Kids require special care not only in terms of dental needs but also psychological needs. different types of dental services provided for children areI. Preventive procedures:
A) Pit and fissure sealants
The chewing surfaces of teeth are never flat. They have in fact certain depressions called Pit and Fissures which serve as potential traps for food and bacteria making the teeth susceptible for decay.
Pit and fissure sealant seals the fissure of milk teeth thereby prevents penetration of fermentable sugars and the bacteria which lead to tooth decay. The safety and effectiveness of pit and fissure sealants as a decay preventive measure has been confirmed by the American Dental Association.
I.A child’s teeth are more prone to decay due to lack of proper dexterity of brushing. Application of fluoride varnishes at regular intervals strengthens the tooth structure by incorporating fluoride ions into the structure making them more prone to acid dissolution. Not only do the permanent but also milk teeth benefit from fluoride treatment.II. Pulp therapy (root canal therapy) in milk teeth:
In cases where tooth decay extends deep into the nerve portion of the tooth it might be necessary to perform a root canal as described for the permanent tooth. It might still be considered as a better alternative to tooth extraction as saving milk tooth will not only improve chewing but also milk teeth serve as space maintainers for proper spacing and alignment of the permanent teeth.III. Preventive orthodontics procedures:
1. Parent Counselling-
a) Prenatal counselling – It involves educating the expecting mother about proper oral hygiene maintainance, nutrition intake and genetic counseling.
b) Post natal counselling-It involves educating the mother about proper oral care and nursing, teething problems, when to stop bottle feeding and the use of physiologic nipples in cases of bottle feeding babies . The mother is also advised against the prolonged use of pacifiers and sweetening solutions in bottles.
A space maintainer is a removable or fixed appliance designed to maintain an existing space.
Space maintainers are usually fitted in children when they have lost baby teeth early. The gap left from losing this tooth needs to be held open for the permanent tooth to erupt in the correct position.
3. Oral Hygiene and care of deciduous dentition.
4. Monitoring of eruption sequence.
5. Caries control and restoration of decayed teeth
Soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used twice a day to clean baby’s teeth. The parents can also clean baby’s teeth with a small piece of gauze piece dipped in normal saline. It is recommended that you clean all the teeth inside-out as well as the biting surfaces of the teeth thoroughly.When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
Your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has specialty training in treating infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.
They are specially trained in behavior management of your child that a general dentist cant manage. Unlike general dentist they also receive special training in conscious sedation techniquesAre baby teeth really that important to my child?
Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.What should I do if my child has a toothache?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give the child acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child's teeth?
Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?
Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bed-time bottle. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child's teeth. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child's first birthday.How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?
A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use?
The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with cloth and water. Parents should use a tiny smear of toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Once children are 3 to 6 years old, then the amount should be increased to a pea-size dollop and perform or assist your child’s toothbrushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.How do I make my child's diet safe for his teeth?
Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child's teeth from decay. You can also ask your pediatric dentist to help you select foods that protect your children's teeth.How do dental sealants work?
Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?
Have your pediatric dentist evaluate the fluoride level of your child's primary source of drinking water. If your child is not getting enough fluoride internally through water (especially if the fluoride level is deficient or if your child drinks bottled water without fluoride), then your pediatric dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements.What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?
The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist.How safe are dental X-rays?
There is very little risk in dental X-rays. Pediatric dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Digital x rays are specially used for this purpose.How can parents help prevent tooth decay?
Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.My child plays sports. How should I protect my child's teeth?
A mouth guard should be a top priority on your child's list of sports equipment. Athletic mouth protectors, or mouth guards, are made of soft plastic and fit comfortably to the shape of the upper teeth. They protect a child's teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sports-related injuries. Any mouth guard works better than no mouth guard, but a custom-fitted mouth guard fitted by our doctor is your child's best protection against sports-related injuries.