Parents’ Guide to Caring for Children’s Teeth

family smiling at thanksgivingBecoming a parent changes everything. Suddenly, we become responsible for meeting all of the needs of another human being. This daunting task seems much more manageable after a little training and education. The same is true when parents receive training regarding how to care for their children’ oral health.

There is a great lack of knowledge regarding basic dental needs, such as when to first take a child to the dentist. At Loukas General Dentistry in Park Ridge, Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas offer personalized preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dental services to the entire family, and they will care for your child, while also teaching you about dental homecare for kids.

Your Child’s First Visit

Our doctors recommend bringing your child in for a check-up beginning with the eruption of the first tooth, or no later than the first birthday. This gives the child the opportunity to become comfortable with visiting the dentist and allows the doctor to perform an oral evaluation. Dr. Maria or Dr. Thanasi will educate you on proper brushing and flossing for your child, as well as the best schedule for dental visits. Strong oral hygiene habits, regular check-ups, and a healthy, varied diet will put your child on the right track for good oral health.

After the First Visit: What Next?

If your child has moved from the bottle to a cup and doesn’t eat or drink in the middle of the night, the doctor will not need to examine your child again until age 2, unless you notice abnormalities that warrant a professional opinion (sores in the mouth, etc.). At age 2, your toddler will need to attend dental check-ups every six months. Between the ages of 4 and 6, we will order the first set of x-rays and address any cavities, which can develop out of sight, between teeth.

Ages 6-12

Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi will focus on the prevention of tooth decay between the ages of 6 and 12. During this developmental stage, children begin to lose their baby teeth. Our doctors may recommend dental sealants, a plastic resin that adheres to the chewing surface of molars, which are highly susceptible to cavities. Sealants block bacteria from settling in the contours and ridges of teeth and thus reduce the risk for cavities.

Around age 7, your child may need an orthodontic evaluation. Early orthodontic treatment, or phase one ortho, can create space in small mouths and improve the opportunity for teeth to develop straight. Spacers, expanders, and other orthodontic devices may make your child’s second phase of ortho, in the teen years, easier and shorter.

About Our Doctors

Dr. Maria Loukas and Dr. Thanasi Loukas are compassionate general, restorative, and implant dentists serving Park Ridge and surrounding Chicago communities. To schedule an appointment, call Loukas General Dentistry today at (847) 696-1919.



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