Children are like sponges, absorbing more knowledge in their first seven years than any other time in their life — including habits, whether good or bad. The oral hygiene habits that your child learns in those early years are often set for the rest of their life. That’s why it’s so important to teach them the habit of regularly visiting their dentist from early on. What’s more, your dentist can detect if there are any developing issues before they become problematic.
Among dentists in Sacramento, the Marconi Dental Group offers special pediatric dental care to identify and address any childhood dental issues before they show themselves.
Your Child’s First Dental Checkup
Because tooth decay can develop in baby teeth at any stage, it’s important for your child to meet their dentist as soon as their first tooth starts showing, not when it’s already come out. Baby teeth are much smaller than permanent teeth, and a teething infant often tries to put any available item into their mouth, sterilized or not. Sometimes bacteria begin an attack on your child’s new teeth, and in about six months the attack reaches the dentin – the inner section of the tooth. The dentin is even more vulnerable to these attacks since it has not had time to harden yet.
Your pediatric dentist at the Marconi Dental Group performs an exam to ensure your child’s teeth are not in danger of decay. At the same time, they check to make sure your child’s teeth and jaw are developing properly. If there is any concern, your dentist discusses all possible treatment options with you, so you can make an informed decision about the best way to maintain your child’s oral health.
Pediatric Dental Treatments
What kinds of treatments are available for children at an early age, and what benefits do they offer?
- Topical fluoride — Fluoride is a natural mineral. It strengthens tooth enamel and boosts the enamel’s natural resistance to decay. In most cases, the amount of fluoride placed in toothpaste, and occasionally drinking water, is good enough to support you child’s enamel. Depending on your child’s circumstances, however, they might benefit from a higher concentration applied directly to the teeth.
- Sealants — On the chewing surfaces of your child’s molars are small crevices, also called “pits and fissures”. These crevices are favorite places for bacteria to collect and grow. Dental sealants cover over the areas, eliminating the opportunity for any bacteria to get a foothold.
- Bonding — “Kids will be kids,” which means that sometimes their youthful vigor might lead to a chipped or broken tooth. Fortunately, your dentist has bonding materials that are perfect for treating affected areas. Typically, these materials are based on plastic or glass resins, and can be specially colored to match your child’s teeth.
- Root canal — One of the main tasks for baby teeth is guiding permanent teeth into proper position. If the baby teeth are injured or decayed, they won’t perform this task as designed. The permanent teeth might push out of alignment, causing difficult problems in the future. A root canal treatment can save a baby tooth, allowing it to finish its task without further incident.
- Orthodontic treatment — The positioning of your child’s teeth and jaw becomes clear to your dentist by the time your child reaches seven years old. If your dentist detects any issue, they will discuss that issue with you, along with available treatment options. Orthodontic treatments early on might avoid more complicated and expensive treatments later.
- Custom mouthguards — Especially if your child plays active sports, your dentist at the Marconi Dental Group might recommend a mouthguard that makes a snug fit over their unique tooth line, greatly reducing the chances of dental injury. Of course, there are other mouthguard options available, but custom mouthguards offer the best fit and the best protection from both sports-related accidents and dental expenses later.
Of course, the Marconi Dental Group knows that every mouth is different, as is every child. If you would like to discuss a specific issue your child might be facing, or would like to schedule a consultation, please call us directly or schedule an appointment online.