Common Pediatric Dental Procedures
Pediatric dental care is very important for children. It helps instill proper oral hygiene habits early to promote a lifetime of healthy smiles! Pediatric Dentists provide a wide range of services to keep your kids smiling! Let’s take a look at some services you can expect your child to receive.
Professional Dental Cleaning (Prophylaxis) with Fluoride
Home care is one of the most important ways to keep your child’s mouth healthy and free of cavities. Every six months, they should have a professional cleaning in addition to their daily routines, unless they have special needs requiring more frequent cleanings. At these appointments, their medical history will be reviewed before the hygienist begins the cleaning.
All plaque and calculus will be removed using ultrasonic and hand instruments. At each visit, their Dentist will want to take x-rays to make sure they are developing properly, which will one taken during the cleaning. After the hygienist finishes cleaning their teeth, they will apply fluoride to help protect and strengthen the enamel.
Fluoride is a great way to help prevent tooth decay. Cavities form when there is a weakening in the tooth enamel and fluoride promotes the remineralization of decalcified areas on the tooth. Fluoride can be found in city drinking water and in toothpaste and mouthwash. Keep in mind that too much fluoride can damage developing teeth so it is important to make sure that you know where your child is getting fluoride to prevent fluorosis.
Children are prone to developing cavities on the biting surfaces of their molars. Dental sealants are a thin, clear or white plastic coating that is applied to the surfaces to protect the grooves and fissures on the chewing services that can often collect plaque and bacteria. Sealants can last up to 10 years with proper maintenance. If one comes out, it can be replaced at their next cleaning.
Treating Tooth Decay
It is common for toddlers and young children to develop cavities in their teeth so it is important to have them fixed as soon as they are diagnosed. A small cavity can generally be repaired with a composite filling which is a tooth colored restoration. Left untreated, a small cavity can grow and require a dental crown.
Crowns are used to restore teeth that are too severely decayed for a composite filling. Decay in baby teeth can spread to the underlying adult teeth so it is important to have it fixed to prevent further damage.
Extracting a baby tooth is a last resort and he’s only used in the case of severe tooth decay. If a primary tooth is removed, a space maintainer will be put in its place to ensure enough room for the adult teeth to come in.
As your child gets older, they may need to have their wisdom teeth removed or have space made for orthodontic purposes to allow proper tooth alignment if the teeth are overcrowded.
Early Orthodontic Care
Your child’s pediatric dentist will monitor their oral development and identify any issues as they grow. If your child needs early orthodontic treatment, it can help them correct problems as they grow and prevent more extensive treatment later.