossing, etc.) that can become ingrained in their minds and last a lifetime.

It’s common for a parent to think about what the child will be like in 10, 20, or 30+ years, and while you can only do so much, teaching them healthy habits is something that you can control that they will carry with them hopefully for a very long time.

Pediatric Dentists have Years of Extra Training

A general dentist can brand themselves as a family dentist, but in order to be a board-certified pediatric dentist, 2-3 years of additional education are required after dental school.

If you would like to learn more, you can visit this page on the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry website:

http://www.aapd.org/resources/frequently_asked_questions/

During this time, a candidate that is trying to become a pediatric dentist would focus on the treatment of developing teeth (which is very different from treat adult teeth), the psychology of making children feel comfortable, and much more.

If you want to settle for nothing less than the best for your child’s dental needs, then you can’t do any better than a board-certified pediatric dentist at Chester County Dentistry for Children.

In fact, we encourage you to visit the link below, where you can read more about our “Dream Team” of pediatric dentists at Chester County Dentistry for Children:

https://www.cckidsdmd.com/meet-the-doctors/

Also, we have three convenient locations (West Chester, Lionville, and Kennett Square, PA).

We Want Moms and Dads to be Involved

We get it; this is your baby. They are your baby now, and they’ll still be your baby in 30 years when they’re all grown up and have a family of their own!

This is why we are happy to explain everything (in as much detail as you wish) involved your child’s teeth, potential treatment needs, and overall oral health.

We treat your child like we would treat our very own family members, and that’s a promise.

So what should you do now?

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We hope you see that while you may love your general dentist, and they may be great at taking care of your teeth, your child really needs to see a pediatric dentist to ensure they are getting the specific care they really need.

Children’s teeth are different from adult teeth, and no one knows how to care for your child’s teeth and make them feel comfortable in the dental chair like our pediatric dentists at Chester County Dentistry for Children.

So if you’re ready to make the switch, give our location nearest you a call today, and we will take care of the rest!

Is Baby Formula Staining Your Child’s Teeth?

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So your baby or toddler has a few teeth now (oh how time flies)! It seems like just yesterday you were holding them for the first time, and now they’re growing so fast it seems you’re having to buy new clothes for them constantly!

It’s a fun time, but it’s also a very busy and stressful time. You’re always worried about your baby’s health, and one thing in particular that causes a concern for a lot of moms and dads out there is when your child’s new baby teeth seem to have a stain on them.

As a parent, some of your first thoughts are probably:

  • What happened?

  • Did I do something wrong?

  • Is something wrong with my child?

In most cases, the answer is no, and in this article, we’re going to go into a few more details on how teeth become stained, and why your baby’s formula and overall diet may be to blame.

Stained baby teeth: A cause for concern?

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Baby teeth (or primary teeth) are normally whiter in color than the teeth that your child will have later in life. The reason for this is simple; baby teeth are more calcified.

If your baby’s teeth start to become a different color, it’s understandable why you might be concerned, and the best course of action is to make an appointment with a pediatric dentist who can make an accurate diagnosis.

The only time when baby teeth being discolored are really a concern are when:

A single tooth is much darker than the others. This could mean there is bleeding in the tooth, which requires medical attention.

Baby teeth that are green or yellow in color. This could be a sign of an underlying illness, and you should consult with either your pediatrician or a pediatric dentist as soon as possible.

What is the most common reason baby teeth become stained?

While those two medical issues above could be a culprit for your child’s stained teeth, one of the most common causes of stained teeth is actually baby formula.

Yeah, that’s right…the stuff that your baby needs to survive and thrive can also stain their teeth!
According to a study from The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics, baby formulas and cereals can lead to extrinsic teeth staining in some infants, due to an accidental overconsumption or iron.

Here is an excerpt from the study:

“Commercially available infant formulas are fortified with iron. Infant formulas have been classified by the United States Food and Drug Administration as either low-iron formulas or iron-fortified formulas based on their iron content. By definition, iron-fortified formulas contain more than 6.7 mg/L of elemental iron (Table).1An additional source of dietary iron is available from infant cereals.8 These cereals also provide a non-pharmacological option for treating gastroesophageal reflux in infants when used to thicken the formula, as in this case report. The standard recommendation for thickening a bottle is 1 tablespoon (tbsp) rice cereal (Gerber 1.65 mg of elemental iron/tbsp) for every 1 ounce of formula (Enfamil Lipil with Iron, 0.36 mg of elemental iron/ounce). For example, an 8-ounce bottle of formula thickened with iron-fortified rice cereal would contain approximately 16.1 mg of elemental iron. Consequently, when iron-fortified infant formula is supplemented with iron-fortified rice cereal the infant may exceed the daily requirements for iron which may lead to adverse effects.”

