Braces are a common and effective orthodontic treatment for straightening and aligning teeth in both kids and adults. In this post we’ll discuss the advantages of braces, options, and what you can expect from the procedure. read more
Children’s Dental Health Articles
Your children’s health is a top priority. But while you’re focused on preventing the flu and broken bones, don’t forget about keeping their smiles healthy. Keep reading to discover why it’s never too early to instill dental health practices — and how to lower costs on your child’s care. Why is dental care important for children? Dental care is a vital part of your child’s overall health. Taking them to the dentist two to three times a year sets them up for a lifetime of healthy habits. A professional dentist can also clean their teeth beyond brushing and flossing (depending on your child’s age, their at-home care is probably already lacking). If they identify an issue with your child’s teeth or gums early enough, it can be treated before becoming something more serious. What’s covered in a child’s dental plan Coverage will depend on the specifics of your insurance policy, but most plans cover preventative care in full, including two annual check-ups and cleanings, fillings, fluoride treatments and other basic care. You may also get partial coverage for the following: Treatment for cavities and gum disease Restorative care Emergency care Wisdom tooth removal Orthodontic care Make sure to read through all the details of your plan to get a full understanding of your benefits. How to get dental coverage for kids You’ll want to have dental insurance for your kids by the time they see the dentist for the first time. It’s recommended that a child visits a dentist when their first tooth erupts. It’s important to be prepared ahead of time by enrolling in a plan that will cover your children’s care. Group coverage Children are most often covered under a family plan, either enrolled through you or your co-parent’s employer or purchased privately. You can add a newborn baby to an existing family plan within a specified period of time (check with your insurance provider), since having a baby qualifies as a life event. Keep in mind your monthly premium will increase once your child has been added to the plan. ACA coverage According to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), dental care for children is an “Essential Health Benefit,” which means that pediatric dental coverage must be available for purchase in the ACA Marketplace. Stand alone dental plans Finally, you can also enroll your child in his or her own individual plan. Monthly premiums, services covered and how much you’ll pay for different treatments will vary based on where you live, your insurance provider and your specific policy. Find a dental plan for your child Spirit Dental & Vision has dental plans for children and families so you can maintain shining, healthy smiles for every member of your family. Learn more and find the best plan for your needs. [Find my plan]
Although dental problems might become more of an issue when you’re older, it’s important to know that children can also be impacted by oral health ailments. By being aware of the risks, you can take steps to help your kids maintain strong teeth and gums. What are some of the common dental problems that kids might develop? Below is a short list of a few things to watch out for as your little one grows. Cavities are common in kids The CDC has stated that around 20% of kids between the ages of 5 and 11 have at least one tooth with decay that hasn’t been treated. And if the decay is left to progress, a child might end up with an infection, in addition to tooth pain and trouble chewing. Just like you can work toward preventing cavities in your own teeth, you can help your child keep their teeth healthy and strong by instilling good habits like daily brushing and flossing. In the event that a cavity does develop, your child’s dentist might recommend a filling to restore the strength of the tooth. Or, the dentist might recommend treatments like sealants to help prevent decay before it forms. Note: Even baby teeth can develop cavities. And if a baby tooth has extensive decay, to the point that the tooth falls out or needs to be extracted long before it would’ve naturally fallen out, nearby teeth might shift, potentially making it harder for the permanent tooth to come in straight. Just another reason to work on preventing cavities! Gum disease can affect kids, too If your child has bad breath that won’t go away or if their gums bleed, they might have gum disease. While it might be hard to believe that someone so young could end up with this problem, if your little one doesn’t maintain a good oral hygiene routine, plaque can turn into tartar, and the gums can be affected. Also, some kids are more susceptible to gum disease because of various factors, such as their diet, other health problems, or bruxism. The scary thing about gum disease is that it doesn’t just affect the gums and cause them to become