What You Must Know About Pediatric Dentistry
Oral health does not have to be a hard thing to do. However, it is often a hard task for most people to take care of their teeth. This is because bad habits die hard. If everyone were to be taught of proper oral health from a young age, Houston pediatric dentists would have an easier time doing their job. It is why pediatric dentistries exist all over the world.
What Is A Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentistry is a specialty of dentistry that is concerned with offering dental care to children. Pediatric dentists specialize in children’s teeth. Children have unique oral needs that cannot be addressed in the same measure as adult teeth. The mouths of children keep changing from infancy through to teenagehood. Pediatric dentists are well equipped and trained to handle the changes in the mouths of children. Besides, children are not the best in taking care of their teeth, unless with a proper guide like at greenway pediatric dentistry.
What Types of Treatments Do Pediatric Dentists Provide?
When you visit pediatric dentistry in Houston, TX, there is a lot you can expect. Pediatric dentists take care of many oral tasks on kids’ mouths, including the following:
- Tooth extraction: children have to lose their baby teeth to make room for a new set of teeth to grow. While the teeth may fall off naturally, it is not always the case. In most cases, a tooth will be shaky from the root. Removing it may require very little pressure. For some other situations, some baby teeth can be stubborn. If left unattended to, the permanent teeth will still try to grow over the other tooth. In such cases, a pediatric dentist has to extract the baby tooth to make room for the permanent tooth. This will help avoid malpositioning and overcrowding of teeth in the mouth.
- Teeth alignment: most children require help from dental devices to get their teeth growing properly. People’s bone structures differ. Some people’s teeth grow correctly aligned, while others do not. A pediatric dentist can ensure the proper alignment of a patient’s teeth while still young. This explains why braces are common among children and teenagers.
- Habit counseling: does your child still suck his/her thumb even as a teenager? This could be because you did not have the intervention of a pediatric dentist as early as possible. Bad habits are hard to break, especially for kids. Thumb sucking and teeth grinding are the most common habits that kids practice that affect their dental health. A pediatric dentist can help correct this through habit counseling.
- Preventative dental care: a dentist will observe the state of your child’s teeth to find any underlying
dental problems. If, for example, one of your child’s tooth is headed towards decay, the dentist will suggest preventative measures to protect the teeth. In preventative dental care, dental sealants, dental crowns, and space maintainer are widely used. Other than that, a pediatric dentist will professionally clean your child’s teeth. This will get rid of plaque and bacteria that can cause teeth decay and other issues.
- Early assessment: you may never know what dental problem your child has. A dentist is best placed at assessing the health of teeth to identify any improper issues as well as anomalies that might result in severe dental problems.
- Management and repair of teeth: kids are not the best in taking care of teeth. Given their love for candies and playing around, their dental health is easily compromised. Pediatric dentists can manage and repair teeth problems, including cavities, chipped teeth, cracks, stains, to mention a few. This caters for other dental emergencies caused by accidents and injuries.
What are the Treatments that are provided by Pediatric Dentists?
Pediatric dentists provide a whole host of comprehensive dental and oral health care, which includes the following treatments:
- Oral health exams for the infants. This will include risk assessments for caries in both mother and the child.
- Preventive dental care. It also include fluoride treatments, cleaning and diet and nutrition recommendations.
- Habit counseling
- Early treatment and assessment for correcting improper bite and teeth straightening.
- Repairing of tooth defects or cavities
- Diagnosing oral conditions that are related to diseases like congenital heart defect, hay fever, hyperactivity disorder, attention deficit disorder, asthma and diabetes.
- Care for dental injuries.
- Management of gum diseases and medical conditions like mucoceles, short frenulae, pediatric periodontal disease and ulcers.
Pediatric Dentistry: 4 Children Dental Facts That You Should Know About
Here are some important things to keep in mind regarding your child’s dental health.
1. Tooth Decay is the Most Common Childhood Disease
Tooth decay is the most prevalent harmful dental condition among children. When untreated, tooth decay will destroy a child’s teeth and have a lasting impact on their overall health. According to the CDC, more than 42% of children between ages 2 to 11 will have a cavity. Even more startling, cavities are 5 times more common than childhood asthma and 20 times more common than diabetes.
