Cavities are sadly all too common among children, but the good news is that they’re completely preventable! If you get your child to adopt the best oral health habits early in life, they’ll have a wonderful smile to take care of once they reach adulthood. Naturally, that means showing them how to brush and floss properly as well as teaching them the importance of regular dental checkups. Has it been at least six months since your child was last examined by a dentist? Call us today to schedule your little one’s next preventive appointment here at Healthy Smiles Dental Care of Jewell Lake.
If your child is visiting our practice for the first time, they might be confused or anxious about their unfamiliar surroundings, not to mention the various sounds that are associated with dentistry. We go out of our way to help children feel comfortable during their first dental appointments, which helps set the tone for future visits. Of course, we’ll also give your child’s smile the care and attention it deserves, gently removing plaque and tartar from the areas where your little one has had trouble brushing. We’ll let you know immediately if we see a potential problem with your child’s dental development.
All of your little one’s teeth are potentially vulnerable to cavities, of course. That said, the risk is significantly higher for the teeth near the back of the mouth, since that’s the area where a child who is still developing their brushing skills is going to have the hardest time reaching with their toothbrush. That’s not even mentioning the various crevices where food and bacteria could easily become trapped. A dental sealant will give your child an extra layer of protection for many years while they learn how to handle their toothbrush. Each sealant simply consists of a plastic coating that is allowed to dry directly on the teeth, allowing it to act as a barrier against potentially harmful substances. Note that this doesn’t completely eliminate the risk of cavities, but it will go a long way in helping keep your child’s smile safe.
Athletes of any age should be sure that their smiles are well-protected whenever they head out onto the field. Many sports – especially high-contact ones – can easily result in knocked-out teeth, which is why a mouthguard is such an indispensable piece of safety equipment. You can pick up a mouthguard at a number of stores, but it’s always better to have one custom-made by a dentist; that way you’ll be sure that it comfortably fits on your child’s teeth and provides the best possible protection.
Some children might have trouble swallowing, or they might have an unusual amount of difficulty breastfeeding as an infant. These issues could possibly be linked to an overdeveloped band of tissue causing a lip-tie or tongue-tie. Some children will grow out of these conditions, but in some cases a procedure called a frenectomy might be required to ensure that your child’s oral development stays on track. We’ll take multiple steps to keep your child’s discomfort to a minimum. The treatment itself should only be about 10 to 15 minutes.
Does your child suck their thumb? This most likely won’t be a problem as long as they break the habit by themselves around the age of 4. In some cases, though, intervention might be required to stop a non-nutritive habit before it leads to severe orthodontic problems in the future. Be sure to mention thumb-sucking as well as other notable oral habits during your child’s appointment; we can give you advice for identifying and breaking the truly harmful habits. If you act quickly enough, we can prevent any long-term damage from being done.
Every tooth contains a collection of nerves, blood vessels, and other tissues collectively referred to as pulp. While it is normally safe beneath the enamel, there is a possibility of it becoming damaged or infected in some way. Treating the pulp could potentially help save your child from needing a tooth extraction in the near future. There are two forms of pulp therapy. The first is a pulpotomy where only part of the pulp is removed. The other is a pulpectomy – also known as a root canal – where all of the pulp is taken out.