It’s important to help children have positive feelings about going to the dentist. We work hard to make the appointments enjoyable and engaging. One way we help children both understand what we are doing and not be anxious about it is to show and tell in kid-friendly ways.
Kids that grow up going to the dentist are more likely to have better oral health into adulthood.
Some fun ways we like to talk about issues and instruments include:
Our goal during your child’s first visit, especially if it is there first time to the dentist is to simply introduce them to the experience and make it fun. We do as much of an exam as the child is comfortable with, but our goal (unless there is a known issue they need to have addressed) is to help them feel comfortable and look forward to their next visit. We hope to provide a cleaning and x-rays, but again, we let your child lead us during the initial appointment.
Once they have a good experience, we schedule another appointment where we plan to do a more comprehensive exam.
The most common dental issue in children is cavities, or early childhood caries. Cavities are caused by a transmissible bacteria. That means, if you have a cavity, you can pass the bacteria on to your child. As hard as it is, try not to kiss littles on the mouth, share silverware, or wash a pacifier off in your own mouth. If your child is at risk for tooth decay or we see beginning signs of one, we will offer dental sealants to help protect the biting surfaces of the molars.
A dental sealant is a thin layer of plastic-like material that is painted onto the biting surface of the teeth. Since bacteria love to hide in the cracks and crevices of the molars, once they are sealed, the bacteria can’t get to the tooth surface. The procedure is painless and tasteless and can provide reassurance back teeth are protected.
If your child does get sealants you still need to be careful of the common risk factors for cavities as the other teeth are not sealed. Some risk factors include:
If you are interested in sealants for your child or children let us know!
If your child starts to complain about sensitivity or constant pain, or if the tissue around a tooth is swollen and painful, they may have pulp damage. Damage to the interior living part of the tooth can occur because of trauma, decay or other infection. The ‘pulp’ refers to the live part of the tooth.
If the pulp is damaged, it is important to retain as much of the living pulp as possible, while also treating the infection or removing any damaged sections. One way we do this is with a pulpotomy.
A pulpotomy can be performed if the pulp root is unaffected, and just the tip of the pulp is damaged. If the root is healthy we will remove all the decay and then place material over the remaining pulp to protect it. Finally we will place a crown. By saving the pulp, your child has a greater chance of producing a healthy adult tooth.
A pulpectomy is performed if the damage has extended into the tooth root, we will need to remove all of the living material and fill the space — just like an adult root canal. We will place a crown to help with spacing when the adult tooth is ready to come in.
If you suspect your child may have pulp damage, please give us a call at (407) 942-2420.