Pediatric Dental Care

Many parents assume that they don’t have to worry about oral health while their kids still have their primary or baby teeth. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth as establishing a commitment to your child’s dental health now, will yield benefits as they age into adulthood. In addition, even though not permanent in nature, primary teeth guide the eruption of the adult or permanent teeth and serve other extremely important functions like speaking, chewing, and biting so they deserve just as much care. In addition, creating a healthy habit now of regular dentist visits can create a lifelong habit of good oral health.

A Child’s First Teeth Life of Baby and Permanent Teeth

For the first six years of your child’s life, their primary teeth will provide all the functions they need to chew, speak or bite. Generally, around the age of 12, your child will have a mixture of permanent teeth that are making their way into the mouth as well as some primary teeth still in place. All these teeth need to stay healthy to ensure they are lost naturally in the case of baby teeth or remain strong in the case of permanent teeth.

Building a Good Foundation with a Daily Brushing Routine

In addition to getting kids used to visiting the dentist for regular visits, it’s also important that they create a good foundation of oral health through a daily brushing routine. Ideally, you can help them establish this routine at around the age of two, using a small, soft-bristled toothbrush with just a smear of fluoridated toothpaste. You will likely have to continue to help your child with this task until they are around the age of six or more.

When Does My Child Need to See a Dentist?

While you might assume it’s too early, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children begin visiting a dentist by their first birthday. In fact, amazingly, cavities are the most common and preventable childhood disease. After all, early childhood does present the problem of tooth decay which can develop rapidly in six months or less, from the outer enamel layer to the soft inner dentin where it can cause all sorts of problems. Therefore, although they may seem much like a baby still, it’s important to get your child seen by a dentist before their first birthday.

Pediatric Dental Treatments

Ideally, if you start your child’s routine dental care as suggested they won’t experience any significant problems with their teeth as they move from infancy to adolescents into adulthood. However, even when you are careful and commit to the best hygiene, sometimes services are still needed. Also, pediatric services can even prevent problems down the road, which makes them a good investment. Therefore, consider the following typical pediatric dental treatments to learn more about what you can expect when taking your child to the dentist:

  • Topical Fluoride: Fluoride as you likely know works to make the teeth harder and therefore more resistant to decay. Admittedly, there are small amounts of fluoride in drinking water and toothpaste. However, the topical fluoride professionally applied treatment your child will get in-office provides a higher concentration of fluoride, which provides maximum protection.
  • Dental Sealants: Another treatment option that is especially helpful for kids is dental sealants which are professionally applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent cavities. Once applied, these sealants provide years of protection.
  • Root Canal Treatment: Despite your best efforts, sometimes kids still need a root canal to save either a severely decayed or injured tooth. Therefore, this is yet another service that falls under pediatric dentistry.
  • Bonding: Minor fractures and chips are something that all too often happens throughout childhood, especially in the front teeth. Thankfully, bonding allows dental professionals to create tooth-colored materials to bond to the remaining teeth and repair the tooth.
  • Oral Habits: Another important service provided during a pediatric visit is education on a healthy smile and how to keep it that way through good oral habits.
  • Teeth Cleanings: Of course, during the regular six-month checkup visit, your child will be given a gentle, yet thorough teeth cleaning to prevent cavities and look for any potential problems.
  • Fillings: When necessary, we also offer composite or tooth-colored resin fillings that blend naturally into the mouth and address the issues of cavities.
  • Tooth Extraction: In some cases, trauma, disease, decay, or some other factors impedes the normal oral development of a child, leading to a need for tooth extraction, which is another of our offered services.  
  • Restorative Treatment: If a tooth has to be removed, we also offer restorative treatment for a child to improve the function and appearance of the mouth.
  • Orthodontic Evaluation: As your child grows, we can provide an evaluation for them to determine if orthodontic intervention in the form of orthodontics for kids will be needed in the future.
  • Dental Emergencies: Of course, all dental emergencies for kids are always given immediate attention.
  • Pediatric Sedation or Child-friendly Sedation: If a child is scared to undergo any dental procedure, we also provide optional sedation for them.

Establishing a good foundation at the dentist with pediatric dental care and getting your child used to visiting and committed to prioritizing their oral health as they grow is vitally important. Therefore, it’s a great idea to utilize our pediatric services.  

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