Children need preventive care and restorative treatments just as adults do, and at our practice we offer a comprehensive selection of procedures to help your young ones maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. Our experienced pediatric dentists are dedicated to providing a gentle, compassionate approach that allows your children to feel as much at ease as possible during their visits. With guidance and support, we can limit the risk of damage and decay and encourage healthy oral hygiene habits that last a lifetime. For more information about the common pediatric dental treatments we provide, please follow the links below or contact our practice for additional information.
- Routine Exams and Cleanings
- Dental Crowns
- Dental Sealants
- Mouthguards and Nightguards
Routine Exams and Cleanings
Our routine examinations are designed to identify any issues that may be developing and maintain a high degree of oral health in your child. Some of the steps involved in a routine cleaning and evaluation include:
- Checking for conditions that cannot be seen or felt
- Looking for signs of cavities (caries) and tooth decay
- Inspecting the gums and soft tissues for gingivitis, periodontal disease, or other disease
- Performing a cleaning to remove plaque and bacteria from teeth
Cosmetic bonding is used to address minor cracks and chips in the teeth. It can also be used to repair mildly crooked teeth and improve the appearance of the smile. Bonding is tooth-colored material that is applied to the teeth where it “bonds,” becoming fully integrated with the dentition. Bonding is often an affordable way to address minor concerns and can often be completed in a single visit.
Sometimes children’s teeth can become too damaged for a filling to repair, in which case a dental crown may be recommended. Dental crowns are also often used after a root canal. While it’s true children’s “baby” teeth will fall out and be replaced by permanent teeth, it’s still imperative to take good care of these primary teeth and restore them after decay. Oral health affects whole health, and addressing damage and disease is important to your child’s well-being. Crowns can be created from several different types of materials. We will go over your options during your appointment, so you can help choose the best option for your needs, goals, and budget.
Occasionally, a primary or permanent tooth may need to be removed. This may be recommended to help aid the proper eruption of permanent teeth, create space needed for orthodontic alignment, or remove a tooth that is too severely decayed to be saved. Your child will be made comfortable and numbed for the procedure, and we offer treatment with nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for patients who experience significant anxiety. We will take great care to minimize discomfort during this procedure, which can usually be completed in a single visit.
Caries, commonly known as cavities, can occur in primary and permanent teeth. Fillings are the most common restorative treatment, and they are used to rebuild the area of the tooth that was subject to decay. We offer many materials for fillings, including tooth-colored options. Fillings typically can be completed in a single session by “filling” the cavity created during the preparation stage of the procedure.
Fluoride treatment is one of the best ways to protect and preserve the health of the teeth. This simple and quick procedure can help reduce plaque buildup and strengthen the surface of the tooth. Fluoride is applied to each tooth, after which point the child should not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes. This gives the fluoride time to absorb into the tooth for optimal results. Every child’s needs are different, and we may recommend fluoride treatments every three, six, or twelve months.
As an additional preventive option, we offer dental sealants. Sealants are used to further protect the biting surface of molars from plaque buildup and decay by “sealing” hard-to-brush areas of the tooth, such as creases, cracks, and small grooves where bacteria can take root. Sealants are most commonly used once the permanent teeth have erupted, but they can also be applied to primary teeth, as needed. This measure offers between three and five years of protection, although sometimes sealants can last much longer. To prevent breakdown of sealants, avoid chewing on anything excessively hard (ice cubes, pen caps, popcorn kernels) or sticky (gummies, jolly ranchers, lollipops, taffy, etc.).
Mouthguards and Nightguards
There are many reasons why a child might need a mouthguard, a nightguard, or both. Children who play competitive sports and other recreational activities that involve contact can protect their smiles with a mouthguard. A nightguard is particularly helpful if a child has TMJ disorder (dysfunction of the jaw joint) or bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding). If your child wakes up with headaches, jaw and tooth pain, or other signs of bruxism, we can create a customized nightguard to protect their teeth while they sleep. Grinding and clenching can cause severe wear and tear, cracks, chips, and even tooth loss, so it’s important to minimize damage with a nightguard.