Pediatric dentistry is the branch of dentistry that focuses on treating children. It involves the treatment of teeth and gums from childhood through adolescence. Pediatric dentists promote dental health of youngsters and serve as a valuable source of information for parents.
Pediatric dentists typically advise parents to bring their children in for a dental analysis and possible treatment six months following the emergence of the first tooth or by the child’s first birthday.
The Importance of a Kid-friendly Dentist
Every child needs a friendly, gentle and attentive dentist. After all, most youngsters dread going to the dentist. The dentist plays the important role of detecting early stages of tooth decay and other problems with the teeth, gums or tongue. If the child is not comfortable with the dentist, then the child will make the oral health analysis and treatments that much more difficult.
Some children detest the dentist to the extent that they will convince mom or dad to skip the 6-month appointment, wait until a year passes and ultimately end up receiving the treatment too late. A kid-friendly dentist provides patients and specialized care to guarantee the visit is a positive experience from the moment the child walks in the door until the treatment is complete. Colorful decorations in the waiting room, toys, children’s books, magazines and a courteous staff all play a role in putting nervous children at ease.
Cavity Treatment for Children
Children are especially sensitive when it comes to drilling cavities. Unfortunately, childhood cavities are more common now than ever before. If your child does not receive treatment for his or her cavities, the cavities can spread across the baby teeth and even lead to the decay of permanent teeth. Silver diamine fluoride is a common component that we use to help treat cavities in children who cannot tolerate a conventional filling.
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Dental Sealants for Kids
We can apply dental sealants to your child’s teeth to combat the formation of cavities. Dental sealants really do minimize tooth damage. A CDC Vital Signs report states dental sealants stop upward of 80 percent of cavities in school-age kids. These protective coatings help block harmful bacteria from moving into those tight spaces where tooth decay is common.
We paint sealants right onto the teeth in the back of the mouth since cavities tend to occur in difficult-to-reach portions of the mouth. In general, dentists recommend the application of dental sealants as soon as age six. In fact, it is important to reapply dental sealants at the age of 12 and a third time once the adult molars emerge.
Dental Bonding for Kids
Dental bonding works on kids’ teeth the same way it does for adults. This process involves the application of a resin material that matches the color of the teeth. We reinforce this durable material during the curing process that occurs with the application of a blue light. This light bonds the material right onto the teeth to enhance their aesthetic. Bonding is an affordable means of beautifying a discolored, chipped or otherwise flawed tooth.
Bonding can restore the tooth’s strength, look, size and shape to make a child’s smile looks fantastic. Dental bonding requires minimal preparation and retains as much of the tooth as possible. It all starts with a preparation of the tooth surface for bonding. The dentist uses a special liquid to etch the surface of the tooth.
We then rinse the liquid away and dry the tooth before adding the bonding liquid. We apply the composite resin in a gradual manner before using the light to harden it. We will then smooth, shape and polish the resin.
The Thorough Dental Cleaning Your Child Needs
Children need professional teeth cleanings just as adults do. In fact, children tend to rush through their brushing and flossing sessions, leaving teeth somewhat unclean. Your child’s pediatric dentist is here to clean all the problem areas of your child’s mouth, add fluoride to bolster tooth strength and identify areas of tooth decay/other potential problems as soon as they begin to form.
We are willing to work with each individual child patient to understand what he or she is afraid of and the best way to proceed. This means that we will do everything in our power to be flexible in terms of cleaning methods, restorative treatments etc. It will only take a few appointments to start developing a rapport with the sensitive child.
A child who gradually develops a positive relationship with the dentist will eventually cooperate when it is time to head in for a cleaning and examination.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Terms. 2015
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry® (AACD). Home Page. 2015
- WebMD. WebMD’s Oral Care Guide. 2015
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