inflamed and sore; it can also damage the structures that support teeth and keep them in place. In other words, your child’s teeth might end up falling out if the gum disease isn’t treated with the help of a dentist. Certain habits might lead to misaligned teeth Sometimes, a child’s teeth don’t grow in straight, or there might not be enough room in the mouth for all of the teeth to be aligned properly. But misaligned teeth might also occur if poor habits develop. For example, if a child continues sucking their thumb once their permanent teeth have started to erupt, it might cause changes to the alignment of the teeth or bite. Other habits that might also result in changes to the bite or teeth alignment are lip sucking and tongue thrusting. So, if your child is exhibiting those habits, talk to your dentist for advice on how to get them to stop before any damage is done. Get your child used to going to the dentist on a regular basis The sooner you can get your child used to going to the dentist, the better. That way, they can be comfortable with the idea of having their mouth examined, and you’ll be able to catch problems in their earliest stages. Although there are some dental issues that are quite common, rest assured that treatment options are available, and your dentist can steer you in the right direction. Want to be sure you’ll be able to afford your child’s trips to the dentist and any treatments that might be necessary to ensure their smile will be bright? Check out the family dental plans offered by Spirit, including those that provide coverage for orthodontics, to see how much you could potentially save. Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/childrens-oral-health/index.html https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/oral-health-problems-children https://www.perio.org/for-patients/gum-disease-information/ https://www.mykoolsmiles.com/content/kids-dental-problems/ https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=90&contentid=p01865
In the same way that dental problems can affect other aspects of your health as an adult, if your child’s mouth isn’t healthy, it can have an adverse effect on their well-being. Below are some of the many reasons why it’s wise to take steps to keep your little one’s teeth and gums in tip-top shape. How Poor Dental Health Can Affect KidsAccording to the CDC, many children and adolescents have at least one decayed tooth that’s untreated. Not good! What’s worse is that, when dental problems go untreated, a child may face a range of difficulties, such as the following:1. Pain, Discomfort, and Trouble Chewing FoodIf you’ve ever had a cavity that you didn’t treat in time, you know how painful it can become. Plus, cavities that aren’t filled might lead to infections that create even more discomfort. Ouch!Also, when a child has one or more cavities, or when teeth are damaged because they’re chipped or fractured, the discomfort and pain may lead to trouble chewing food. This might result in a change in what the child can and can’t eat, and it might cause them to miss out on important nutrients that are necessary for proper development and growth. Keep in mind, too, that pain caused by tooth decay might inhibit children from enjoying everyday activities. And it might even get in the way of their ability to sleep because the discomfort keeps them awake at night. 2. A Decrease in School Attendance and PerformanceAnother serious effect of poor dental health in kids is a decrease in their performance at school. Think about it: if your little one is experiencing oral pain that doesn’t go away, they’re bound to become distracted by it, to the point that they can’t fully concentrate on their schoolwork and homework. Oral pain can be a reason for missing school as well. In other words, in addition to being at a greater risk of performing poorly in school, kids with dental problems might also be more likely to stay home from school because of their symptoms. And, on top of having an impact on test scores and grades, this also causes kids to miss out on important lessons, so it may affect their future performance too. 3. Low Self-Esteem and EmbarrassmentPoor oral health can do more than cause physical pain. When children have unhealthy teeth and gums, or when they’re missing teeth, they may be embarrassed by their smile, and they might even be bullied. This might result in depression, shyness, or withdrawal from others. In addition to decay, tooth injuries that aren’t treated professionally might also cause negative effects on self-esteem because of the embarrassment that comes with an imperfect smile and damaged teeth. 