Why Taking Your Toddler to the Dentist Is Important

Closeup of a brunette toddler with a pink bow in her ponytail after her parents took her to the dentist

Within six months of when your child’s first tooth erupts (which can happen as early as six months of age), it’s time to take them to the dentist! It may seem crazy to take your baby or toddler to the dentist because their teeth are only temporary, right? Well actually, it’s not crazy to teach your children good oral hygiene habits when they are young; it’s smart-parenting! Here, we’ll explain why childhood dental care is critical to your child’s overall oral health.

What Is the Role of Baby Teeth?

Although baby teeth aren’t permanent, they play an essential role in a child’s oral health and development. Your child will learn to eat, talk, and smile with these first teeth, so making sure that they grow in healthy and remain clean is of utmost importance. Visiting Dr. Nguyen soon after your child’s first tooth arrives gives him the ability to carefully track your child’s oral development from the get-go, and identify any potential dental issues they may face in adulthood.

How Do I Care for My Baby’s Teeth?

Caring for baby teeth is similar to caring for adult teeth. Teach your toddler superb oral hygiene habits early by letting them watch you brush your teeth, providing them with age-appropriate toothbrushes and toothpastes (make it fun and let them choose their own toothbrush color and toothpaste flavor!), and helping them learn to moderate their consumption of candy, sugary snacks, and fruit juice. As your child gets older, encourage them to wiggle their loose baby teeth gently instead of allowing them to vigorously force them out. This will prevent them from damaging their gums and negatively impacting how their adult teeth grow in.

How Often Should I Bring My Child to the Dentist?

Bring your child to see us every six months to ensure that their teeth and gums are healthy and developing properly. Dental visits are an additional opportunity to educate your children on the importance of maintaining proper oral hygiene. Moreover, our friendly team can give you and your children tips, tricks, and techniques to jazz up your family’s oral hygiene!

Come Check Out Our Kid-Friendly Amenities!

If you’re looking for a family dentist here in Katy, look no further than Heritage Dental. We have a gentle team that strives to make our younger patients feel right at home. We even offer complimentary drinks and snacks in our lobby, TVs with Netflix® in our treatment rooms, and comfy pillows and blankets. Additionally, we are insurance-friendly, accept Medicaid and CHIP, provide an in-house Dental Savers Plan, and offer Saturday appointments! Contact us to schedule appointments for your entire family today.

Relax at Our Office with Dental Sedation

Dark-haired woman wearing a blue patterned shirt and red lipstick relaxes against a purple wall with her eyes closed

Does the thought of dental appointments give you sweaty palms? Many people suffer from dental anxiety, and it can impact your oral health if you skip out on seeing the dentist because of it. The good news is that it’s now more comfortable than ever to receive a dental treatment thanks to sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry helps you feel completely relaxed during your procedure, so that you can maintain great oral health without feeling any pain. At Heritage Dental, we’re proud to offer these types of dental sedation here at our practice.

1. Nitrous Oxide

Commonly known as “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide is a sweet-smelling gas that you simply inhale. It allows you to feel completely at ease yet conscious during your procedure. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off within minutes, so you won’t have to worry about feeling tired or out of it after your procedure.

2. Oral Conscious Sedation

Like nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation helps you feel sleepy and restful during your procedure, but you’ll be awake the whole time. All you have to do is take a prescription pill an hour before your treatment and the effects will start to kick in. The main difference between oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide is that it can take a while for the effects of the medication to wear off, so be sure to arrange for a ride home after your procedure is done.

3. The Wand

If the Wand sounds high tech, that’s because it is! We are excited to offer one of the latest advancements in dentistry to our patients. The Wand is a computer-controlled injection device that is able to deliver a steady flow of anesthesia during your procedure, so that you don’t have to go through a painful numbing process.

Heritage Dental Is Comfortable & Stress-Free

Aside from sedation dentistry, Heritage Dental offers a uniquely calm atmosphere so that you immediately feel at ease in our office. Help yourself to complimentary refreshments and WiFi and enjoy your favorite show on Netflix in our treatment rooms. We want you to feel stress-free and happy to see the dentist. If you have any questions about sedation dentistry or about any of the services we offer here at Heritage Dental, don’t hesitate to contact us. We hope to see you soon!

Floss Your Smile To Keep It Bright

Katy TX DentistOf course, you would expect to read about flossing on a dentist’s blog. Every time you visit the dentist you are asked whether you have been flossing regularly. Yet, do you know why the habit of flossing is seen as so important? If you truly understood what flossing does for your smile, you would rarely skip out on this vital habit.