2. Cavities are Preventable
Cavities might be common, but that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t prevent them. In particular, fluoride is capable of preventing and reversing early stages of tooth decay. How does it work? Once ingested, fluoride plays a role in strengthening developing teeth. The fluoride is taken to the developing teeth, where it helps reinforce the enamel (the protective layer on the teeth). Reinforced enamel is much more resistant to tooth decay. It is important to keep in mind, however, that fluoride is not capable of repairing cavities.
3. Candy is Not the Only Cause of Poor Dental Health
There is no doubt that eating candy can certainly lead to cavities. However, it’s not the only thing that’s responsible. Looking at the big picture, many different types of food can cause tooth decay. In particular, starchy snacks such as cookies, crackers, or bread, can increase a child’s likelihood of developing cavities. This should not be too surprising, After all, tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria that consume carbohydrates. In other words, cavities result from microorganisms that feast on the sugars from starchy foods. After eating these foods, it’s important to brush your child’s teeth.
4. Children Should Go to the Dentist by the Time They’re One Year Old
Most children don’t see a dentist until they are over 2 years old! This is much later than recommended by dental professionals. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, you should bring your child in for a dental appointment by the time they are one year old. It is important to remember that baby teeth are crucial for several reasons. Not only do they help children chew, which is necessary for good nutrition, but baby teeth also play a significant role with speech development. You should not forget that baby teeth help save space for permanent teeth, so taking care of them should be a top priority!
What You Need to Know About Pediatric Dental Care
Many parents assume that since baby teeth fall out anyway, there is little point in worrying about them. Yet pediatric dental care is an essential part of keeping your child healthy. In addition, establishing strong oral care routines in childhood can set your child on the road to a lifetime of good oral health. Here is what you need to know about pediatric dental care.
Every child is unique, but on average, the first baby tooth will emerge at 4 to 7 months of age, while the last will erupt just before the third birthday. Teething pain and fussiness are common, along with biting behavior, drooling, swollen gums, and lack of appetite. Symptoms normally start 3 to 5 days before a new tooth comes in and end as soon as it breaks through the gums.
To help calm teething issues, give your baby something cold to chew. Teething rings are extremely popular, but it is important to ensure that the fluid inside is nontoxic, as some babies bite through the cover. Rub your baby’s gums regularly with clean gauze.
First Visit/Establishment of a Dental Home
Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care. Referral by the pediatrician or health provider is highly recommended, as early as six months of age and no later than 12 months. We will tailor this appointment to your child’s personality and needs. The first visit will be a quick examination and fluoride varnish application in addition to a very extensive educational and preventive component.
Tooth decay can begin with the very first tooth. Gently brush your baby’s teeth with a small toothbrush and an smear of fluoride-free toothpaste. Once he learns to spit, typically at around 2 years old, increase the quantity of toothpaste to a pea size.
Learning by Example
Kids pay more attention to what you do than to what you say. Take the opportunity to make a renewed commitment to your own oral health. Reduce your sugar intake and increase the amount of water you drink. Have any nagging dental problems corrected, and make twice a year dental appointments for yourself as well as your child.
Things to Watch For
Managing your child’s dental health means keeping in touch with what’s going on with their teeth in between visits to the dentist. You’ll want to ask regular questions to your child during tooth brushing sessions, including finding out if they have any teeth that may be sensitive or causing pain.
Give your child’s teeth a thorough visual scan under bright light to see if you can spot any cavities or other abnormalities. Use a small dental mirror to see everything on all sides of the teeth. Also, check the teeth for signs of grinding, which is a common occurrence for many children as their jaws grow. If you spot signs of grinding, speak to your dentist right away. It may be necessary to obtain a mouthguard to be worn at night to help alleviate the problem and prevent it from progressing.
Starting Kids Down the Right Path
Your kids oral care needs to be a team effort in order to get the best results and ensure they have the best foundation for their dental health as they grow. As a parent, it’s important that you bridge the gap between your child and their pediatric dentist by managing expectations, keeping up with good habits at home, and working with the dentist to make sure they stay informed with your child’s progress.