September 18, 2019

Why Kids Need Dental Checkups

Even though the answer to this question may seem simple enough, did you know that most American children don’t have their first dental appointment until they’re more than 2 years old? Whether we’re talking about a baby whose first teeth are just starting to cut through, or a 6 year old that’s finally losing their primary teeth, the need for consistent dental checkups doesn’t change.

So, to help answer the many questions that parents have regarding their children’s oral health, we’ve decided to take an in-depth look at why pediatric dentistry is so important. In this article, we’ll be covering all of the most common concerns, as well as some questions you may not have even considered.

1. Baby Teeth Are More Important Than You Think

Because your child’s first set of teeth eventually fall out anyway, it’s easy to think they’re not all that important. However, most parents are surprised to learn just how integral baby teeth are to the future development of their child’s oral health.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), keeping your child’s baby teeth in place until they fall out naturally is important for the following reasons:

– Normal speech development
– Sufficient spacing for permanent teeth
– Proper chewing helps maintain good nutrition
– A healthy smile helps your child feel good about themselves

That’s right, those cute little pearly whites that make each and every smile a picture worthy moment do a lot more than simply fall out. Because of this we recommend that you take your child to the dentist early in life to help get them comfortable with the dentist and to make sure their teeth are healthy.

Doing so will help parents build a regular checkup schedule that can keep your child’s oral health on track year after year.

2. Tooth Decay Affects 40% of Kindergarteners

Just because your child’s first set of teeth are only temporary doesn’t mean they can’t suffer from the same tooth decay that permanent teeth are susceptible to. The main reason this statistic is so high ultimately comes down to the quality of oral care performed at home.

Taking your child in for regular dental checkups (recommended at least 2 per year) will not only help ensure their teeth are growing properly, but it can also help keep you up to date with the best dental hygiene practices.

Even though the purpose of pediatric dental checkups is to make sure the patient’s teeth are healthy, here at Inland Family Dentistry, we spend a lot of time making sure both parents and children are fully educated on what they can be doing to prevent common oral problems such as tooth decay and gingivitis.

3. Baby Teeth Need Professional Cleaning Too

Your child’s teeth are no different than your own, and the recommendation is to get a dental cleaning every 6 months; the true is same for your children and their baby teeth. Taking your child in for regular dental checkups can also help give you peace of mind.

Similar to permanent teeth, primary teeth (baby teeth) are littered with tough to reach places and susceptible to plaque that can build up along the gumline. Visiting your local dentist on a regular basis will take care of the stubborn plaque and tartar that even the best of home routines can’t get rid of.

Additionally, having a consistent dental provider and office makes it easier for both you and the dentist to stay on top of the various changes that are constantly taking place in your child’s mouth. Between X-rays, detailed records, and the invaluable bond your dentist will form with you and your child, it only makes sense to schedule regular checkups!

Is Your Child Ready For Their Dental Checkup?

At Inland Family Dentistry, we often start a child’s dental experience by exposing them to mom or dad’s dental appointment. Often one family member will bring in the child while a parent has his or her teeth cleaned. They can also observe a sibling as well. This experience makes sitting in the dental chair fun. It also means the kiddo has plenty of time to play in the kids’ room and visit the treasure chest.

Over time and by creating a trusted environment for the child, dental cleanings become a welcome experience. Where else can you get orange flavored toothpaste and leave with a new trendy-themed toothbrush? Not to mention, one of our assistants takes great pride in making sure our toy selection is on point. Building the foundation for a long and healthy relationship for kids to take pride in their oral health is the goal. The saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure couldn’t apply better to dentistry. Teaching children to take care of their teeth is obviously the priority, but we think we can have loads of fun along the way.

We understand that finding the right dentist can be hard – but it doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t be! With more than 80 years of combined dental experience in the beautiful city of Walla Walla, we know what our patients are looking for and deliver nothing less than a comfortable, pleasurable experience with each and every visit.

So, whether you’re searching for a Walla Walla dentist to start your journey with, or happen to be switching from another office, sit back, relax, and let us show you how our team at Inland Family Dentistry has been working to make visiting the dentist a great experience for our patients.

We Focus on Building Relationships

We focus our practice around building genuine relationships with each and every patient. Rather than booking you right into a cleaning or treatment, we take the time to get to know you and your oral health journey. On your first visit, you’ll meet with one of our super-friendly dentists and go over any concerns or anxiety you might have about the dentist as well as any specific problems you might want to address.

That’s right, instead of telling you what’s wrong, we like to listen first and understand what you’d like to accomplish so we can better build a customized plan. Have lots of questions? Ask away! We want you to leave your initial visit feeling completely comfortable and fully confident about the proposed cleaning or treatment plan.

Of course, the relationship building doesn’t just stop with your dentist. Whether in the waiting room or taking some X-rays with one of our dental hygienists or assistants, you’ll always feel like more than just another patient.
Services We Offer
Our 80+ years of collective experience as Walla Walla dentists means we’re always staying on top of new services, treatments, products, and techniques to ensure our patients get nothing less than excellence.

