At Bowers and Oki Family Dentistry, we see children of all ages. We recommend children be seen for their first dental visit around the age of 1, or within 6 months of their first tooth erupting. These early visits are important for establishing a dental home, getting your child comfortable with the dentist, educating parents about home care and diet, and evaluating for cavities, airway development and growth. At your child's visit, we will introduce your child to the office, routines and work to make the experience as fun and stress free as possible. We want your child to have a positive experience at the dentist.
To prepare for your child's appointment, keep the atmosphere light and engaging. We want your child to be excited for their visit. Avoid words like "fear", "afraid", "brave" as they can create a negative mindset. We have fun names for all our dental equipment such as "tooth counter", "tooth tickler", "sleepy juice", and "Mr Thirsty". Let us know if you have questions about how to create a positive atmosphere or how you can help your child have a great experience.
Fluoride treatments are recommended for most children. Fluoride has been proven to lower the risk of developing tooth decay and can result in remineralization of small cavities. It is an important and effective tool in maintaining the oral health of children and reducing the time and expense involved with doing fillings and crowns on baby teeth. Our Albuquerque dental office also utilizes Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) as an alternative treatment for cavities on baby teeth close to exfoliation. This treatment can temporarily stop the growth of cavities, allowing us to avoid costly fillings on teeth close to falling out.
Sealants are made of a clear or tooth colored material that seals the pits and grooves on the back teeth. Sealants may be recommended if your child has deep grooves on the biting surfaces of these teeth. This helps to prevent food and bacteria from settling in to these fissures, which can reduce the risk of developing a cavity during these important early years.
Braces may be recommended for patients who show crowding, growth asymmetries, airways constrictions, or other aesthetic or functional concerns. We generally recommend an orthodontic consultation around the age of 7 for patients showing signs of the future need for braces.