The “First Dental Visit by First Birthday” According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child’s first dental visit should be completed when the first tooth comes in and no later than their 1st birthday. At SmileLand, we believe it’s never too early to start a lifetime habit of good dental health. Even though your child’s baby teeth will fall out as your child grows, those teeth are very important. If not cared for properly, baby teeth can develop cavities that, in turn, may affect your child’s permanent teeth. From six months to age 3, your child may have sore gums as their teeth erupt. Many parents use a clean teething ring, a cool spoon, or a cold wet washcloth. You also can rub the baby’s gums with a clean finger.
Thumb-sucking and the use of pacifiers can also develop dental problems if allowed to persist after 36 months. These habits may lead to overcrowded and crooked teeth, as well as bite problems. In some cases, the upper front teeth may tip toward the lip or not come in properly if thumb, finger, or pacifier sucking continues after 36 months. An appliance may be effective on children if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth arrive. Call SmileLand today to schedule your baby’s oral wellness checkup.
Fluoride is an element that research has proven to be helpful in the strengthening of tooth structure and prevention of cavities. Little or no fluoride will place a child at risk of developing cavities. Excessive fluoride ingestion can lead to dental fluorosis which is a discoloration of the permanent teeth. Our pediatric dentists use caries risk assessment as a tool to formulate a dosage and regiment of fluoride supplements tailored for each child in order to maximize the benefits of caries prevention.
Remember the days of biting down on hard cardboard while repressing the urge to spit it out? With today’s technology, taking X-rays of your child’s teeth is fast, simple and non-invasive. Safe and touch-free digital X-rays allow our team to see what is going on in your child’s mouth above and below the gum surface. This way we can plan the most effective treatment plan to keep your child’s smile beautiful.
With digital radiography, digital X-ray sensors are used instead of traditional film thus less radiation can be used to produce an image of similar quality. Advantages include time efficiency in processing and the ability to digitally transfer and enhance images for better diagnosis.
A sealant is a white or clear material that is placed on the chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth. Sealants protect your child’s teeth from decay by smoothing out the deep pits and fissures of your child’s posterior teeth. Sealants cover these grooves and help food and dental plaque slide off the tooth surface. Studies have shown that the pit and fissure caries account for approximately 80-90% of all caries in the permanent posterior teeth, and the application of sealants reduces the risk of caries in those susceptible areas.
Even children who brush and floss regularly can develop cavities. Especially teeth with tight contact with one another or with deep grooves on the chewing surfaces that put a child at a higher risk of developing cavities. But getting your child’s cavities filled doesn’t have to be stressful. At SmileLand, all methods of behavior management are used to make your child’s experience as fun and comfortable as possible. We offer the latest generation of high-quality tooth-colored fillings for your children. Composite tooth-colored fillings provide a viable and attractive alternative to silver fillings, which we do not provide in our office. These subtle restorations blend naturally with surrounding teeth.
When a tooth has deep decay, a developmental defect, or after baby root canal treatment, a simple filling may not be possible to restore the tooth. At times like these, your dentist may recommend a crown. Although maintaining the aesthetic quality of your child’s smile is a primary concern at SmileLand, a porcelain crown is not always the best answer. In such cases, we may recommend a stainless steel crown on back teeth. The stainless steel crown (SSC) on the back molar teeth is used to re-establish normal chewing function and speech development and continues to hold the space until the permanent tooth can take its place. The crown will stay until the tooth naturally falls out. Your child will clean around the base of their crown-like they do their natural teeth.
Some children cannot tolerate routine dental restorative procedures while awake in a normal clinical office setting. Young age, high anxiety, special needs, or extensive dental decay are the reasons that we recommend a child’s dental treatment be completed in a hospital setting. The use of the hospital under general anesthesia is an alternative means of providing comprehensive dental care for these patients. All dental treatment is performed under ideal circumstances and helps prevent the development of a lifelong fear of dentists and dental treatment in general. Once all of the caries have been addressed, good dietary and home care instructions are instituted at home for a path to healthy dental habits for your child.
Regular dental visits help your child stay cavity-free. Our pediatric dentists will provide an assessment of your child’s present oral health and make recommendations to their hygiene regimen to promote and maintain good oral health. This may include the need for supplemental fluoride, dietary modification, or an orthodontic evaluation to address crowding or an abnormal bite. An in-office teeth cleaning appointment removes plaque that can irritate the gums and cause tooth decay. In-office fluoride treatments will strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. A review of oral hygiene instructions will improve your child’s brushing and flossing habits, leading to cleaner teeth and healthier gums.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a dental check-up at least twice a year for most children. Some children need more frequent dental visits because of the increased risk of tooth decay, unusual growth patterns, or poor oral hygiene.
Baby teeth or primary teeth aren’t just for chewing. Baby teeth hold space for adult teeth or permanent teeth and also act as an eruption guide for permanent teeth. Early loss of primary teeth could cause permanent teeth to drift or erupt into the wrong position, leading to loss of arch length.
Ask our pediatric dentist for more details about space maintainers.
At SmileLand, we believe every child is special. But we are aware that some children have individual needs that may require extra care or handling during dental procedures. Special needs can range to anything from asthma to Down Syndrome and many other diagnoses in between.
You can trust that Our Pediatric Dentists and their team are well informed on a variety of special-health needs or conditions and have had additional training to treat and manage the oral health of such children in a safe manner. We will tailor your child’s visit to their unique condition so that your child can receive the comfortable, anxiety-free dentistry they need and deserve.
If your child does have special needs, please call ahead before your first appointment to provide us with specifics to their situation. This will help us make sure we are providing the best dental care possible for your child.
Dental cavities and traumatic injury are the two main reasons that teeth require nerve treatment or pulp therapy. Pulp therapy in children is often called a “baby root canal,” “Pulpotomy,” or “Pulpectomy.”
Our pediatric dentist will decide the best treatment options depending on the depth of cavities and the status of the nerve.