Pediatric dentistry is focused primarily on the dental care of children from the time of their birth through adolescence. This is a specialized branch of dentistry that involves some additional training after the completion of a general dentistry degree.
Let's take a look at some common pediatric dentistry procedures so that you can have some familiarity with them if your child should ever require one.
Regular Dental Cleanings and Exams
It all begins with prevention. Your child's oral health depends upon their oral hygiene at home and their adherence to regular cleanings and exams. At your child's routine dental exam and cleaning appointment, we will:
- Visually inspect your child's teeth, mouth and gums
- Check for signs of cavities or tooth decay
- Look for signs of gum disease
- Perform a complete teeth cleaning
This type of routine appointment typically takes around 30 minutes. During your child's teeth cleaning, their dental hygienist will be cleaning, polishing and rinsing their teeth so that any plaque and tartar that has accumulated on the surface of their teeth is removed.
By contacting us at least every six months, you will have an opportunity to talk to your child's dental team, and have any questions that are on your mind answered.
No matter if your child is wearing braces or not, protecting their teeth is essential. Mouthguards help protect your child from injury if they are taking part in any type of sports activity.
Selecting the right type of mouthguard is vital. There are three main types: pre-made, “boil-and-bite”, and customized. You will want to select one that is both comfortable and wear resistant. It needs to provide a good fit within the mouth and not obstruct your child's breathing.
Nightguards are helpful if your child often finds themselves waking up with jaw pain, headaches or earaches. If you notice that your child is clenching or grinding their teeth at night, they may have a condition known as "bruxism." Left untreated, bruxism can lead to cracked, broken or worn teeth.
Nightguards can be worn to prevent the wear and tear caused by grinding of the teeth. These are individually created for your child using a soft and comfortable material. The guard can be placed over your child's teeth so that contact is prevented with opposing teeth while worn.
Pediatric Dental Sealants
Pediatric sealants are a new way to protect children's teeth. They are typically applied to the back teeth on the chewing surfaces that contain numerous grooves where bacteria can hide, leading to an increased risk of developing cavities.
To place dental sealants, we would first examine your child's teeth and remove any minimal decay at that time. Treated teeth will be thoroughly cleaned and dried. Next, a solution will be applied to improve sealant adhesion.
We then rinse and dry the tooth again. Finally, we paint the dental sealant right onto the tooth. After about a minute, it will have hardened and be ready to protect your child's teeth against tooth decay.