4. Negative Impacts on a Child’s DevelopmentAs discussed above, poor dental health is capable of adversely affecting a child’s development in more ways than one. Here are some other examples:If a young child experiences tooth loss too soon, the development of their speech might suffer as a result. If a child misses too much school because of dental problems, their ability to learn may be affected. If a child isn’t able to chew properly and can’t enjoy eating a variety of foods, nutritional imbalances might affect their cognitive and physical development. Steps You Can Take to Support Your Child’s Oral HealthBeyond being a physical problem, poor dental health is something that can also impact children on an emotional and social level. Therefore, taking preventive measures is smart. A good place to start is by showing your children how to take amazing care of their teeth and gums at home. This includes brushing, flossing, drinking water, and eating right.You can also make sure your kids wear a mouthguard when playing sports, as doing so may reduce the risk of injuries. And, of course, taking your child to the dentist regularly is a great way to help ensure your little one’s mouth can remain healthy while developing properly. Dental Insurance for Kids Can Be a Worthwhile Investment!Don’t have dental insurance yet? It’s time to consider it! Families who have a dental plan that helps cover the cost of care are more likely to make those important trips to the dentist. This means their kids can get the check-ups, cleanings, and treatments, from sealants to fillings, that can help keep teeth and gums strong. At Spirit Dental, you’ll find affordable plans that can help cover the cost of preventive care as well as dental insurance for major restorative care! So, now that you’re aware of the risks associated with poor dental health early in life, you can take a big step toward making sure your little one won’t have to go through any of that hardship. Sources:https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/childrens-oral-health/index.htmlhttps://ccf.georgetown.edu/2019/05/10/research-update-a-spotlight-on-childrens-oral-health/https://www.dentistjustforkids.com/how-oral-health-affects-overall-health/ https://misuse.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/error/abuse.shtmlhttps://www.mchoralhealth.org/PDFs/learningfactsheet.pdf
What is the connection between orthodontics and sleeping problems, particularly in children? Well, in some cases, orthodontic appliances can be used to treat the cause of a child’s sleep troubles. It’s true! Check out the information below to see what we mean. Has Your Child Been Diagnosed with Sleep Apnea? If sleep apnea is the cause of your child’s inability to get a restful night’s sleep, it’s important to search for solutions. And it turns out that one of the treatment options you can consider is orthodontics. Of course, this will depend on what is causing the sleep apnea, and how severe it is. But if the culprit is a problem with the dental arch or the alignment of the teeth or jaw, the right orthodontic care might make a difference. Who knew, right? Here’s an example: if your child’s mouth is still developing, and he or she has been diagnosed with a palate that is too narrow, an orthodontist might recommend a palatal expander. This is designed to widen the palate and help boost the amount of airflow to make it easier for your little one to breathe properly while asleep. On the other hand, if your child’s mouth is no longer growing, orthodontic appliances, such as a mandibular advancement splint, might be able to properly position his or her jaw while asleep, thereby helping to improve the way your son or daughter breathes. Talk to an orthodontist to figure out if this is a path that you can take to help your child get some much-needed relief when dealing with sleep apnea. With the right strategy, you might even be able to correct problems so that your child won’t have to deal with sleep apnea anymore. Other Ways That Orthodontics Might Be Able to Help In addition to sleep apnea, there are other issues that may arise while your child sleeps, and orthodontics might be a possible solution to those as well. Here are some examples: If your little one clenches and grinds their teeth at night (this is known as bruxism), a dental professional might recommend a night guard to protect those pearly whites. If your son or daughter breathes more through the mouth than the nose, it might be difficult to sleep well at night. When the cause is something like a misalignment of the bite, teeth, or jaw, orthodontics might be the right solution. If your child is diagnosed with temporomandibular joint disorder (also known as TMD or TMJ), and it’s caused by a problem with his or her bite, the right orthodontic care may help. Worried About Affording Orthodontics? Consider Dental Insurance! If you don’t already have orthodontic dental insurance that covers orthodontics for kids, don’t worry! There are plenty of options available, such as those offered by Spirit Dental & Vision. You can search for a plan that will provide you with the coverage you need to afford pricey treatments more easily, and you might be surprised by how affordable the insurance itself can be. That way, if your child ever needs orthodontics for any reason, you can focus more on ensuring your little one will get the necessary treatment to reap the benefits of a healthy smile and healthy sleep.
