Taking care of children’s teeth is not very different from caring for adult teeth. The treatment principles are the same, just performed on a smaller scale. However, a dentist who offers pediatric dental services will always cater their treatment and oral health education to the patient’s age. This helps enhance the child’s as well as their family’s level of understanding of oral hygiene and dental procedures. It also encourages the child to become more familiarized and comfortable in the dentist’s office. Schedule an appointment today at West Allen Dental.
The #1 most common childhood disease is tooth decay.
Pediatric cleanings and oral exams are just like cleanings and oral exams for adults. After the necessary x-rays are taken on your child, the dentist will examine their mouth and x-rays, to look for potential oral health and oral development issues. Then the dentist will clean your child’s teeth.
During this appointment, you’ll have an opportunity to speak with the dentist about what to expect at different stages of your child’s oral development, such as erupting baby teeth, losing baby teeth and growing adult teeth. We’ll go over proper at-home oral care and hygiene for different age groups, and discuss nutritional information and how diet is related to oral health.
Dental sealants use a transparent liquid resin, which is applied directly to the teeth and is hardened using a special light. This creates a barrier on your child’s tooth, which stops bacteria, acid and food particles from causing cavities. This treatment is usually recommended specifically for the cavity-prone rear teeth.
Fluoride treatments consist of a fluoride gel or paste that is “painted” onto your child’s teeth after a teeth cleaning. The fluoride helps remineralize and strengthen your child’s teeth and can even reverse “soft spots” which is the first stage of tooth decay.
Stainless steel crowns are recommended when the tooth cannot be restored with just a filling. They are pre-fabricated in a variety of sizes and are placed directly onto your child’s tooth to cover and protect it from further damage and decay. The dentist will remove the decay from your child’s tooth and trim the tooth before placing the crown over the tooth.
A space maintainer may be required if your child loses a baby tooth early. This dental prosthetic is made to sit between your child’s healthy teeth, resting in the gap where their missing tooth used to be.
By doing so, the space maintainer prevents the surrounding teeth from shifting toward the now-empty socket, which is common after tooth loss. This ensures that your child’s permanent tooth will erupt properly when it’s ready. Without a space maintainer after premature tooth loss, adult teeth may not erupt in the right spot and may require orthodontic intervention.
Also known as a “baby root canal,” a pulpotomy is used to open up your child’s tooth and remove the infected pulp from the inside of the tooth chamber. This is required if their tooth has become infected due to untreated decay or an oral injury.
After the area is disinfected, a special healing dressing will be applied to the remaining pulp. This procedure helps retain the baby tooth in place until the adult tooth is ready to come in.
Cavities can be caused by the transmission of bacteria from a mother to her infant.
The answer may surprise you. It’s recommended by the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) that children start seeing the dentist when they’re 1 year old, or whenever their first tooth erupts.
Is your child a little older? You should bring them to the dentist for an appointment as soon as you can to ensure their teeth and mouth are healthy and strong.
Going to the dentist early and regularly helps your child become more familiar with the process of regular dental visits, making them less likely to be anxious about going to the dentist as they grow up. Seeing the same dentist regularly throughout your child’s early years will also allow the doctor to become more familiar with your child’s teeth. They’ll be able to identify any potential oral development issues early, and take the proper action to ensure their teeth stay strong and healthy. These regular appointments also encourage children to build better life-long oral health habits.
The most important thing you can do to prepare your child to see the dentist is to speak about it positively.
Drinking a bottle of milk or breastfeeding right before bed puts your child at a higher risk for tooth decay.