Below, we’ve outlined the common services we offer so you can better gauge if we’re a good fit for your specific needs.

1. General Dentistry

At IFD, we proudly use a listen-first approach to general dentistry so that our patients feel heard and fully informed about everything we do during a visit. That means whether you’re popping in for a routine cleaning or you happen to be experiencing a troublesome toothache, we’re going to make sure your level of comfort is exactly where it needs to be.

We’ve heard far too many stories about patients that felt uncomfortable, anxious, and completely clueless as to what the dentist was doing – all of which can ultimately lead to a negative experience.

Our general dentistry services are designed around prevention above all else. Is your oral health not quite where you want it to be? Worry not, we’ll help you get it back on track in no time!

Understanding that prevention extends beyond the occasional visit to your dentist, we make sure all of our patients are equipped with the best dental hygiene practices.

2. Pediatric Dentistry

As a loving parent, it’s only natural to want the best in everything for your child – including the best dentist. Here at IFD, pediatric dentistry holds a special place in our hearts because we’ve seen hundreds of patients that have been emotionally scarred from negative dental experiences when they were younger.

As such, we go above and beyond for our pediatric patients to ensure their visits to the dentist are positive experiences. Our professional team has decades of experience working with children, which allows us to help shy or nervous kiddos.

Of course, our pediatric dentistry services don’t just apply to children that are happily growing into their first set of teeth – we also welcome parents with newborn babies who are in search of some guidance and dental hygiene tips.

Watching your baby grow up is exciting. A lot of oral development occurs in early life, and we are always happy to answer questions. So, no matter where your baby or child is on their dental journey, we’d be delighted to help them work their way into a set of healthy teeth.

3. Invisalign Clear Braces

Braces have come a long way over the last few decades. Dental occlusion, meaning how your teeth fit together, is an important component to oral health and craniofacial development as well. In our practice, we’re proud to offer Invisalign clear braces to eligible patients.

Giving the same smile-fixing benefits as traditional braces, Invisalign clear braces have been helping patients since 1997. With Invisalign, rather than having metal brackets and wires that can’t be removed, you get multiple sets of clear, fitted braces that slip over your teeth and can be taken off while eating or for cleaning.

Though they’re not available for all orthodontic work, Invisalign clear braces are able to fix a number of common issues such as crossbites, overbites, crowding, over spaced teeth, and more. As you progress through each set of aligners, you’ll get a front-row seat to the miraculous journey your teeth take.

If you’re interested in seeing if you qualify for Invisalign, give our office a call.

4. Sleep Apnea Treatment

Characterized by multiple breathing interruptions throughout the night, sleep apnea is believed to affect more than 22 million Americans. Because sleep apnea only occurs when you’re sleeping, most patients don’t even realize it’s a problem until they attempt to deal with the symptoms with little to no luck.

Here at Inland Family Dentistry, we’ve made the treatment of sleep apnea one of our core services since we understand just how detrimental it can be to a patient’s life. In fact, our very own Dr. Goyer is a diplomat of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM).

Having successfully treated hundreds of patients that suffer from sleep apnea, we take into account everything from your symptoms and oral health to the variety of appliances available so we can ensure a custom treatment plan that works.

If you have been diagnosed by your sleep physician and discussed oral appliance therapy as a viable option for treatment, give us a call or let your physician know you are interested in learning more about it. We can schedule a complimentary consultation. Worried your insurance might not cover it? We’re here to work with you on that too. The oral appliance is actually a medical benefit, and, additionally, we are able to bill Medicare if certain coverage criteria are met.

5. Dental Implants

Sometimes, life just happens, and you end up losing one (or more) of your permanent teeth unexpectedly. Whether from an accident, an untreated cavity, or gum disease, permanent tooth loss doesn’t have to be, well, permanent.

Thanks to modern technology, dental implants have come a long way in their four decades of use, both appearing and functioning in exactly the same way as a normal tooth. Here at IFD, we have an extensive amount of experience in dealing with all kinds of dental implant patients, ranging from single tooth replacements to multiple teeth on the top and bottom.

Because we understand just how detrimental missing teeth can be for your overall dental health, we explore every possible option with our patients to ensure they’re comfortable and informed about the available treatments.

Worried about the actual procedure? If you’re experiencing any kind of anxiety, your dentist will happily go through the entire process from start to finish so you fully understand what we’ll be doing to restore that stellar smile.

Let Us Be Your Walla Walla Dentist

So, how did all of that sound? See any services that fit what you’re looking for or address a specific problem you’ve been having? Believe it or not, that’s not even all of the services we offer. As one of Walla Walla’s dental care offices, we’re constantly looking for ways we can better serve our patients.

Come experience our listen-first, relationship-focused approach to dentistry that has allowed us to successfully treat and regularly see thousands of patients. Whether it’s something as simple as regular cleanings and checkups, or something more intensive like implants or dental work, we’re prepared to get your smile exactly where you want it.

From the moment you walk through our doors and into the warm, welcome waiting room, we’re confident you’ll feel the difference and know you’ve made the right choice. From our family to yours, we very much look forward to getting to know you and your smile.