Dr. Leonard Hess is a family dentist in Monroe, North Carolina. He sees children and young adults and helps them establish a solid foundation for long-term oral health. Our main focus for pediatric patients is on preventive dental care to establish a healthy long-term foundation and early detection of oral diseases. During a child’s first visit to our office, the goal is to make the child as comfortable as possible. The safety and happiness of your child are our staff’s priority. Pediatric dentistry is a general dentistry service that Dr. Hess provides to his patients in Monroe, NC.
Schedule a comprehensive dental exam and teeth cleaning for your child today.
Choosing a Family Dentist in Monroe, NC
Choosing a dentist for your family is an important decision. You want a dentist who can provide you with high-quality preventative dental care and be there for dental emergencies and other dental problems. While a pediatric dentist treats just children and adolescents, a family dentist is one who can grow with your children into adulthood. In addition, Monroe, NC families appreciate the convenience and flexibility that comes with having the entire family treated in the same dental office.
A Child’s First Visit to the Dentist
Starting regular visits to the dentist early will help teach your child healthy lifetime habits. Parents are encouraged to bring their children to the dentist no later than their first birthday. Our staff is trained to make children feel as comfortable as possible. Establishing a healthy patient-dentist relationship is important for your child’s development. This simple act can even help children avoid developing dental anxieties and fear of the dentist down the road.
How To Prevent Tooth Decay
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry estimates that over 50% of first-graders and 80% of 17-year-olds have cavities. Parents can do many things to ensure the health of their children’s teeth:
- Brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste (over age 2)
- Flossing once a day
- Limiting sugary drinks and beverages
- Following recommended guidelines for nursing, bottle, and sippy cup use
Importance of Primary Teeth
It is very important to keep primary teeth (baby teeth) in place and healthy until they are lost naturally. Primary teeth serve several critical functions:
- Maintain good nutrition by allowing children to chew properly
- Aid in speech development
- Promote good self-esteem
Dentistry for Teens and Young Adults
As children grow into teens and young adults, their concerns change. Teenagers are often conscious of their appearance, including that of their teeth. One of the most common concerns is crooked teeth. Dr. Hess offers orthodontic treatment options, including Invisalign, to help teens straighten their smiles.
Dental cavities continue to be a problem for adolescents. Dr. Hess may recommend sealants and composite fillings to help limit tooth decay. Dental sealants are a great economical way of protecting teeth from harmful sugars and bacteria.
Pediatric Dentistry FAQs
Is every dentist a pediatric dentist?
No, not every dentist is automatically a pediatric dentist. You may see many dentists that are family dentists. They work with patients of all ages, not really focusing on any specific age group. Pediatric dentists take special training to learn how best to work with children. They have a comforting presence for children and are adept at keeping them engaged and happy throughout their dentist visits.
What’s the most common dental problem for children?
Tooth decay and cavities are the most prominent dental issues for kids. Children have diets that are higher in sugar than those of adults. They’re also not as diligent about taking care of their teeth properly. While they may brush, their motor skills aren’t as good as those of adolescents and adults. It’s harder for them to get all of the areas of their mouth clean.
What teeth do children injure the most?
The front four teeth are most susceptible to trauma or damage in children. Children have active lifestyles and don’t have the greatest motor skills. Accidental trips, falls, and playground and sports injuries are common ways for children to hurt themselves.
Do I have to worry about my child’s baby teeth?
A common misconception is that you don’t have to worry about baby teeth since they’re temporary. But this isn’t the case. Baby teeth are extremely important for your child’s mouth development. Baby teeth save space for their permanent teeth, acting as placeholders so that they come in correctly. Losing teeth prematurely can impact the way the permanent teeth come into the mouth, making it more likely for crooked teeth in the future.
How long does my child go to a pediatric dentist?
Pediatric dentists typically see children from their first dental appointment to age 18-22 years. They focus on the growth and development of children’s mouths as they constantly change throughout childhood. We want to ensure your child’s mouth is healthy and prepared to take on adulthood.
What are dental sealants?
We may recommend dental sealants as an extra precaution for your children. We paint the material onto the teeth that are most susceptible to tooth decay. It dries on, providing an extra layer of protection between harmful bacteria and the tooth enamel. They’ve been shown to lower the rates of tooth decay and cavities in children.
Schedule an Appointment
Looking for a Monroe, NC, or Charlotte, NC area family dentistry office? Schedule an appointment with Union County Center for Comprehensive Dentistry today. We are currently accepting new patients! Give us a call at 704-240-5045 today, or request an appointment online.