Starting a child early with regular dental exams and care can mean a lifetime of better oral health. From the time of a child’s first tooth, the pediatric dentist can help start patterns of eating and hygiene that can protect against early tooth decay, as well as tooth alignment and gum problems in adulthood.
In addition to regular cleanings, Dr. Singh can apply sealants to protect young teeth from decay. The dentist can also help select mouth guards to prevent sports injuries, and provide timely diagnosis and treatment of orthodontic problems.
Infant & Toddler First Time Visits
The first tooth is a milestone in your baby’s life. As soon as the first tooth emerges, or by their first birthday, your child should have their first dental checkup. At this visit, we’ll:
- Review your baby’s medical history and any concerns you have
- Examine your baby’s mouth for any signs of decay or other problems
- Show you how to clean their teeth
Early and regular dental visits can help your child avoid decay, a problem for 40% of 2- to 5-year olds. Developing good dental hygiene from the first tooth will help your child grow strong teeth so they learn to chew properly and speak clearly, and make space for the permanent teeth to come in properly. Addison Grove Dental will make your child’s first visit a pleasant experience and help your child start on the road to cavity-free teeth and healthy mouths.
Tooth enamel is dissolved and replaced constantly in the mouth, and fluoride makes that replacement material much stronger. Research indicates fluoride can help prevent cavities by:
- Making the tooth enamel stronger to protect against acids in the mouth formed by bacteria and sugar; and
- Helping reduce the number of bacteria that stays on the tooth surface.
Water fluoridation is a common practice in U.S. public water systems. However, bottled water, home treatment systems, and private well water may not be fluoridated. The use of fluoride toothpaste and mouthwashes and a diet that includes foods with natural fluoride may be sufficient. However, children under 6 with any history of decay and older children with a few cavities and other risk factors are at moderate to high risk for decay and may benefit from professional fluoride applications.
Food and bacteria can become packed in the grooves of the back molars, and even the most careful brushing and flossing cannot fully clean these areas. Dental sealants are clear plastic coverings that protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay by providing a barrier to food and bacteria. Application is simple and painless:
- The sealant is painted onto the tooth, filling depressions and grooves.
- Hardening takes place in just a matter of seconds.
- Most applications last several years with normal chewing and biting.
- Sealants can be reapplied as necessary.
Children should get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as the teeth come in — before decay attacks the teeth. Teenagers and young adults who are prone to decay may also need sealants. Sealants are a cost-effective prevention option, and when used along with regular dental check-ups and cleanings, provide the most effective defense for tooth decay. Addison Grove Dental can apply them during a regular check-up.
Special Needs Dental Care
Children with special needs often have a greater incidence of tooth decay, gum disease, and oral trauma. The staff at Addison Grove Dental has been specially trained to design a program to address your child’s specific needs. Close attention to oral health is especially important for special children for several reasons:
- Physical limitations and lack of proper motor function can make brushing and flossing difficult.
- Some medications and special dietary requirements may be detrimental to dental health.
- Some children require frequent medical treatments and doctors’ appointments, and it is understandable for parents to spend less time overseeing the child’s oral hygiene habits.
At your first visit, we will schedule enough time to ensure a thorough review of your child’s medical history and discuss the best preventative dental care and treatment for your child. Home care takes just minutes a day and prevents needless dental problems. Starting dental care early and being diligent with daily oral hygiene can minimize the financial and emotional costs of oral health and help your child enjoy a healthy smile for a lifetime.