We have a lot of parents ask, “When should my child first see the dentist?” The answer may surprise you! It is recommended that every child visits the dentist before their first birthday, specifically once their first tooth erupts! During this first visit, we will polish the teeth removing any plaque build-up or tartar.
Preventative dentistry begins with patient and parent education. Our doctor will thoroughly examine the mouth and gums while demonstrating proper brushing and flossing techniques. It is important to do this at every visit to promote a healthy dental routine. If the examination exhibits further problems such as decay, we will discuss a personalized and proactive solution at this time.
Our team is committed to the health and wellbeing of your child. Preventive care means ensuring a strong foundation for the future!
Fluoride is much like a multivitamin for the teeth. Application is recommended to prevent tooth decay while making the enamel more resistant.
Sealants are a shield for the teeth. Once applied to the chewing surfaces of each tooth, the sealant will act as a barrier to food, plaque, and acid. This protects the areas where the majority of cavities are found preventing future decay from developing.
Low Radiation X-Rays
Our office uses Digital radiographs as a healthier alternative to traditional radiographs. This is a tool we use to track the health of teeth below the gum line, as well as inside the tooth. This tool is essential in providing a thorough and personalized treatment plan.
A white filling is also known as a composite filling or a resin filling. When a patient has a small cavity, we can use a white filling to restore the tooth. White fillings mirror the appearance of natural teeth and are virtually unnoticeable. White fillings are durable and resist fracture in small to medium-sized fillings. Unlike silver, amalgam fillings, less tooth structure is removed, and white fillings harden in seconds rather than needing a few days to harden and set. Most patients prefer white fillings as post-treatment sensitivity is very minimal.
Silver crowns may be needed to restore a tooth with a very large cavity. With larger cavities, more tooth structure is removed. This makes it harder for a white filling to hold up. While a white filling may fracture on larger cavities, the stainless steel crown will ensure that the entire tooth is covered. This means a lower chance of developing a new cavity or infection on the tooth. To help increase the longevity of stainless steel crowns, we encourage patients to clean along the gum line and avoid eating hard, sticky foods.
Root Canal or Pulpotomy
Sometimes with larger cavities, your child may be experiencing throbbing pain. This means that the cavity may have reached the nerve of the baby tooth, resulting in possible infection or inflammation. In cases such as this, a root canal may be necessary.
A root canal involves the removal of infected nerves, where we then add a special medicine to the area. A baby “root canal” is very different from an adult root canal. It only takes a few minutes to complete! Additional procedures and visits are not needed.
If the tooth can be saved a root canal is the preferred method of treatment rather than pulling the baby tooth. It is important to retain the baby teeth as long as we can so that it can fall out naturally. This helps the child retain full function of their teeth, jaws, and tongue, as well as prevents speech problems. Allowing baby teeth to run their natural course will guide the adult teeth into proper placement, preventing future orthodontic complications.
Nitrous is commonly known as “laughing gas” or “happy air.” We use nitrous oxide to put anxious children at ease. This is a very safe and effective sedative which creates feelings of happiness and relaxation when inhaled. When using nitrous a fitted mask is placed over the nose, allowing the patient to breathe normally. There are no lingering effects after treatment.
We recommend giving your child little or no food two hours prior to their dental visit. Sometimes, nitrous oxide can create feelings of nausea or vomiting when on a full stomach.
Tooth extractions involve the removal of a tooth which is visible in the mouth. This could mean removing a badly damaged or decayed tooth, or removing teeth prior to getting braces. In some cases, the doctor will suggest nitrous to calm restless patients and reduce anxiety.
It is possible for baby teeth to fall out prematurely. If this happens with a baby molar, a space maintainer may be prescribed. If the adult tooth underneath is not close to eruption, the baby teeth around the gap could drift into the empty space, creating insufficient space for the permanent teeth to properly come in. This is why it is so important to fix the space early.
A space maintainer is a small appliance used to preserve the empty space for the permanent teeth until it is fully developed and ready to erupt. These appliances are small in size and most children adjust to them after a few days.
There are two different sedation options offered at All Smiles. Conscious oral sedation and general anesthesia. Sedation dentistry may be needed if your child requires a lot of dental treatment, has special needs, or struggles with dental anxiety. Our team will help you and your family decide the best sedation route for your child.
Request an Appointment at our Pediatric Dentistry!