Children’s Dentistry

Berrien Dental Childrens Dentistry Patient LizWe enjoy working with our young patients and know that they have unique needs when visiting the dentist. We try not to push children so they find themselves fearful of the dentist’s office. We’d like their visit to to be as fun and comfortable as possible, and for them to build life-long relationships with the dentist’s office.

Dr. Christy and Dr. Balsis  parents of young children to bring them along to the parent’s routine dental visit so the child is able to see how things go at the visit, and become accustomed to our team and office.

We also propose that your child’s first visit be between twenty four months and 36 months of age. At that age we will begin to monitor the growth and development of their teeth and mouth.

When New Teeth Arrive:

Your child’s first tooth erupts between ages 6-12 months and the remainder of their 20 primary or “baby” teeth typically erupt by age three. During this time, gums may feel tender and sore, causing your child to feel irritable. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring.

Your child’s primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood, and their permanent teeth begin erupting at age six and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth, or 32 including wisdom teeth.

Pre-School Exam

At our dental practice, we know that kids as young as 2-3 should see our dentist! Prevention and early intervention can help maintain healthy, happy smiles for a lifetime!

Berrien Dental Childrens Orthodontics Patient EmmaBring Your Pre-Schooler In for a Visit About Braces

A lot of parents of young children didn’t wear braces when they were teenagers. In fact, a lot of them only had orthodontic treatment if their teeth were severely crooked and misaligned. Sometimes this had to do with the cost of orthodontic treatment. But, most of the time it was because parents didn’t recognize that a child’s teeth were bad, and their dentist didn’t raise the issue unless the parents asked about braces.

Back then, if there wasn’t enough space for all your teeth, the dentist simply pulled some permanent teeth. Of course, now, we now know that doing so was one of the worst things that could be done.

Only after today’s parents had grown up did we learn about the chronic oral health consequences of an unbalanced bite. Orthodontic dentistry is no longer just for straightening crooked teeth. There is much more than that to worry about. Misalignment and malocclusion can bring on chronic headaches and full-blown migraines. A misaligned bite can cause ringing in the ears and vertigo (dizziness). Completely healthy teeth can start to chip and wear away, producing a ragged-edged smile.

Worst of all, malocclusion usually isn’t something a parent can just “see”. It lurks in the background continuously exerting strain and pressure on the jaw joint, the teeth and the chewing muscles. Then, one day, your ace student can’t take the English test because of a migraine. Or, he can’t hit jump shots anymore because he has developed vertigo.

Berrien Dental Childrens Dentistry PalateThere are some real benefits in starting orthodontic treatment when children are much younger. The children usually don’t have to wear braces for a long period of time during those awkward teenage years. It is also much easier to expand the palate and allow room for all of the adult teeth to have the proper space to come in. In most of those cases, young children will not get braces, however they will have their palates expanded by an appliance. This will make their arches wider. It allows space in the mouth for all of the child’s adult teeth to properly grow.

Dr. Christy and Dr. Balsis have developed relationships with some excellent orthodontists in the area and can refer you and your child to an orthodontist if an exam reveals crowded or crooked teeth, or issues with the palate. We can help you choose the best orthodontist that meets the needs and temperament of your child.

Didn’t Fluoride Eradicate Cavities in the 60’s?

Scientists in the 1960’s found that fluoride helped build a stronger defense against the teeth’s enemies like bacteria and acids and sweets. And, yes, when fluoride was added to Berrien Springs, MI’s drinking water, the incidence of cavities dropped sharply. It was even predicted at one time that there would come a time when we wouldn’t need dentists anymore.

However, even the scientists of the 60’s couldn’t predict the development of Mountain Dew, Power Aid Energy Drinks and Gummy Worms. There is no way they could have foreseen that the average teenager would now eat their own weight in refined sugar every year. And, finally, even those scientists with a dark pessimistic vision of the 21st century, couldn’t imagine the power that high-fructose corn syrup would wield against fluoride, regular toothpaste and even daily flossing.

Tips For Your Family’s Oral Health:

• Limit frequency of meals and snacks.
• Encourage brushing, flossing and rinsing.
• Watch what your child drinks.
• Avoid giving your child sticky foods.
• Make treats part of meals.
• Choose nutritious snacks.

Ideal oral hygiene in your home is really important and needs to begin at a very young age. We take the time to instruct parents and children on proper brushing and flossing techniques to enable them to enjoy excellent oral health for a lifetime