Here at Furniss Family Dentistry, we believe children’s teeth are incredibly important. Dr. Furniss has 4 small children and many of our staff have kids as well. Primary teeth are not only important for proper nutrition but also to maintain space and assist the proper development of adult teeth. We are happy to see children of all ages and we recommend regular visits every 6 months beginning at age 1, or when primary teeth begin to erupt.
Children typically do very well in our office. For the very nervous patients, we offer conscious nitrous sedation (laughing gas). Some cases require the care only a specialist can offer. Part of your child’s initial visit includes an assessment to determine the need for specialty care. In the event your child does need specialty care, we have a fantastic pediatric specialist we can refer you to.
One of the most important things you can do for your child is to take care of their teeth. Until children are around age 10-12 they do not have the dexterity to really clean their teeth well on their own and should have parental help with nightly brushing and especially flossing. Additionally, fluoride toothpaste should be used as soon as the child is able to spit out the toothpaste after brushing (usually age 3-4).
Sealants are a great way to protect against tooth decay and cavities on your back teeth (molars). These are the teeth that are most vulnerable to cavities and decay because they are used in the chewing process, and are the most difficult to reach and clean. Molars first come in at around 5-7 years of age, with second molars coming between the ages of 11-14. It is best to have a sealant placed when the molars first come in to ensure they are protected early.
To place a sealant an adhesive is first applied to the teeth. The sealant is then placed over the adhesive as a liquid, painted right onto the tooth. The liquid then hardens and creates a barrier between your tooth and any plaque, food particles, and bacteria. Sealants last for approximately 10 years and can be reapplied if necessary.
Mouth guards are an essential piece of equipment in contact sports. They should be worn by athletes of all ages who participate in sports such as:
Wearing a mouth guard helps prevent against structural damage to your teeth and jaw and also helps prevent injuries such as lacerations to your cheeks, tongue, and lips. Mouth guards have also been shown to help decrease the risk of concussions.
Mouth guards are available in most any sporting goods store, but you should be careful when purchasing a mouth guard. Mouth guards like this do not offer the best level of protection. They are also usually ill-fitting, bulky, and uncomfortable.
For the highest level of comfort and protection, you should visit your Gilmer family dentist for a custom mouth guard fitting. A custom mouth guard is created specifically for the optimal protection of YOUR mouth. It is created with thin plastic that is hardened to protect your teeth. The thinness of the custom mouth guard allows for easy breathing and also allows for easy communication (especially important for you star quarterbacks calling out plays).
See your dentist today for a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth and ensure that you maintain the highest level of performance on the field, court, or rink.