When you take your little one to the dentist for the first time, you’ll probably be asked some questions about your son or daughter. You might talk about topics like your child’s eating habits and pacifier use, as well as whether or not you’ve noticed any thumbsucking. And the dentist may also inquire about your family’s oral hygiene routine, if your child is exhibiting any teething symptoms, and more. But, in addition to answering questions, this is also your opportunity to ask any questions that you may have about oral care for kids. What are some of the questions that you should consider asking during your child’s first dental appointment? Well, the simple answer is: whatever you want! But if you’re stumped about where to begin, check out the info below to get started. Questions About How to Care for Your Child’s Teeth at Home In between dental appointments, it will be up to you to help keep your kid’s chompers in tip-top shape. So, at this first dental appointment, you can ask questions that will guide you towards providing the best care possible. Questions might include: When should I start brushing my little one’s teeth, and how do I go about doing so correctly? How often should I brush my child’s teeth? Should I floss my child’s teeth as well? If so, how do I do it correctly? What type of toothbrush is best for kids? What type of toothpaste is recommended for kids? Is fluoride toothpaste safe? And how much toothpaste should I use? Is it important to prevent cavities in baby teeth, since they’re going to be replaced anyway? How do I prevent cavities from developing in my child’s baby teeth? What is bottle rot, and should I be concerned? What are the best foods and drinks to help keep kids’ teeth healthy? What should I do if my child develops a toothache, bleeding gums, or other symptoms? Questions About the Growth of Your Child’s Mouth Being aware of what to expect when it comes to teething and the development of your child’s mouth is also important. So, you can ask questions like: What can I expect when my child is teething? Which teeth will come in first? What remedies do you recommend when teething symptoms arise? Will thumbsucking or the use of a pacifier affect the way my child’s mouth develops? How can I stop my kid from sucking his or her thumb? Will there be enough space for all of the teeth to grow in properly? Is my child’s bite properly aligned? Do you think my kid will need orthodontics? Questions About Professional Dental Care for Your Child Other great questions to ask include those that will help you become familiar with what to expect when you take your child to the dentist. Here are some examples: What will you do during check-ups? Are dental X-rays safe for children? What types of X-rays do you use? When will X-rays be taken, and how many will be taken? Do you recommend treatments, such as sealants, to help prevent cavities? What steps will you take to help keep my child calm? Do you offer sedation for kids when they need treatment? What should I do during a dental emergency, such as if a tooth is damaged or knocked out? Use Insurance to Make It Easier to Afford Your Child’s Dental Appointments Like adults, it’s best for kids to see the dentist often. After the first visit, which can be around your little one’s first birthday or when the first tooth starts growing in, the dentist might recommend bringing your child in for a check-up on a regular basis, such as every six months. This can help you be sure that your child’s mouth is developing and growing in a healthy way. Worried about being able to afford all of those appointments? A smart strategy might be to buy dental insurance that will cover your entire family! At Spirit Dental, you can find family plans that are affordable and can help you save money, taking the pressure off your wallet when it’s time for your child’s appointments. Ask Questions, Learn, and Gain Confidence as a Parent! Now that you have a better idea of some of the questions that you can ask during your child’s first dentist appointment, you can use the visit as an opportunity to learn more about what you can do to help keep your kid’s mouth as healthy as possible! Sources: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/childs-first-dental-visit#1 https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/dental-visits/how-often-should-you-go-to-the-dentist-a-dental-visit-plan-for-your-child https://alangoldendds.com/top-10-questions-to-ask-your-childs-dentist/ https://www.evansondds.com/10-questions-to-ask-your-pediatric-dentist/ https://alangoldendds.com/questions-parents-ask-pediatric-dentists/ https://thedentalexpress.com/dental-blog/parents-ask-your-childs-dentist https://www.romper.com/p/14-questions-to-ask-the-pediatric-dentist-at-the-first-visit-19199835