Flossing is the most important thing you can do for your smile. Yes, you read that correctly. Now, if this shocks or surprises you, that means you truly do not know the benefits of flossing. You see, dental floss is the only tool designed to scrape away plaque from the teeth. Dental plaque is a dangerous substance that collects on the teeth throughout every single day. If you have ever run your tongue over your teeth at the end of the day and felt a fuzzy film coating them, then you know exactly what plaque feels like. And if you have ever scraped white stuff off from the sides of your teeth, then you know exactly what plaque looks like. It is a gross, sticky substance, and it is dangerous to your smile if it is not removed. (more…)

Got a Pain In the Tooth?

Katy TX Family DentistAt Heritage Dental, we want to know if you have a pain in the tooth. Our dental team understands that you or one of your family members may choose to avoid the dentist out of fear, or time constraints, or budget limitations. However, we also understand that avoiding the dentist will not relieve your pain – it will only make matters worse. The mouth is a very complex feature of the entire body. Unlike many areas, an issue with a tooth is not likely to go away on its own. If the proper intervention is not given within a proper time frame, you run the risk of excruciating pain and the loss of your tooth. (more…)

Gum Disease and Children

Katy TX Pediatric DentistGum disease is an infectious inflammation that can have serious effects on overall well-being. Severe gum disease is not pervasive in children, but it can and does happen.

The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis. The symptoms of gingivitis include bleeding gums, chronic bad breath, pus pockets near the gums, swollen, red, irritated gums, and gum tissue recession. (more…)

Fluoride Guards Against Cavities and Decay

Katy TX Family DentistAs children are growing, parents pay close attention to their developing teeth as they erupt and form. They want to monitor the teeth closely to set them up for a lifetime of good oral health. You teach them how to brush and floss, limit sugar, and eat a balanced diet.  Conversely, as they enter adulthood, teeth are no longer growing, and people sometimes become lax and less attentive about our own oral hygiene.

One of the key ways to keep teeth in their best shape is with fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral found in nature, many foods, and in city water. Each day you are taking in some fluoride, but you are also losing it as our teeth experience demineralization, or erosion, from oral bacteria. (more…)

Make Dental Visits a Priority

Katy TX DentistBusy lives and full schedules make priorities a necessity, otherwise important events slip through the cracks. Even things you know should be easy priorities often get put off or pushed aside. For instance, you know you should exercise 5x a week, yet work days are long, evenings are jam-packed with kids’ sporting schedules, dinner needs to be eaten, homework needs to be done – and it is often too late in the day to even think about exercising once you actually have the time. Many people find themselves in the same situation regarding dental visits: they know they should go to the dentist and they even made their appointment, but when it comes time for the appointment it is often difficult to juggle the demands of a work day around a visit to the dentist. Yet, neglecting to go to the dentist affects more than “just” your oral health, and should, therefore, be a priority that you keep. (more…)

Gum Disease and Pregnancy

Katy TX General DentistPregnancy is a huge moment in time for a woman, whether it is her first pregnancy or her fifth. During the nine months of pregnancy, there is a lot to be done: tell friends and family, make and keep prenatal appointments, decorate a nursery, buy all the essentials, and make and keep dental appointments. Wait, dental appointments? Yes.

During pregnancy, huge changes occur in a woman’s body – more than just a growing abdomen. The entire body must accommodate the development of a growing baby which includes the respiratory system rising to accommodate more oxygen that the mother and baby needs, the blood supply doubling, the breasts growing and preparing to produce milk, and the hormones drastically fluctuating to adapt to the developing baby and for the preparation for delivery. To fully appreciate that all of that occurs in just nine months is actually remarkable! (more…)

Receding Gums

smiling couple out shopping togetherPeople overlook many things regarding their health assuming that they will “just go away.” While the body is designed with amazing healing properties, intervention is often necessary to ensure that certain issues do not wreak havoc on your life. Receding gums is an issue that many people tend to overlook until severe consequences have occurred. The gum tissues within the mouth serve two vital roles: 1) helping the jaw bone hold the teeth securely in place, and 2) protecting the roots and nerve fibers of the teeth. When the gum tissue recedes, the health of the teeth is vulnerable to deterioration. (more…)

Importance of a Good Dental Routine

Katy TX DentistHaving a routine in place is a helpful way to achieve your goals. Without a routine, many people find that they either take longer to reach their goals or do not reach them at all. All a routine is, is a plan laid out to help you reach a certain objective. Routines do not need to be complicated. In fact, a simple routine often provides an easier path to where you want to go. When it comes to your oral health, making it through life with a healthy and complete smile is the ultimate objective. By following the steps below, you will have simple strides for implementing a good dental routine. (more…)