You can read the entire study (it’s a quick read) by visiting the web page below:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3462040/

As you can see, even by doing all of the things you are supposed to do to care for your baby, it’s still possible for them to experience extrinsic teeth staining (hey, no one said taking care of an infant or toddler is easy, right?).

Here are a few other reasons your infant or toddler may have stained teeth…

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You’ll need to visit a pediatric dentist for an exam to see if an overconsumption of dietary iron is causing your child’s discolored teeth, and if it’s found that isn’t the likely cause, then it could also be one of the following:

● An underlying illness such as too much bilirubin in the blood (hyperbilirubinemia).

● A tooth that is experiencing intrinsic discoloration due to bleeding

● Weak enamel

● Excessive use of fluoride toothpaste or other fluoride supplements

● Using iron drops or other supplements that contain iron (which can lead to the same problem as baby formula)

What can I do to fix this issue?

First of all, we are NOT saying that you shouldn’t be using baby formula, but it could be that a different kind of formula is needed to cut back on the overconsumption of iron (if that’s found to be the cause of your child’s stained teeth).

Regardless of what your child has stained teeth, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist anyways. Children should have their first dental exam by six months of age, if not before!

If you’re in Pennsylvania, then you may be very close to one of our practices. We currently have locations in West ChesterLionville, and Kennett Square PA.

If you would like to schedule your child’s dental appointment or have any questions, please give our location nearest you a call today!

5 Signs Your Baby is Teething (And Needs to See a Dentist Soon)!

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There’s nothing like the roller coaster of emotions that a mom experiences during the infant and toddler years! On one hand, most mothers wouldn’t trade those years for anything, while on the other hand it can be a very stressful (and busy time).

If you’re looking for signs that your baby is teething, then you’re obviously experiencing this roller coaster of emotions right now!

But do you know one thing that shouldn’t keep you up at night?

Your baby’s oral health.

Sure, it can seem like it’s just one more thing to worry about, but if you know the facts about teething, then what may seem abnormal to you may actually be quite normal.

That being said, if you think that your baby is experiencing any symptoms outside of the normal teething symptoms, you’re encouraged to schedule an appointment with your dentist or pediatric dentist right away.

So when should my baby first see a pediatric dentist?

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Before we talk about the signs of teething, let’s first talk about when your precious baby should see a dentist for the first time.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (whose position we agree with) states that children should have their first dental exam when their first tooth appears, and certainly no later than their first birthday.

Really, if your baby has at least one visible tooth, it’s not a bad idea to at least call and see if you need to bring them in.

At Chester County Dentistry for Children, we want to alleviate any stress of fears that moms have regarding their child’s teeth, and will encourage you to come in “just to be safe” if we feel the occasion warrants a visit.

Ok, here are the 5 signs your child is teething

1: You often catch your baby rubbing his or her face and ears

When a baby is teething, they may get frustrated and try to “solve the problem” by pulling, prodding, and rubbing anywhere they may find relief. If your child is teething, you may see them rubbing their ears and face.

2: Excessive drooling

Obviously, babies drool quite often (just take a look at your favorite dress or shirt!). That being said, if your child is in the appropriate age range to begin teething, and you notice even more drooling than normal, it could be a sign of teething.

3: Gums that appear as if they are bulging or swollen

When teeth are preparing to erupt, some babies will show signs of swollen or bulging gums. If this is accompanied by pain or discomfort, then there is a good chance your child is teething.

4: Rejecting the foods they love

While not eating could potentially be a sign of something more serious, in many cases it’s a sign of teething. If your child has a tooth that is on the verge of eruption, then chewing food may be painful. If this is the case, they may avoid foods they love, which is code for, “Hey mom, I need to see a pediatric dentist now!”

5: Trying to suck and chew on everything

A shoe, a chair, a dog toy…if your child is trying to chew, bite or suck on just about anything, that’s a clear sign they are teething. If you notice this behavior, it means that their first tooth may not be far away!

