Check-ups allow us to spot early signs of cavities, and to monitor the eruption of teeth. Because we provide interceptive orthodontic treatment, we can treat minor problems before they turn into major ones. Regular check-ups are important. Not only does it give us the chance to clean your child’s teeth, but we are able to teach them proper brushing and flossing habits (including technique) so they can take their oral health into their own hands! Typical issues surrounding this age group include:
Crowded/Crooked Teeth & Bite Problems
By the age of 12, most children will have had all but their wisdom teeth showing. Regular check-ups will allow a pediatric dentist to observe your child’s dental development and allow treatment of early problems before they become bigger ones. Common problems during the ages of six to 12 include malocclusion (bad bites such as crossbites or overbites), and the development of crooked and/or crowded teeth.
Sometimes bad bites are hereditary but they can also be a result of sucking or tongue habits. Your pediatric dentist can identify and treat some forms of malocclusion and minimize or reduce the development of further problems including excessive wearing of teeth.
Crooked teeth are usually an outcome of crowding. Crowding occurs when there isn’t enough space in the mouth for teeth to fit properly, and can be caused by early or late loss of primary teeth, or improper eruption of teeth. Crooked and/or crowded teeth can prevent the proper functioning of your teeth and can be difficult to keep clean leading to a greater chance of tooth decay. To correct crooked teeth due to crowding, appliances can be used to create space, or sometimes teeth are taken out, while braces can be used to properly align the teeth.
Dental decay is caused by sugar and simple carbohydrates mixing with plaque found on teeth to form an acid. The acid that is formed attacks the teeth and causes decay. Young children can avoid dental decay by brushing and flossing regularly, by reducing their sugar and simple carbohydrate intake (especially in snacks) and by using a fluoride toothpaste or by taking fluoride supplements as prescribed by a pediatrician or dentist. For more information on how to fight dental decay, click here.
As much as we stress the importance of preventive dentistry, sometimes our esthetic services are required. And as your child grows older, they will become more concerned with their appearance. We offer a variety of restorative and esthetic services designed to return the smile to your child’s face including:
- Tooth-colored fillings not only look natural, but they’re stronger than mercury amalgams.
- Bonding involves using natural-colored materials which are attached directly to the tooth surface to improve unsightly stains, spaces, cracks, or chips
- Whitening quickly restores the natural brilliance to a smile
It is not uncommon for young children to be anxious when visiting a dentist’s office. We do all we can to relieve your child’s anxiety — we are specially trained to understand child behavior, our staff loves working with children, and, from the relaxing atmosphere to the special fun area, our office has been designed with children in mind. We also recommend that you bring your children in for regular check-ups so they become used to visiting us and we become friendly faces. It’s also important not to be too nervous yourself as children can sense parents’ emotions through words and gestures-the less anxious you are, the less anxious your child will be.
Common dental injuries with active young children include fractured teeth or displaced teeth. Knowing what steps to take during a dental emergency can make a difference between losing and keeping a tooth. However, the first step is always to remain calm. Here are some suggestions for treating dental emergencies:
If the tooth has fallen to the ground, it needs to be cleaned. Hold it by the crown under running water, and replace it in the socket. (the sooner this is done the better, as the tissues that attach teeth to bone dry out and die over time. If the tooth is replaced within 30 minutes it improves changes of reattaching itself). Once the tooth is back in the socket, the child should bite down normally to ensure proper positioning. Call us immediately after this is done.
If the tooth cannot be replaced immediately, it should be placed in milk. If milk isn’t available, store it in the child’s mouth between their cheek and teeth. Your child should see us as soon as possible so we can complete treatment.
Clean the mouth by gently rinsing with warm water. Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call us immediately — a fractured tooth can be treated using esthetic techniques to look as good as new.