Pediatric Dentistry Columbia MD

Pediatric Dentistry in Columbia, MD

We happily provide pediatric dentistry services for our youngest patients. We recommend bringing your child to the dentist within six months of their first tooth erupting or before they turn one. If you are looking for a compassionate dentist in Columbia, Maryland, know that our general dentist office is here to help patients of all ages. We strive to provide a comfortable and friendly environment that makes a great first impression on your child and encourages lifelong dental health.

Most adult patients avoid visiting the dentist later in life due to a negative experience in the dental chair from when they were younger. You can rely on the friendly dental staff at Columbia Family Dentist to build trust with your child and teach them good dental hygiene habits that will last a lifetime.

Pediatric Dentistry in Columbia MD

Toddlers and Young Children

Good oral health habits start at an early age. A routine dental visit, like an adult appointment, starts with a thorough cleaning and exam. Children also get an extra step in the form of fluoride treatments. Younger kids are most likely to experience tooth decay due to sugary diets because they’re not as adept at brushing and flossing. Fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel, making it more adept at fighting off bacteria and decay.

Another treatment we may discuss with you is dental sealants. They provide an extra layer of protection between tooth enamel and bacteria. We paint the material onto the teeth most likely to get cavities, like the cusps of the molars. Once the material dries, it’s another layer on the enamel’s outside, preventing bacteria from burrowing into your tooth as easily.

Your child’s mouth is constantly changing and developing. Even baby teeth are important to the smile. They’re the placeholders for permanent teeth to come through. Sometimes, baby teeth don’t provide enough space for the permanent teeth to grow. If your child’s teeth are coming in extremely crooked or cramped, we may refer you to a trusted orthodontist. Orthodontic appliances like spacers can be used to ensure the permanent teeth align properly.

Every tooth is also essential to speech development and eating capabilities. Your mouth makes sounds when your tongue interacts with your teeth and other oral structures. Each tooth performs a different part in the food breakdown and digestive process. If these teeth aren’t present, particularly for a long time, it impacts how the mouth develops and can bring problems in the future.

Adolescents and Young Adults

Your dental care needs change as your mouth continues to develop. At this age, you’re most likely to experience orthodontic issues. It’s when your permanent teeth erupt and take permanent positions in the mouth. Sometimes, they come in crooked, or you have spacing issues between them. Our office provides traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners to straighten patients’ smiles. Properly aligned teeth provide a balanced bite and are easier to clean. Your mouth is also easiest to adjust while growing and developing.

In the late teens or early twenties, we start to see problems with wisdom tooth eruption. Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that our mouths usually don’t have room for. If they erupt, you risk compromising an even bite and cramping teeth. If they don’t, they get stuck under the surface. You experience pain and soreness and may also get an infection from the trapped wisdom tooth. In most cases, we recommend removing wisdom teeth to avoid further complications.

Children and Dental Anxiety

Many patients who fear the dentist have it due to a bad dental experience as children. At our office, the comfort of you and your child is most important. Our staff trains to work with children and ensure they have a good time at the dentist. You can sit with your child during their treatment so they have someone there besides dental staff. We can also have your child sit in during your treatment so they see that there’s nothing to worry about.

Your behavior influences your child a lot. If they notice you’re nervous at the dentist’s office, they may think they must be, too. If you’re calm and relaxed, they’ll pick up that vibe. You’re the person they learn from, so they will reflect the vibe you’re giving off. Talk to them positively about the appointment in the days leading up to it. If you discuss what will happen at the appointment, they’ll know what’s coming and won’t be surprised.

We provide patient education for both of you, discussing the importance of children’s oral healthcare. If they know the consequences of not brushing and flossing, they’re more likely to keep up with doing it. They will likely follow your lead if you model good oral healthcare habits at home. To continue the good habits, they need to be comfortable taking care of their teeth properly, including visits to our office.

Pediatric Dentistry FAQs

Pediatric dentistry starts your child on a promising oral health path. Learn more by reading the answers to these frequently asked questions.

When should a child first see a dentist?

It is recommended that children see the dentist by the time they reach the age of 1 or 6 months after the child’s first tooth comes in. This ensures that the dentist can check up on and manage your child’s developing oral health and develop a healthy relationship with dentistry and dental care.

Is pediatric dentistry a specialty?

Pediatric dentistry is a specialty that takes special training. Dentists go through extra schooling to learn how to work with children and their oral care needs as they develop.

How often should a child see a dentist?

The ADA recommends that children see the dentist every six months or twice annually. Children should not skip seeing the dentist yearly, as their mouths and teeth are more susceptible to dental issues than adults.

We look forward to meeting you and your child in our Columbia dentist office. Our team will greet you with a smile and answer your questions before, during, and after the appointment. Schedule an appointment online today or call our office beforehand with questions at 410-670-8211.