Dental care for children: much more than just filling cavities


For new parents and grandparents, the appearance of a baby’s first tooth is an important milestone. This is also the time to start thinking about the child’s future oral care. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that children first see a dentist around 12 months of age or within six months of their first tooth erupting, whichever comes first.

The question is, where are you taking a one year old?

The answer is a pediatric dental practice such as Dental Buddies of Vero Beach, owned and operated by Dr. Jenna Schwibner.

“Children should be treated differently than adults, so a pediatric dentist is the way to go,” said Dr. Schwibner, who has a 5-star rating on and other online sites, adding that ” it’s never too early to start a dental hygiene routine.

Dental Buddies of Vero Beach specializes in early oral care with the goal of helping children retain their primary teeth from when they arrive until they lose and retain their permanent teeth once they are arrivals. The pediatric team is concerned not only with dental care. health of the child, but also of his general state of health.

The goal of Dental Buddies is to make children feel comfortable with the dentist from an early age, educate parents, and monitor the growth and development of their airways. If children are underdeveloped in the jaw and airways, they don’t get enough oxygen and this can affect them mentally and physically. Crowded teeth are a sign of underdeveloped jaws, indicating that their airways and nasal passages are compromised and they are not getting enough oxygen.

This condition often manifests as sleep-disordered breathing such as snoring, teeth grinding, mouth breathing, apnea, and a variety of health issues. In the United States, nine out of 10 children have respiratory problems, so it’s an uphill battle that needs to be tackled early.

“By identifying these breathing and bulking issues early on, we can take steps to overcome the disadvantage,” Dr. Schwibner said. “For children with restricted airways, crooked teeth or sleep disturbances, we offer various treatment options. We can teach children jaw exercises to strengthen the oral muscle or equip them with a device that promotes natural jaw and airway development.

“If teeth can fit into a well-developed jaw from the start, they’ll have a better chance than if they twist and try to force teeth into an undeveloped jaw, minimizing breathing problems and even eliminating the need for braces. dentistry during adolescence.”

So how can the dental team ensure that a toddler remains seated during an examination and treatment?

“The first visit is just to familiarize them with the office and get them comfortable with dental visits in the future,” Dr. Schwibner explained. “They play with toys, watch cartoons on TV and sit in the dentist’s chair. We’re just creating a positive experience so they won’t be scared when they come in for their first cleaning six months later. For the most part, they go in and out in 15-30 minutes. We offer a free new patient exam for any child under the age of 2 to get them on the path to dental health. »

All parents know the challenges of teething, which lasts from around 6 months to 3 years of age. During this stage, your child’s gums will be sore and he will let you know by being difficult. You can soothe them by gently rubbing the gums with a cool, damp cloth, the back of a cold spoon, or a clean finger.

The lower and upper central incisors are the first teeth to emerge, appearing between 6 and 12 months. Then come the lateral incisors between 9 and 16 months followed by the first molars between 13 and 19 months. The canines arrive between 16 and 23 months and the second molars are the last to arrive, between 23 and 33 months. All of the child’s 20 primary teeth will be in place by the time the child is 3 years old.

Then comes the fall of the milk teeth, in the same order as they erupted, from the age of about 6 years. Most children look forward to losing a tooth and being visited by the tooth fairy. Folklore says that if a child places their extracted baby tooth under their pillow, the tooth fairy will visit them while they sleep and replace the lost tooth with a coin or paper money and most parents will keep the game going. as long as they can.

“Children are at high risk for cavities, even in their baby teeth, because the processed foods they eat are high in sugar,” Dr. Schwibner continued. “If they are small, we can treat the cavities conservatively without having to do injections or numbing. If the child is anxious, we use either nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or conscious oral sedation in pill form to help him relax and feel no pain.If major work needs to be done, we bring in an anesthetist to administer and monitor the unconscious sedation.

You might think it’s just a baby tooth, so why not pull it out. But the roots of the baby teeth serve as a guide so that the permanent tooth is positioned correctly. If a baby tooth is pulled out, the adult tooth doesn’t know where to go and it can go wrong, creating orthodontic problems in the future.

“Parents are responsible for teaching their children good hygiene,” Dr. Schwibner said.

“Brushing and flossing should be part of their daily routine as well as dental checkups twice a year. Prevention is easier than repair, so making dentistry a positive experience that will continue for the rest of their lives will promote healthy teeth.

A native of Vero Beach, Dr. Schwibner completed her undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University before earning a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at Nova Southeastern University College of Dentistry. Dental Buddies of Vero Beach is located at 3755 7th Terrace, Suite 303, Vero Beach. Call 772-226-6888 to make an appointment for your child.


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