A lifetime of healthy smiles starts with quality care in childhood
“Family history” is a risk factor for gum disease. Just as you can “inherit” your father’s blue eyes or your mother’s dark hair, smile features tend to run in families. As a family dentist, Dr. Dan Hwang of Creo Dentistry in Marysville, Washington recognizes the patterns and commonalities shared among family members. This dynamic informs proactive care. It is also important to recognize healthy smiles are created, not born. Even the most genetically blessed patients cannot forgo oral hygiene and professional dental care. Likewise, just because your predecessors had “bad teeth,” doesn’t mean toothaches and toothlessness are in your future.
Children’s dentistry: Where a lifetime of healthy smiles start
Healthy teeth and gums are rooted in good habits in childhood. We recommend that parents schedule the first dental visit by their baby’s first birthday (or within six months of the first tooth being visible, whichever milestone comes first). While your child may have no visible teeth, it is still important to consistently and appropriately clean a baby’s gums. By maintaining the health of the gums and mouth, you support healthy development. Baby teeth erupt as they should and, as your child grows, the baby teeth help to “guide” the new permanent teeth into proper position. So, while those first primary teeth are temporary, they are also vitally important for the health of your child’s mouth into adulthood.
With early and ongoing visits, we can intervene with potential problems promptly. Adjustments to habits or interceptive orthodontics can help you to avoid costly and extensive orthodontic treatment in your child’s later adolescence and teen years. These visits also prevent or resolve early-stage caries. This form of decay can threaten the integrity and health of the baby teeth, and cause premature tooth loss. Adjustments as simple as swapping sugary fruit drinks for water can make a big difference in minimizing the risks of developing decay. Plaques feed off of these sugars. Untreated, bacterial plaque erodes the teeth and destroys the gums.
Visits are generally scheduled once every six months for you and your child; however, if there is an active disease to resolve or other risk factors, we will check on your more regularly. During hygiene appointments, Dr. Hwang may also recommend:
- Dental sealants to protect decay-prone back teeth (premolars and molars)
- Specialized, tailored oral care products, including antibacterial rinses and interdental brushes
- Oral appliance therapy to protect from teeth and other structures from damage caused by sports injuries, or from teeth-grinding
- Nutritional guidance; for instance, introducing the natural sweetener, Xylitol, or encouraging children to eat their fruit (instead of drink it)
There are countless ways that we can minimize or eliminate risk factors that threaten the beauty and health of your child’s smile. Contact Creo Dentistry today at (360) 502-7217 to schedule an appointment at our office in Marysville, WA.