Pediatric dentistry is focused on the special oral health needs of children, from toddlers to teens. It includes exams and treatments that can help growing children enjoy optimal oral health not just during childhood, but into their adult years as well.
Children need to see the dentist for checkups and cleanings every six months, just like adults. A child’s first visit to the dentist should take place within six months of their first tooth emerging, and certainly by their first birthday to identify potential issues in their earliest stages, including developmental issues that could affect speech or nutrition.
Absolutely. Although the roots of baby teeth are not as deep as adult teeth, cavities in baby teeth can still cause considerable pain, interfering with eating, social activities, and even schoolwork. Plus, baby teeth act as placeholders for adult teeth that are developing below them, and when left untreated, disease and infection around a baby tooth can damage those adult teeth before they even erupt.
Checkups begin with a dental cleaning to remove built-up plaque and tartar using special instruments and mild abrasives. During the cleaning, the hygienist will check for areas the child may be missing with their brushing and flossing routines, providing them with guidance to help them improve their techniques. The hygienist will also be looking for swollen or red gums that could be a sign of gum disease. Once the cleaning is complete, dental x-rays may be taken. Next, the dentist will examine each tooth to look for signs of decay or other damage. Small cavities may be filled, and fluoride treatments or dental sealants may be provided. At the end of the appointment, more extensive treatment needs will be discussed with the child and the parent.
Children should use soft-bristled brushes to clean their teeth. Both manual and battery-powered types are OK to use; the most important thing is for the child to have a brush he or she likes and will be more likely to use on a regular basis.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!