These things may make you anxious as a mom, but they are normal

If your child is driving you a little crazy by displaying some of the behaviors mentioned above, then congratulations; they are developing into a happy, healthy toddler!

At Chester County Dentistry for Children we know that teething can be a difficult time and it requires a lot of patience. That being said, if your child already has their first tooth or will have it soon, then it isn’t too early to schedule your child’s first dental appointment at Chester County Dentistry for Children.

So don’t wait, give our location nearest you a call today to schedule your child’s first pediatric dental evaluation.

Family Dentist vs. Pediatric Dentist: Which One is Best for Your Child?

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If you’re looking for a good dentist for your child, there are probably several things you’re considering. You want to ensure your child’s teeth are cared for, you want your child to be comfortable around the dentist and to have a good experience, and you want to ensure that you have a positive relationship with the dentist.

One common question people ask is, “Should I take my child to a family dentist or a pediatric dentist?” In this article, we’ll explore the differences between family and pediatric dentists so you can decide which one is best for your child.

What is a Family Dentist?

A family dentist is similar to a general dentist. Rather than specialize in a specific field of dentistry like endodontics or orthodontics, they provide a range of services. Although general dentists might sometimes restrict the age of people they will treat, family dentists provide dental care to people of all ages.

Although a family dentist might have some special skills, they typically focus on the more general issues like reducing plaque buildup around teeth, eliminating tooth decay, filling cavities, and ensuring that gums remain healthy. For more severe problems, a family dentist will often refer you to a specialist.

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

Like all dentists, pediatric dentists attend four years of dental school in addition to receiving a bachelor’s degree. Unlike other dentists, pediatric dentists undergo an additional two to three years of training. The specialty training teaches them how to deal with children’s behavior, make kids feel comfortable, and treat the unique dental needs and issues of children. Pediatric dentists also receive training and qualifications for treating children with special needs.

Pediatric dentist offices also tend to revolve around children. They have a play area, they use smaller tools that look more kid-friendly, and they are great at explaining dental procedures and terms to their patients. Because pediatric dentists only treat children, their experience enables them to quickly identify issues unique to children, and help solve those issues, as well.

Advantages of Both Family and Pediatric Dentists

When choosing between things, it’s often helpful to weigh the advantages of each. To start, let’s look at the advantages of choosing a family dentist over a pediatric dentist for your child:

  • You and your child can visit the same dentist.

  • They are typically comfortable treating children, even if they have less experience with kids than pediatric dentists.

  • They sometimes can provide multiple specialties under one roof.

Now, we’ll compare that to the advantages of choosing a pediatric dentist for your child:

  • They have an additional 2-3 years training, enabling them to specialize in treating children.

  • Because they treat only children, they have more experience with kids.

  • Their offices tend to be more fun environments designed to ensure kids have a great time.

  • They use smaller and more kid-friendly dental tools.

  • They have extensive knowledge when it comes to preventative care for kids.

  • They are better equipped to provide optimal care for children with special needs.

While a family dentist can certainly care for your child’s teeth and help prevent cavities, they cannot provide the same specialized care your child would receive at a pediatric dentist. In the same way that you would take a child to visit a pediatrician, we always recommend taking your child to a pediatric dentist.

Making the Final Decision

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If you’re still not sure which is best for your child, the best thing you can do is schedule a consultation. Speak with a quality pediatric dentist and a family dentist, visit their offices, and see which feels right to you.

Most are happy to schedule a consultation, which will give you and your child a good feel for each option. Taking this step can give you confidence that your child will have a great experience at the dentist.

If you live in or near the West Chester, Lionville, or Kennett Square areas of Pennsylvania, then Chester County Dentistry for Children is a great place to investigate the benefits of pediatric dentistry. Our goal is to provide a friendly environment for children so they can learn that going to the dentist can be fun.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation – we’d love to meet you and your child!

Sources:
Pediatric Dentistry FAQs
Family Dentistry
What is a Pediatric dentist?
Pediatric Dentistry

Choosing a Pediatric Dentist for an Autistic Child

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Taking your child to the dentist can be a daunting task, especially if they’re on the autism spectrum. Many adults find the dentist a scary place, and now you’re supposed to take your child there?

