Looking After Your Children’s Dental Health
Our children are precious, and so are their teeth! Not only is our children’s dental health important for obvious reasons such as biting and chewing food, but it is also essential for the general health of your child as poor oral hygiene and health can lead to a myriad of other health issues. As a family dentistry specialist, our dental clinic places high priority on pediatric dentistry, which gives us the opportunity to intervene at a young age to provide early assessments, begin routine maintenance procedures like teeth cleaning, detect and treat any dental problems before they become serious, and establish a foundation for a lifetime of good oral hygiene habits. Seeing children as early as at the eruption of their first baby teeth, a pediatric dentist helps children and their parents learn correct oral and dental care techniques and check for any cavities, disease, or potential developmental issues in order to intervene before any serious problems can arise. It is also equally important for children to have a positive experience at their earliest dental visits as this helps eliminate anxiety and fear for future visits, and a good pediatric dental practitioner will take just as much care in ensuring your child’s comfort and emotional well being as their oral health.
Preventative Pediatric Dental Care
Prevention is an important part of family dentistry, and our first goal is always to catch potential problems before they arise or during the earliest stages in order to prevent invasive procedures wherever possible. That is why we encourage parents to bring their children in for their first dental visit before they reach their first birthday.
At this time, we can perform initial assessment, provide training for optimum daily dental care, and apply any treatments as necessary. Regular assessments and teeth cleaning are also highly recommended as childhood tooth decay can develop and progress quickly. We also offer fluoride treatment and dental sealants to protect teeth against cavities, and for very active children who engage in various sports, customized mouthguards can shield against oral trauma much more effectively than generic models from the store.
Common Pediatric Dental Treatments
While our primary goal is prevention, we know that the realities of life don’t always follow suit. So, if and when our children do have more serious dental problems, our dental clinic is fully equipped to provide exceptional pediatric dental care for your child’s optimal health and for your peace of mind.
Since childhood tooth decay progresses so rapidly, root canal treatment is one of the treatments sometimes required for children’s baby teeth to prevent or alleviate infections and prevent premature loss of primary teeth. Also, accidents do happen, so we provide a range of care to treat oral traumas such as displaced, broken, or fractured teeth. Another common service is for snoring and sleep apnea in children, which can sometimes be treated using customized dental appliances worn to hold the airway open during sleep.
Early Orthodontic Assessment
Early orthodontic assessment is important to prevent extensive orthodontic treatment in your child’s later years. We recommend an initial analysis as early as 7 years of age when the process of transition from primary teeth to permanent teeth has begun. Most structural issues are evident by this stage of a child’s development…
and this is a great opportunity to assess and address any malocclusion (e.g. underbite, overbite, etc.) issues early on when we may still be able to reduce or even eliminate the need for more aggressive procedures in the future, as well as provide early intervention strategies for misaligned teeth or teeth crowding issues. For example, pediatric space maintainers can be implemented early to prevent major orthodontic issues and may be an option for some children to assist and guide adult teeth to erupt and settle in correctly.
Importance of Primary (Baby) Teeth
A common misconception is that the health of a baby’s primary teeth is of secondary importance since they will be replaced. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Aside from the importance of these teeth for the child for biting, chewing, and speaking during their childhood years, their health can affect the overall health of the child as well. Not only that, your child’s baby teeth help guide the correct growth of their permanent teeth and can help prevent malocclusion that may require extensive orthodontic treatment in the future.
Transitioning to Permanent (Adult) Teeth
Most children begin to start losing baby teeth at around the age of 6, and usually transition to a full set of adult teeth by about 12 years of age. This transition period is an important stage of your child’s lifelong oral health, especially from a structural perspective. It is ideal for children to be losing baby teeth naturally and at its proper time rather than suffer premature losses due to cavities or extractions. This will help to ensure that permanent teeth are directed correctly to come into their appropriate positions, preventing any structural issues or misaligned teeth.