Children can feel anxious and uncomfortable when they visit the dentist. That’s why it’s important to find a pediatric dentist who can help your child feel comfortable.
Pediatric dentists receive additional training to care for children’s oral health and teeth from infancy through adolescence. They often work with dental anesthesiologists who are trained to perform complex sedation procedures.
American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend children visit the dentist at minimum once a year. This helps to prevent cavities and tooth decay, which can cause pain, trouble sleeping and other health issues in children.
Dentists are also important for helping children learn good dental hygiene habits, which can lead to a lifetime of healthy teeth. Healthy teeth are good for children’s speech and chewing ability.
The first thing a dentist does when a child visits is to check their gums and teeth. They will then perform a cleaning, which is usually followed by fluoride treatment.
They may also take an x-ray, which is a picture of the inside of your mouth. They can help the dentist detect hidden problems, such as periodontal disease and tooth decay.
During a dental exam, dentists will also screen for tooth decay, oral cancer and any other underlying medical conditions. They will also discuss lifestyle factors that can affect a person’s dental health.
A general dental examination can take from several minutes to an hour depending on the extent of a patient’s oral health. A comprehensive exam takes much longer and looks in detail at the entire mouth, including the head and neck area.
For some people, visiting the dentist can be scary and uncomfortable. It’s important to find a dentist who makes you feel comfortable and at home.
Your child’s dentist may recommend that your child receive fluoride treatments to prevent cavities. The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that kids receive fluoride treatments at least twice a year to help protect their teeth from tooth decay.
Fluoride is a mineral that helps the body better utilize minerals like calcium, phosphate, and magnesium. These minerals bond with your child’s enamel to make it stronger. When your child eats, the bacteria in their mouth digest dietary sugars and produce acids that weaken tooth enamel and can lead to early-stage tooth decay.
Fluoride is a way to remineralize your child’s tooth enamel and repair any weak spots. As a result, your child’s teeth become less susceptible to decay for a lifetime when they receive regular fluoride treatment.
This is because the fluoride that is added to your child’s water and toothpaste bonds with minerals that are already in their saliva to further strengthen their teeth’s enamel. It is also incorporated into your child’s developing permanent teeth to make them less likely to develop cavities when they grow in.
In addition to the professional treatment that your child’s dentist provides, a variety of fluoride products are available over-the-counter, including toothpaste and mouth rinses. These products can be less effective than professional treatments, but still contain enough fluoride to fight cavities.
The ADA recommends that children should be treated with topical fluoride twice a calendar year to reduce the risk of tooth loss. These treatments are usually performed by a dental assistant, who will paint a thin coating of varnish on your child’s teeth.
One of the best ways to prevent tooth decay is to ensure that children brush their teeth and floss daily. These habits can build up over time and help protect the molars (back teeth) from cavities that can form in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth, such as the grooves and pits on the chewing surfaces of the molars.
Children who have a high risk of developing dental decay can be given dental sealants, which are thin coatings that are painted on the chewing surfaces of permanent teeth. These sealants are particularly effective for molars as they are more susceptible to cavities than other teeth.
Sealants for children are easy to apply. The dentist first cleans the tooth and then applies a special liquid. Then, he or she rinses the tooth and dries it. Then, the dentist paints a sealant material onto the tooth and hardens it using a special light.
The sealant can be kept in place for a long period of time once it is applied to the tooth. This is a great preventative measure for kids because it can save them from expensive dental treatment later on, such as fillings and crowns.
American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend children get sealants as soon as their permanent molars are in. This is around age 6 for 1st molars and 12 for 2nd. They can last up to nine years and need regular checkups from your child’s dentist so that they maintain protection.
Orthodontic treatment refers to the process of straightening your teeth using appliances that apply force. They are often called “braces.” The benefit of orthodontic treatments is that they change the way your child’s smile looks and helps them speak clearly.
Straight teeth are also easier for you to clean. This prevents gum disease and tooth decay. This can help to keep your children’s smiles brighter and reduce the chance of them needing dental work later in life.
In addition, straight teeth make your kids’ smiles more attractive and enhance their self-esteem. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends your child have an evaluation at seven years old to determine if treatment is necessary.
Phase One, or interceptive treatment, is the first stage of orthodontic treatment. It aims to guide your child’s jaw growth and teeth development, as well as correct any alignment or bite issues that may have occurred. This is the first stage in orthodontic treatment and tends to last between six months and a year.
Early orthodontic treatment has the advantage of making it easier to correct some issues, as the jaw bone is still soft. If you leave these problems untreated, it can lead to more serious, expensive, and more difficult problems in the future. It is better to get them treated sooner.
Because they are trained to care for children’s specific needs, a dedicated pediatric dentist is the best choice. They can ensure that your child gets the best care possible in a kid-friendly environment, ensuring that they have a healthy and happy smile for life.
X-rays are radiographs used to identify and treat dental issues that the dentist can’t see with a normal oral examination. When they are taken, they provide a better visual picture of your child’s teeth and help the dentist to catch problems early, when they are easier to treat and less expensive to repair.
Children should have X-rays done as part of their routine dental visits. These visits are necessary for a variety of reasons.
Dentists follow the ALARA principle (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) when determining when X-rays are needed, and they take a conservative approach to X-rays to keep your child safe from radiation exposure. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children with a high risk of developing cavities or a higher likelihood of developing dental disease should have their bitewing Xrays taken every six months.
Another X-ray used by pediatric dentists is periapical X-rays, which provide a more focused view of your child’s teeth and allow the dentist to spot any signs of tooth decay. Because these Xrays require radiation protection, they are less common for children than for adults.
Radiation levels that your child receives in routine Xrays are very low compared to the natural background radiation that all of us are exposed to. There is always the possibility that your child may need an Xray. Therefore, it is important that you weigh your child’s needs and the risks associated with Xrays.