But don’t worry, a trip to the dentist doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Pediatric dentists have special training and kid-friendly offices that can make the dental experience fun for children. If you have an autistic child, there are several things you should consider when choosing a pediatric dentist.

Why a Pediatric Dentist?

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It’s important to take your child to the dentist on a regular basis. Good oral hygiene is essential to a healthy lifestyle because you don’t want tooth decay and pain to hold them back.

Many parents ask why they should take their child to a pediatric dentist over a regular dentist, and there are several benefits:

  • Pediatric dentists receive two to three additional years of training after dental school. This additional training helps them understand the unique needs and best methods to treat young children, including children with autism.

  • The dental room is designed to be kid friendly, and they typically use smaller and “less scary” dental tools to help children feel more comfortable.

  • Their offices are typically brightly decorated and stocked with the best toys and games, giving children something to look forward to.

  • They communicate throughout the appointment to keep children informed and engaged.

As you can see, there are many great reasons to look for a pediatric dentist for your child. But how do you find the right one for your autistic child?

Step 1: Ask for references

If you know other parents with autistic children, ask them about their dental experiences. Have they had good or bad ones, and if good, where did they go? What made it a great experience? If you find some great recommendations, then that is a great place to start!

If you’re struggling to find any good references, you can always search online. Many modern dentists will have a review page on their website, and checking these reviews and testimonials can also give you a good indication about the dentist’s ability to treat the special needs of children.

Step 2: Talk to your potential pediatric dentist

When looking for a pediatric dentist, call the office and discuss your son or daughter’s needs. Speaking with the dentist and learning as much as you can will make you more comfortable about your decision. Some useful questions to ask include:

  • Do they have experience with children who have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

  • Do they have special procedures in order to optimize each visit for your child?

  • Can you accompany your child in the room during the dental exam?

  • Can you schedule your appointment at a time of day when your son or daughter is at his or her best?

  • Can you see the same staff at every visit for consistency?

You know your child and what they will be comfortable with, so if you’re not happy with the answers to your questions, consider another dentist. Be aware that some dentists may not be willing to treat your child because they’re unsure how to make them comfortable. If this is the case, they might be able to refer you to a dentist who is great with autistic children.

Step 3: Discuss sensory issues

Children with autism often struggle with certain sensory issues. It’s important to discuss these with your pediatric dentist and look for strategies to deal with them. For instance, if your child doesn’t like the sensation of being moved backwards, you should recommend the dental chair starts in the leaned back position before they arrive. If they’re sensitive to light, let them wear sunglasses as the dental chair can be quite bright.

Whatever your child’s unique needs are, you should discuss them with your dentist. If you’ve found a good pediatric dentist, they will have coping strategies for reducing sensory issues and can help you think through potential issues and solutions.

Step 4: Schedule some easy visits

You don’t want your child to receive extensive dental work on their first visit. Instead, schedule some easy and quick visits to the dentist first. This will help you and your child get to know your pediatric dentist and build trust. It will help your child get used to the dentist and the things that will happen in the office.

If those early visits don’t go well, you might need to consider choosing another pediatric dentist.

Step 5: Look for communication skills

Pediatric dentists are great at communicating with children. We tend to follow the “tell, show, do” method.

  • First, we tell your child what we are going to do.

  • Next, we show the tool or action we are going to use and might even let them touch the tool.

  • Last, we actually do the action we’ve discussed.

Communicating in this way helps eliminate uncertainty for your child and puts them more at ease. If your child struggles with communication, we might ask the parent to help communicate, or allow them to watch their brother or sister receive the same treatment so they get an idea of what is about to happen.

Other considerations

Hopefully those steps will help you choose a pediatric dentist for your autistic child. It’s also important to explore other topics that may be relevant to your child:

  • Does your child struggle with seizures? If so, your dentist should be aware for treatment, and can also discuss tactics for protecting your child’s teeth during seizures.

  • Should some form of sedation be considered? It can help relax your child without causing them to go to sleep.

  • Can your pediatric dentist help with good oral hygiene habits? Sometimes getting your autistic child to brush their teeth can be a real challenge. A good pediatric dentist can provide strategies for improvement.

Looking for a pediatric dentist in Chester County?

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If you live in or near the West Chester, Lionville, or Kennett Square area of Pennsylvania, then Chester County Dentistry for Children is a great option for your pediatric dentistry needs. Like you, we want the best for your child and have significant experience working with the unique needs of all children.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to chat about how we can help provide dental care to your child with autism. We’d love to meet you!

