Teeth play a key role in speech, chewing and overall development for children. A child’s teeth are regularly growing into adolescence and have their own unique set of issues, separate from adult teeth. For these reasons, it’s essential your child receive regular dental care. Based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should have a first dental visit before age one.
Why Visit a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists specialize in children’s dental issues, which may involve conditions specific to age or development. During these early years, children see their first baby teeth appear around six months old. Six or seven years later, those teeth fall out and are replaced by a set of permanent teeth. Over this period, a child may be dealing with thumb-sucking, teeth not coming in correctly or caries – a harmful, infectious early childhood disease that’s five times as common as asthma.
A pediatric dentist receives two extra years of training to diagnose and treat these issues, using equipment specifically designed for smaller teeth. Our team understands how to work with children who are going to the dentist for the first time and may be fearful or unable to sit still for longer periods.
Pediatric Dentistry Services
Pediatric dentistry visits from infancy through the early teen years focus on three goals: Prevention, education and treatment. Our dentists provide a welcoming environment for children, gently clean their teeth and help kids develop long-term oral health habits. What services are available at Smile Dental Center?
Comprehensive Oral Evaluation
We recommend scheduling an oral evaluation every six months. During these visits, one of our pediatric dentists performs an X-ray to determine the presence of cavities, tooth decay, extra emerging teeth, possible bone defects, tumors and cysts. This procedure also helps us see if previous pediatric dental procedures are having an effect.
With these results, our pediatric dentists can:
- See if your child has signs of caries.
- Offer recommendations to reduce pacifier usage and thumb-sucking.
- Determine if an over or under-bite is forming and how to correct it..
- Repair cavities and other superficial issues.
- Identify oral signs of diabetes, congenital heart defects, asthma, hay fever and ADHD.
- Quickly address and help your child manage ulcers, short frenulae, mucoceles, pediatric periodontal disease, enamel hypoplasia, amelogenesis and dentinogenesis imperfecta.
- Address fractured, displaced or knocked-out teeth, often due to an athletic injury.
Regular professional cleanings are key to reducing cavities, decay and other dental issues, as well as improving gum health. During these visits, we remove any tartar and plaque, polish the teeth to get rid of stains and prevent further buildup.
Quality dental care also rests on everyday teeth cleaning habits. We can work with your child to develop:
- Good nutritional habits
- Brushing and flossing techniques
- A dependable everyday dental routine
Fluoride is essential for improving teeth strength and reducing decay, which is why regular fluoride treatments are recommended for kids. Our pediatric dentists will apply this natural substance via a gel, foam or varnish, and will offer post-treatment tips to ensure the application is successful and effective.
Does your child seem at-risk for cavities or already have a superficial cavity forming? In these instances, a dental sealant may be recommended.
Made out of resin, a dental sealant is applied directly to the surface of their permanent teeth to block cavity formation. The substance helps fill in the crevices and gaps forming on the tooth’s surface and prevents food, plaque and other cavity-causing substances from getting in and exacerbating the issue.
During the visit, we start by preparing the teeth for the sealant. From here, we apply it directly to the chewing surface of the teeth, then wait for it to harden.
Sporting goods stores offer pre-formed versions, but to fully protect your child’s teeth and reduce discomfort, a custom-made mouth guard goes a long way. Schools require students participating in sports to wear mouth guards, so before the season begins, make an appointment with one of our pediatric dentists to have a custom mouth guard created for your child.
Is your child having issues or pain related to a recent dental procedure? Don’t wait. We see emergencies same day!