You already know that there are toothbrushes made especially for children. But how can you be sure that you’ll select the right one? Well, there are several features that you can look for, and you can also take your child’s age into consideration while you shop. Continue reading to learn about how to select the best toothbrushes for kids. And remember: if you aren’t sure about which direction to take, just consult with your child’s dentist to get the personalized answers you need. A Few General Tips to Get Started As you shop for a toothbrush for your child, keep the following in mind: Check the size of the brush head. Generally, brush heads that are anywhere from ½” to 1” in length are considered a good way to go. The younger your child, the smaller the brush head should be. Basically, you want the bristles to reach the chompers in the back of the mouth, and you also want the brush to clean every surface of every tooth, all while being comfortable. It’s a good idea to stick with brushes that feature soft bristles. Harder bristles might affect your little one’s gums and enamel, potentially leading to damage or irritation, especially if your child brushes with too much force. Don’t worry, the soft bristles will get the job done when it comes to cleaning teeth and gums! Look for a toothbrush with a handle that’s designed to be comfortable and easy for kids to hold while they learn to brush their teeth. Younger children might have trouble holding a slimmer handle, so sticking with brushes with thicker handles may be helpful. You can also search for a colorful toothbrush that’s designed to get kids excited for daily brushing sessions. After all, it can be tough to motivate children to brush their teeth every morning and every night! Choose from fun designs that showcase popular characters, such as cartoons or superheroes. You might be surprised by how well this simple strategy works when it comes to encouraging little kids to brush regularly! Note: It might take a little trial and error to find a toothbrush that’s just right for your child, so don’t get discouraged. The goal is to find one that works well, but it should also be one that your child will gladly use. Keep Your Child’s Age in Mind Should you take a kid’s age into consideration when shopping for a toothbrush? Yes! For a toddler, it’s a good idea to go with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush that has a thick handle and a petite brush head. If the grip is soft and comfortable, it can help make it easier for your little one to hold and control the toothbrush. Once your child is around 4 or 5 years old, it might be easier for them to hold a brush that has a thinner handle. And once your child is around 8 years old, they might be ready to graduate to a toothbrush that’s a bit larger but still appropriately sized for kids. Should You Go with Manual or Electric Toothbrushes? Just as there are manual and electric brushes for adults, there are electric options for children as well. Some parents might opt to give their kids an electric toothbrush when they’re a little older, such as 7 years old, while other parents might decide to start using one when their child is just 3 years old. You might want to go with an electric toothbrush if your child gets more excited by a product that’s high-tech and simple to use. Some kids, however, might prefer a manual brush instead of a noisy electric product. It’s all about working with your little ones to figure out what they prefer! When shopping for an electric toothbrush for kids, the same basic rules apply. Look for a small brush head, soft bristles, and a cushioned handle that is easy for your child to hold. Fun designs, colors, and characters can help motivate your kids to brush twice daily. Plus, some electric brushes might have extra features, such as a timer and interactive app, that can help make brushing even more fun. Note: If your child has braces, an electric brush might make it easier to keep their pearly whites clean. Daily Brushing and Dental Appointments Help Maintain Your Child’s Oral Health Once you’ve found a high-quality toothbrush that your kid wants to use, it’s simply a matter of making sure they brush twice a day. And don’t forget to make appointments with a dentist you trust. That way, your child’s mouth can be examined and professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Take your time when shopping for a toothbrush for your son or daughter. Selecting the right brush can help make it easier to instill healthy oral hygiene habits in kids, and it will also help you rest assured that those tiny chompers are being cleaned properly every day. Sources: https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/selecting-dental-products/kids-toothbrushes-what-to-buy-for-your-child https://www.chemistdirect.co.uk/oral-b-toothbrush-shapes-and-sizes https://www.patientconnect365.com/dentalhealthtopics/article/Three_Tips_for_Buying_the_Right_Toothbrush_for_Your_Kids https://www.salafamilydentistry.com/choosing-right-toothbrush-child/ https://www.funtasticdental.com/kids-dental-care-choosing-right-toothbrush/ https://askthedentist.com/best-electric-toothbrush-kids/ https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/kids/finding-best-electric-toothbrush-kids/