Sources:
Taking your Son/Daughter with an autism spectrum disorder to the dentist
Finding a Pediatric Dentist

What are the Differences Between a Pediatric Dentist & a General Dentist?

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Most families have a pediatrician who looks after their children’s overall health, but not everyone takes their child to see a pediatric dentist. Like a pediatrician, a pediatric dentist specializes in the oral health of children and teenagers.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children first see a dentist as early as six months of age and no later than their first birthday. During this time, your child’s baby teeth will come in and your dentist can examine the health of your child’s first few teeth. From this first visit, it is recommended that your child visit the dentist every 6 months.

Despite the availability of pediatric dentists and the importance of visiting the dentist at a young age, some only take their children to the general dentist, or worse, never take their children to see the dentist at all. And while a general dentist can provide care to your child, there are several advantages that a pediatric dentist can provide.

In this article, we’ll discuss those differences and explain why your child will benefit from seeing a pediatric dentist.

Pediatric Dentists Have More Training

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All dentists will have a bachelor’s degree and four years of dental school training, but pediatric dentists go even further in their training. According to WebMD, “A pediatric dentist has at least two additional years of training beyond dental school.”

The extra two to three years of training focuses on the treatment of developing teeth, child behavior and psychology, making children feel comfortable, children’s physical growth, and the special requirements of children’s dentistry. They also receive training on treating children with special needs.

Pediatric Dentists Have More Experience with Children

Because pediatric dentists work exclusively with children, they will almost certainly have more experience than general dentists when it comes to treating children. This is definitely the case at Chester County Dentistry for Children!

Children have unique needs. For instance, their teeth are more susceptible to cavities, and losing teeth is actually part of their growing process. Not only do they have different dental needs, but children also behave differently than adults. Pediatric dentists have extensive and unique experience in talking with children, dealing with their emotions, and easing their fears. Part of the training process actually involves working in hospitals with children and dealing with extreme dental cases, so no challenge is too big for a pediatric dentist.

Pediatric Dentists are Less Scary

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Visiting the dentist can be scary for some adults and even more so for children. But pediatric dentists take extra steps to ensure children feel comfortable while visiting. For instance, we use smaller dental equipment than general dentists would. They are specially designed for a child’s mouth, so they are more comfortable.

We also introduce each piece of equipment, one at a time. This way, your child will know exactly what tool is being used and why. We erase the fear of the unknown and involve the child every step of the way, slowly and without overwhelming them.

Pediatric Dentists Provide More Fun Environments

Because pediatric dentists focus on treating children, their offices are built for kids. They will find fun games and things to explore that you just wouldn’t see at a general dentist office. Everything from the waiting room to the dental chair is decorated to delight children. Our goal is to help children get excited about their next dental visit!

The Ability to Help with Habits

Most children need lots of help when it comes to taking care of their teeth. While a general dentist doesn’t need to worry about teaching adults how to brush their teeth, pediatric dentists do this consistently with their patients.

Not only can we provide fun toothbrushes and toothpaste, we can work with parents to devise plans that encourage their child to take care of their teeth. Each child is different, which is why we help each child individually with developing great habits that will enable a lifetime of oral health.

Focus on Preventative Treatments

For various reasons, children are particularly susceptible to tooth decay. Pediatric dentists can offer several treatments, on top of the training and habit building they provide, that will help prevent tooth decay. These include sealants, fluoride treatments, space maintainers, and more.

Preventing tooth decay is far less painful and easier to manage than reacting to problems as they occur. Since pediatric dentists know exactly what types of mouth problems children deal with, they are specially equipped to help prevent them.

Experience the Difference for Yourself

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If you’d really like to learn the difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist, then contact us today and schedule an appointment. Your child’s initial examination will quickly demonstrate the difference to you.

We love meeting new patients and are passionate about giving kids a great experience at the dentist. If you’re in the West Chester, Lionville, or Kennett Square area then please contact us today and schedule your child’s first appointment.

Sources
FAQs about Pediatric Dentistry
Four reasons to choose a pediatric dentist
What is a Pediatric dentist?
Pediatric Dentistry

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Pediatric Dentist for Your Child

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Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)recommends that children first see a dentist before their first birthday?

