Pediatric dentistry is early dental care provided to babies whose teeth have erupted, children and adolescents. Like any other ailments, some severe dental complications in adults result from poor dental care provision at an early age. This blog post will answer all the frequently asked questions about pediatric dentistry.
Why is early dental care for kids critical?
As a parent, the importance of taking your kids for a dental check-up cannot be underscored. To the naked eye, your child might seem to have perfect teeth but a professional check-up on both teeth and gum to mitigate any risk in the future is of the essence.
Here are some of the many reasons why you should take your child to the dentist at an early age.
Abnormalities are identified at an early age
As earlier stated, identifying abnormalities with your child’s teeth and gums at an early age helps prevent any future complications. Some tooth abnormalities manifest as soon as one year. Identifying these complications soon enough makes treatment easier.
Helps to prevent early tooth decay
Your child may experience tooth decay at a very early age. Visits to your pediatric dentist help your child in avoiding tooth decay. You’ll learn more about pediatric dentistry directly from a professional. After your child’s examination, the pediatric dentist will answer all your pertinent questions about your child’s dental health. Any questions you may have about pediatric dentistry in general that you feel have never been answered will be aptly answered firsthand by a professional.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends it
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you take your child to a dentist for a check-up as soon as the first tooth erupts or when the child reaches one year.
Helps to ease dental fear
Taking your child to the dentist from the first birthday allows the child to adjust to the dentist early. This way, the dreaded dentist syndrome by children is gotten rid of and improves the child’s attitude towards the dentist.
At what age should my children have their first dental visit?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that your child be taken to a pediatric dentist as early as the first tooth erupts. Tooth eruption time differs from child to child—typically from 5 months to two years. Schedule a visit to a pediatric visit as early as one year or as soon as your child’s first tooth erupts.
How should I clean my child’s teeth?
Children’s teeth are sensitive. Therefore, you should take proper precautions when cleaning them. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles—the ones designed for infants. Brushing the teeth at least once a day will help eliminate bacteria that may cause tooth decay. Do not use fluoridated kinds of toothpaste to clean your child’s teeth until after three years of age. Earlier than that, only use water and a soft-bristle toothbrush to gently clean your child’s teeth.
My child’s teeth got knocked out in an accident. Do the teeth need to be replaced?
You don’t need to replace your baby’s knocked-out primary teeth. The first set of teeth that erupt in children is called primary teeth. Permanent teeth are developing beneath these primary teeth. Replacing the knocked-out primary teeth could damage these developing permanent teeth. However, it’s important to visit a pediatric dentist for an examination to address any tooth and gum complications that may have been caused by an accident. After that, don’t panic because your child’s teeth will regrow in due time.
Why should my child see a pediatric dentist instead of our family dentist?
Pediatric dentists get an additional two to three years of training following dental school in the unique needs of infants, children, and adolescents, including those with special health needs. Therefore, your child will get better comprehensive and client-focused dental attention from a pediatric dentist.
What is baby bottle tooth decay, and how is it prevented?
Baby bottle tooth decay, also called Early Child Caries (ECC), is the decay of a young child’s teeth due to excessive prolonged exposure to sweetened liquids. Natural bacteria break down these sugars to produce acid, which causes caries. Overnight nursing of the babies is also a leading factor of baby bottle tooth decay. Because of this, the natural self-cleansing action of the mouth by saliva is impeded, leading to tooth decay.
To prevent it, avoid feeding your infant or children too many sweetened drinks and foods. Avoid nursing your child to sleep or overnight and encourage them to drink from a cup as they approach their first year.
Do mouth appliances help the baby’s developing teeth?
Pediatric dentists recommend mouth appliances for babies who develop a habit of thumb sucking. These appliances help in discouraging thumb sucking, thus preventing teeth crowding and misalignment caused by thumb sucking. Thumb sucking, if extended to the period when teeth erupt, may lead to crowded or crooked teeth, hindering the baby’s biting ability.
What should I do if my child gets a toothache?
First and foremost, it’s vital to ensure your child’s comfort by employing measures to relieve the pain. Plain warm water in a cup mixed with a teaspoon of table salt can help reduce the pain. Children should rinse their mouth with warm, salty water whenever they feel pain. If your child’s face is swollen, apply ice wrapped in a cloth on your child’s face. You may give the child acetaminophen or any other pediatric pain reliever that’s available in your cabinet. Visit your pediatric dentist as soon as possible.
What should I do if my child knocks out a permanent tooth?
Most importantly, don’t panic. Hold the tooth by the crown instead of the root if you can locate it. If you can, reposition the tooth in its socket. If the child is in agony or you’re too scared to do that, pour milk in a clean container, then dip the tooth inside. Take your child to the nearest pediatric dentist immediately. The faster you act, the better the chance of saving that permanent tooth. If they can’t save the tooth, your pediatric dentist will advise you on the next course of action.
Is my child’s fluoride level sufficient?
Fluoride reduces your child’s chances of getting tooth cavities by maintaining strong, healthy teeth. Fluoride added to drinking water by the water district is sufficient to maintain the required teeth and bone fluoride levels. To ensure that your child’s fluoride levels are adequate, have your pediatric dentist evaluate the fluoride levels in your child’s primary source of fluoride—the water your child drinks. This way, your pediatric dentist will be able to ascertain whether your child needs a prescription of fluoride supplements.
Are dental x-rays safe for children?
Dental x-rays are performed only when a dental investigation is of absolute need. With safeguards such as the lead apron and high-speed film, the amount of radiation received from dental x-rays is drastically reduced. The risk is minimal and by far outweighed by the benefits of detecting the untreated dental problem.
Should a cavity on my child’s primary teeth be filled?
Yes, they should be filled by a competent pediatric dentist. Baby teeth help the children to pronounce words clearly and in chewing. Primary teeth also aid in forming a path that the developing permanent teeth will follow. Therefore, neglecting the baby’s teeth problems, especially tooth decay, exacerbates the problem. The tooth decay will spread to other teeth, causing the child to lose more teeth and the benefits of the primary teeth. Tooth decay of the primary teeth can also spread to permanent teeth. Therefore, proper remedy and care from your pediatric dentist are important.
Regular dental check-ups help avoid numerous dental complications like dental caries for you and your children.
Book an Appointment with Image Dental for Your Child’s Dental Checkup
At Imagine Dental, we are a team of dental health professionals certified by the Dental Board. Our dental health and pediatric dentistry professional team boasts many years of experience in their specialty. What’s even better? Our office will work with your insurance company to make dental care affordable for you. We offer a wide range of dental services for the whole family, including pediatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, orthodontics, sedation dentistry, emergency dentistry, teeth cleaning, teeth whitening, and many more. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and dial the customer service number published on our website for more inquiries.