Not everyone appeals to children, and not all dentists are cut out to provide dental care to kids. As a family dentist in Duncan, OK, Dr. Matthew Bridges truly adores children. In fact, he had a career in software development, and a volunteer dental event for kids changed his life.
Dr. Bridges volunteered at Give Kids a Smile Day, a non-profit event in which dentists provide free dental care to underserved children. Attending this event shed light on what the software developer wanted to do with the rest of his life: care for kids and families. Dr. Bridges applied to dental school and earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) at the University of Oklahoma.
In dental school, Dr. Bridges thrived. He earned the Pierre Faughard Academy Junior Scholarship, and for the American Student Dental Association, he was Speaker of the House.
He then joined Dr. Schreiner’s practice, and Dr. Schreiner has since retired. Dr. Bridges bought the practice and changed the name to Chisholm Trail Smile Center.
To continue giving back to the community, Dr. Bridges volunteers with the American Dental Association Foundation, as well as the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy. He was President of the Southwest Dental Society from 2018 to 2021 and currently holds the role of Trustee in the Southwest region of the Oklahoma Dental Association. In 2021, Dr. Bridges was nominated for a fellowship in the American College of Dentists.
In short, Dr. Matthew Bridges loves being a Duncan, OK, dentist, and he still thoroughly enjoys caring for children at Chisholm Trail Smile Center.
Special Dental Care for Children
By Age One
The ADA and other reputable dental organizations suggest that a baby visit the dentist by his first birthday. At this “happy visit,” the child will become accustomed to the friendly faces and helping hands of the Chisholm Trail Smile Center team. Dr. Bridges will conduct a brief exam, just to ensure your baby’s mouth and teeth are properly developing.
Babies and Toddlers
After the very first tooth erupts in your baby’s mouth, you should begin using a small dot of non-fluoridated toothpaste and a soft baby’s toothbrush to clean the tooth/teeth in the morning and before bed. Around age three, toddlers understand how to spit toothpaste out after brushing, so they can advance to fluoridated toothpaste. Replace your child’s toothbrush every six months, and begin flossing once teeth touch one another. A child’s pre-threaded dental flosser makes the job easier.
When kids reach preschool age, around four or five, they can understand how to sit in the dental chair during dental cleanings and exams. So, at this age children should begin twice-a-year preventive checkups with Dr. Bridges.
When children start school, they still need Mom or Dad to inspect their brushing and flossing efforts. Children are prone to develop cavities and/or gingivitis if they don’t maintain effective daily oral care habits at home. (Kids who use an inhaler for asthma are at higher risk for gingivitis.) Even teenagers need daily dental care reminders, as well as regular dental checkups and cleanings.
To deter cavities, encourage your children and teens to drink water instead of soda, sports drinks, or flavored drinks like Kool-Aid. These beverages are high in sugar. The carbonation in sodas, as well as the acidity and sugar, can cause cavities. If your child is going to enjoy one of these beverages, encourage the use of a straw to limit contact between teeth and the harmful elements of the beverage.
Also, limit sweets and carbs. Sugars are carbohydrates, as are starches. Bad bacteria in the mouth consume the carbs and emit an acidic byproduct that causes tooth decay. An occasional sweet treat is fine, but be sure that your child rinses his mouth with water afterward, so carbs don’t sit on teeth.
Sealants & Fluoride Protect Young Teeth
As your family’s Duncan, OK, dentist, Dr. Bridges wants to protect your children’s teeth and gums from harm. He often recommends that children get dental sealants once molars develop in the back of the mouth. The sealant is a clear, protective coating that we paint onto the chewing surfaces of molars. It fills in small grooves and crevices to create a barrier against bad bacteria, acid, sugar, and other starches. Over time, sealants naturally and safely wear off.
Fluoride treatment in our office also protects tooth enamel against decay. Children benefit from a small amount of swallowed fluoride, which comes from the public water supply. Be sure that your kids drink tap water because bottled water doesn’t contain fluoride. Kids also benefit from topical fluoride. We offer a topical fluoride treatment that takes only a few minutes.
Fluoride is a cool mineral. It attracts calcium and phosphorus, minerals that strengthen tooth enamel. So, by coating teeth in fluoride, we prompt these minerals to naturally infiltrate enamel and strengthen it against decay.
Your Family Dentist in Duncan, OK
If you’re looking for a dentist to care for your loved ones, remember that Dr. Bridges entered dentistry as a result of a volunteer event that benefitted children. He loves kids! And your kids are sure to love him. Our entire team comes to work each day excited to serve the families of our community. Schedule appointments for everyone in your family. Call Chisholm Trail Smile Center at 580-255-4880 today.