High-quality pediatric dental care can set the patient up for a healthy smile well into adulthood. Today, our San Francisco dentists are sharing information about helping children develop healthy dental habits.

  1. Good habits start early

Research has shown that young patients who have positive, consistent dental experiences are more likely to carry healthy habits into adulthood. Think of it this way: your children can practice proper dental hygiene techniques on primary teeth, before permanent adult teeth even come in. Childhood is the perfect time to get your kids used to brushing twice a day, and flossing every night. Take this opportunity to teach your children about proper brushing technique—using small circular motions to buff plaque from dental enamel, and brushing for at least two minutes every morning and night.

  1. Even damage to primary teeth matters

While it is true that a child’s primary teeth will fall out at some point, it is still very important to keep them as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Remember, primary teeth are necessary in order for children to develop healthy speech patterns, and in order for them to expand their diets. Primary teeth also serve as “placeholders,” so to speak, for adult teeth; they help to ensure that there will be enough room along your gum line for permanent teeth to emerge. Additionally, infections that begin in a child’s teeth can quickly spread to oral tissues and even the jawbone.

  1. There are oral hygiene products that are just right for kids

When helping your child establish an oral hygiene routine, take the time to select the right tools for the job. Keep in mind that young children, those that are prone to swallowing toothpaste, should not use formulations that contain fluoride. There are kid-friendly toothpastes on the market that are fluoride-free. You also want to ensure that the head of the brush is small enough to reach your child’s back molars.

To learn more, or to schedule a consultation with our San Francisco family dentists, please give our office a call, or use the Contact Us page to submit an inquiry. 



People of all ages may decide that their teeth are in serious need of Invisalign, but Dr. Robert M. Walley often works with teenagers because, for many reasons, tackling crooked teeth at a younger age often makes the entire process much easier.


This isn’t to say that adults can’t also get Invisalign if the need for it arises, but for a handful of reasons, knocking out orthodontic care earlier on in a person’s life is the simpler, more convenient option.

Why Orthodontic Care Works Best in Adolescents


Teens can receive all the same benefits of Invisalign as adults, but there are a few extra advantages for adolescents, including:


Teenagers’ Mouths Are More Malleable


The simplest reason to undergo Invisalign (or any orthodontic care) as a teenager is because that is the ideal time to do so from a biological standpoint. By the age of 11-to-13, most people have lost all of their baby teeth and the majority of the permanent teeth have come in. That gives orthodontists a clean slate to work with in terms of correcting bad bites, improper tooth spacing, or poor alignment.


These types of issues will not simply get better on their own as the patient ages, but they will become more difficult to deal with as the teeth grow used to their permanent locations and plant themselves in the gums. Since adolescent bodies are still growing, their mouths are more malleable, which allows Invisalign devices to do their job more easily.


The Process Doesn’t Take as Long


Because the mouth is more malleable at that age, the process of getting Invisalign often does not take as long to complete. Teeth in the mouths of adults—especially older adults—are more stubborn and therefore take longer to move permanently. If worn properly, the process should take about 12 months for teens, but it certainly can take a little longer for adults. As is the case with all orthodontics, no one wants to drag out the process.


There’s Less of a Stigma at a Younger Age


No one thinks twice about a teenager with braces or Invisalign because it’s a perfectly normal thing to see in people that age. In fact, some would argue that going through orthodontic care is a rite of passage, but for adults the same isn’t necessarily true. Some adults that get Invisalign grow insecure about wearing implements most often associated with teenagers, meaning if they could be worn during the teen years, that social stigma would never have to be a consideration. In fact, we’ve even heard stories of adolescents making friends because they were wearing orthodontic implements like Invisalign. It can be a bonding experience at that age where it typically is not for adults.

Schedule an Appointment With an Experienced Orthodontist

None of this is to say that adults should not get Invisalign if they feel they need it. As your San Francisco dentist, Dr. Walley wants to help everybody that feels their bite needs an aesthetic overhaul, no matter their age. Still, much of the process is easier if tackled during the teen years, and in our experience, people want their orthodontic care to come as easy as possible.

When you’re faced with dental damage, you want to seek treatment as soon as possible. Generally speaking, treating dental issues is easier, more comfortable, more convenient, and less expensive the earlier it is completed.

Today, our San Francisco dentists are here with some information that will help you spot dental irregularities before they become severe. Keep reading to learn more!

Perhaps the easiest changes to notice are those visible changes to your smile:

  • Dark spots on your dental enamel (some types of discoloration are purely cosmetic, while others occur because bacteria have infiltrated the tooth)
  • Especially red or swollen gum tissue
  • Frequent blood when you brush or floss your teeth (this can indicate gum disease that is worsening into periodontal disease)
  • Cracks or chips in the dental enamel

Additionally, you may find that your mouth feels different than usual:

  • Your teeth may feel rough or grimy, rather than smooth, when you run your tongue over your dental enamel (this rough coating occurs due to bacterial plaque and tartar building up on the natural tooth structure)
  • You might find that your breath is stale or malodorous; this occurs due to a proliferation of oral bacteria in the mouth
  • If you experience increased sensitivity, either on a tooth or around your gum tissue, this may indicate an ongoing infection. Please do not ignore this type of discomfort, or over-medicate it with numbing agents; over time the damage will compound.

Staying aware of any changes to your smile, and your mouth in general, will help you take control of your dental health and make strong decisions for your oral health. Our San Francisco dentists can give you additional information and guidance; please feel free to give us a call, or use the Contact Us page on our website to reach out to our team.

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