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Arnold Family Dentistry – Visit Our Children’s Dentist in Arnold, MO – Learn about Baby Teeth, Cavities, & More

Finding a dental office in Arnold, MO where the entire family can go can be a difficult feat. Patients will have to seek out a dentist with expertise in family dentistry, flexible hours, and a staff that caters to each individual’s needs. Dr. Mariscal and our entire team at Arnold Smiles make it our priority to create a comfortable environment for patients of all ages.

Your child or children may be a bit nervous about seeing a dentist for regular checkups and oral care, so Dr. Mariscal has fashioned a few unique ways to put your son or daughter at ease. Younger patients can watch cartoons or movies using Netflix in the operatory and can even take home a toy at the end of their appointment from the treasure chest.

Our Arnold family dentistry is focused on education and also teaches children to brush and care for their smile properly. Dr. Mariscal is prevention-focused when it comes to healthy dental care and sets up all of our patients for a lifetime of good oral health.

Teenage and adult patients can also expect the same personalized care at Arnold Smiles. Whether you are looking for teeth whitening, digital X-rays, root canal therapy, or periodontics, our Arnold family dentist in is eager to assist you with your dental needs.

Oral care has two main components: preventative care at the dentist’s office and preventative care at home. Though infant and toddler caries (cavities) and tooth decay have become increasingly prevalent in recent years, a good dental strategy will eradicate the risk of both.

How can I help at home?

Though most parents primarily think of brushing and flossing when they hear the words “oral care,” good preventative care includes many more factors, such as:

Diet – Parents should provide children with a nourishing, well-balanced diet. Very sugary diets should be modified and continuous snacking should be discouraged. Oral bacteria ingest leftover sugar particles in the child’s mouth after each helping of food – emitting harmful acids that erode tooth enamel, gum tissue, and bone if left unchecked. Space out snacks where possible, and provide the child with non-sugary alternatives like celery sticks, carrot sticks, and low-fat yogurt.

Oral habits – Though pacifier use and thumb sucking generally cease over time, both can cause the teeth to misalign. If the child must use a pacifier, choose an “orthodontically” correct model. This will minimize the risk of developmental problems like narrow roof arches and crowding. The family dentist can suggest a strategy (or provide a dental appliance) for thumb sucking cessation.

General oral hygiene – Sometimes, parents cleanse pacifiers and teething toys by sucking them. Parents may also share eating utensils with the child. Harmful oral bacteria are transmitted from parent-to-child in these ways, increasing the risk of early cavities and tooth decay. Instead, rinse toys and pacifiers with warm water and avoid spoon-sharing wherever possible.

Sippy cup use – Sippy cups are an excellent transitional aid for the baby bottle-to-adult drinking glass period. However, sippy cups filled with milk, breast milk, soda, juice, and sweetened water cause small amounts of sugary fluid to continually swill around young teeth – meaning continuous acid attacks on tooth enamel. Sippy cup use should be terminated between the ages of twelve and fourteen months - or whenever the child has the motor capabilities to hold a drinking glass.

Brushing – Children’s teeth should be brushed a minimum of two times per day using a soft bristled brush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Parents should help with the brushing process until the child reaches the age of seven and is capable of reaching all areas of the mouth. Parents should always opt for ADA approved toothpaste (non-fluoridated before the age of two, and fluoridated thereafter). For babies, parents should rub the gum area with a clean cloth after each feeding.

Flossing – Cavities and tooth decay form more easily between teeth. Therefore, the child is at risk for between-teeth cavities wherever two teeth grow adjacent to each other. The family dentist can help demonstrate correct head positioning during the flossing process, and suggest tips for making flossing more fun!

Fluoride – Fluoride helps prevent mineral loss and simultaneously promotes the remineralization of tooth enamel. Too much fluoride can result in fluorosis, a condition where white specks appear on the permanent teeth, and too little can result in tooth decay. It is important to get the fluoride balance correct. The family dentist can evaluate how much the child is currently receiving and prescribe supplements if necessary.

If you have questions or concerns about how to care for your child’s teeth, please ask our Arnold family dentist, Dr. Mariscal.