Dr. Olsen and Dr. McKenna both have small children and enjoy treating the children of the practice. It is very important to start kids at a young age with a great dental experience that encourages them to maintain a healthy smile for the rest of their life. At West Prairie Dental we recommend seeing children for the first time at age 2 or 3, or earlier if the parents have any concerns.
Sealants fill in the grooves of the back molars to prevent plaque and bacteria from getting into the grooves and causing decay. We recommend sealants on children's 6 and 12 year molars to help prevent cavities through the childhood years when teeth are more susceptible to decay.
At West Prairie Dental we use Flouride varnishes that, when applied to the teeth at regular dental visits, can significantly reduce the decay rate in children. These varnishes are better than the traditional foams or gels because studies show that they stick to the teeth much longer and are significantly more effective in preventing cavities.
As children develop it is crucial to monitor early signs of jaw and teeth development. Digital panoramic x-rays beginning at age 6 or 7 along with careful dental examinations allow us to identify any irregularities in growth. This early diagnosis can result in timely referrals to the orthodontist whom we have developed a close relationship with. In some cases there are some early orthodontic treatments that can help limit the need for more costly and involved treatments in the future.
It is very important to monitor and help limit a child’s oral habits such as finger sucking and pacifier use. At West Prairie Dental we will monitor these habits at cleaning appointments and help advise parents on how and when to intervene. Early intervention can stop these habits before they do damage to the developing jaw bones and teeth.
Most kids do great with dental treatment. However, if your child is anxious about treatment or has a strong gag reflex they can benefit from the use of Nitrous Oxide. Nitrous Oxide, also called "laughing gas" because it relaxes kids sometimes to the point of laughter, can help make the experience much more comfortable for your child.