Your child’s smile is special and unique, which is why it needs the attention and care of a qualified oral health professional. Dr. Stella Kim at Oronoco Dental in Alexandria, Virginia, is a skilled dentist who provides pediatric dentistry services for her younger patients so that they can achieve and maintain oral health and beautiful smiles.
Pediatric dentistry is dental care that caters specifically to younger patients. Children have different needs than adults, and pediatric dentistry takes that into account when creating a warm, educational, and compassionate dental experience.
A good pediatric dentist needs to do more than just provide exceptional oral health care. For many younger patients, a trip to the dentist is a new and potentially frightening experience, so a good pediatric dentist needs to create an environment that’s friendly and welcoming. They should be able to relate to your child on a personal and emotional level, make them feel safe and secure, and assuage any anxiety that might arise during their visit.
A good pediatric dentist also needs to be able to teach your child about optimal oral health habits and inspire them to take good care of their smile. Dr. Kim is passionate about helping her young patients keep their smiles as healthy and beautiful as possible.
Dr. Kim offers many of the same services for her pediatric patients as she does for her adult patients, like X-rays, dental cleanings, fillings, and more advanced procedures. She also places a strong emphasis on preventive care for her pediatric patients and often recommends dental sealants or fluoride treatments.
Dental sealants are a way to help protect your child from developing cavities on permanent molars. They’re a plastic material that Dr. Kim paints onto the chewing surfaces of your child’s newly erupted adult molars, where they harden to create a smooth surface. This makes it more difficult for food debris and bacteria to get stuck in your child’s teeth, which decreases the incidence of cavities.
Fluoride treatments are another method for giving your child extra protection from cavities. Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens your tooth enamel and makes it more difficult for the acids and bacteria in plaque to create a hole. Dr. Kim typically performs fluoride treatments after your child’s dental cleaning and can administer it with a varnish.
Dr. Kim recommends starting your child’s dental visits soon after their first birthday.
While your child likely won’t have any oral health concerns at that age, it’s important to begin dental appointments early to build a good rapport with the dentist and start developing good oral health habits.