Whether you’re a new parent or a seasoned pro, you want to take care of your kid’s health. In the same way you send your child to a pediatric doctor who specializes in medical care for children, you should also send him or her to a pediatric dentist for their oral care.

Visiting the dentist in your child’s first year may seem early, but this is a pivotal time as your child’s baby teeth are appearing.

You can get things off to a great start by visiting a pediatric dentist who can examine the health of your child’s first few teeth.

Here are 5 key things to consider when choosing the right pediatric dentist for your child:

1 Do they have Special Training?

Pediatric dentists are uniquely qualified to protect your child’s oral health. This is because they have an additional two to three years of training, in addition to four years of dental school and four years of college study. Some pediatric dentists (including those at Chester County Dentistry for Children) practiced general dentistry before specializing, giving them a unique perspective.

The specialty training teaches them how to deal with children’s behavior, make kids feel comfortable, and create a pleasant experience. Pediatric dentists also receive training and qualifications for treating patients with special needs.

2 Do they Provide a Fun, Welcoming Environment?

Many people fear going to the dentist...even adults. That’s why our primary responsibility is to ensure that going to a pediatric dentist is not a frightening experience. We designed our offices to be bright, happy places for both the physical and psychological needs of children. You’ll find an environment that brings about ear-to-ear smiles and radiates a friendly tone.

But it’s not just the building or the decor...the people here are fun and welcoming too! We believe the workplace should be fun, especially for our patients.

Does Your Child Have Dental Anxiety? We Can Help!

We use positive language, even when things might be uncomfortable, to help children have a positive experience. We describe things with words like pinch, wiggle, whistle, and raincoat to describe the dental environment.

We also use a technique called “TELL, SHOW, DO” while treating your child:

  • We will TELL your child what we are going to do

  • SHOW them what we are going to do

  • and DO the procedure

The main goal here is to build trust and establish communication with the child. Sometimes this requires funny voices or nonverbal expressions, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure your child is comfortable with their pediatric dentist.

3 Do they Take a Preventative Approach?

It’s always better to be proactive instead of reactive, and pediatric dentistry is no exception. Waiting until your child already has a cavity that causes pain is too late. Since children are much more susceptible to tooth decay than adults, you want to find a dentist who understands the mouths of children and can recognize problems before they become even more problematic.

At our dental office, we offer several treatments that help prevent tooth decay in children. One example is a dental sealant, which forms a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth. Baby teeth have tiny grooves that make it almost impossible to keep clean, even if your child brushes regularly. Dental sealants help protect those grooves and prevent tooth decay.

Another preventative approach is fluoride treatment. Fluoride makes teeth more resistant to decay and even repairs tiny areas of decay before they become big cavities. We start by examining the amount of fluoride your child already receives through tap water or toothpaste, and if necessary, recommend fluoride supplements.

Dental sealants and fluoride treatment can prevent 95% of tooth decay, providing a healthy smile for your child for years to come.

4 Do they Treat You Like Family?

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It’s important to have a relationship with your pediatric dentist built on trust. Your child’s oral health is important, and you need to know that they are in good hands. Our mission is to be a group of dedicated professionals who believe in building lasting relationships in our communities and with our patients.

That means we treat each patient like family. We treat others the way we want to be treated, and offer personalized care to meet your child’s specific needs. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity, and seek to be completely honest in every evaluation and treatment. And of course, we love making visits a fun experience for both you and your child.

5 How did the Consultation Go?

A child’s first visit to the dentist should be more of a consultation. It is a chance to get to know the pediatric dentist, both for you and your child. This will give you a chance to observe the environment-- does it feel safe and welcoming? Does your child seem comfortable around the pediatric dentists? Does the pediatric dentist seem competent and capable to care for your child’s unique needs?

If you are looking for a pediatric dentist for your child, then look no further! Chester County Dentistry for Children has three convenient locations in West Chester, Lionville, and Kennett Square.

Contact us today for your consultation. Building healthy smiles that last well into the future is our passion, and we love meeting new families. We look forward to the opportunity to welcome you and care for your child’s oral health.

You can also read more about this topic on our Pediatric Dentistry FAQs page.

Sources:
Finding a Pediatric Dentist
Four Reasons to Choose a Pediatric Dentist
How to Find a Pediatric Dentist