Regular dental exams are an important part of preventive health care. Your child should have regular check-ups every six months to ensure that we diagnose cavities early, monitor your child’s dental development and reinforce good oral hygiene practices. Children who are cavity-prone and adolescents undergoing orthodontic treatment may benefit from more frequent check-ups. Regular check-ups include professional dental cleaning, topical fluoride application, dental X-rays or other diagnostic procedures such as inspection of the floor of the mouth, all surfaces of the tongue, the salivary glands and ducts, and the lymph nodes of the neck.
During a dental exam for children, the dentist will likely discuss your child's diet and oral hygiene habits and demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques. Other topics for discussion during a dental exam for children may include preventing oral injuries.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under six years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.
It is certainly important for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride. This is the timeframe during which the primary and permanent teeth come in. New research indicates that topical fluorides -- from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments -- are as important in fighting tooth decay as in strengthening developing teeth
TOOTH CLEANINGS, FLOSSING AND ORAL HEALTH CARE
The purpose of teeth cleaning is to prevent the build-up of plaque, the sticky film of bacteria and food that forms on the teeth. Plaque adheres to the crevices and fissures of the teeth and generates acids that, when not removed on a regular basis, slowly eat away, or decay, the protective enamel surface of the teeth, causing holes (cavities) to form. Plaque also irritates gums and can lead and tooth loss. Tooth brushing and flossing remove plaque from teeth, and antiseptic mouthwashes kill some of the bacteria that help form plaque. Fluoride—in toothpaste, drinking water, or dental treatments—also helps to protect teeth by binding with enamel to make it stronger. In addition to such daily oral care, regular visits to the dentist promote oral health.
X-rays are still an important part of any dental examination to help diagnose any problems under the surface or around the foundations of the teeth.
These are usually taken by having the child bite on a small tab which steadies the x-ray film in the mouth while the dentist positions the x-ray beam so that they can take the picture Usually four x-rays are taken for examinations but it also depends on the age of the child.
Sealants are a thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth – usually the back teeth (the premolars, and molars) – to prevent tooth decay. The painted on liquid sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.
Most often the chewing surfaces of the posterior teeth are more prone to decay. This is because these teeth have numerous pits and grooves on it. Even if a child brushes carefully, it is difficult to clean the small grooves and pits, which is present on these teeth. Food debris and bacterial products tend to accumulate on these surfaces making them more prone to decay.
BONDING OR WHITE (TOOTH-COLORED) FILLINGS
Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material (a durable plastic material) is applied and hardened with a special light, which ultimately "bonds" the material to the tooth to restore or improve person's smile.
Dental bonding is an option that can be considered:
To repair decayed teeth (composite resins are used to fill cavities)
To repair chipped or cracked teeth
To improve the appearance of discolored teeth
To close spaces between teeth
To make teeth look longer
To change the shape of teeth
As a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings
To protect a portion of the tooth's root that has been exposed when gums receded
STAINLESS STEEL CROWNS
Stainless steel crowns are one of the most durable restorative materials used in pediatric dentistry. They are usually made of stainless steel, are biocompatible, and do not corrode in the moist atmosphere of the oral cavity even after many years.
Stainless steel crowns are indicated for the following conditions:
• Tooth decay involving more than two surfaces of a tooth (where the normal filling materials do not stay)
• Tooth treated with root canal treatment etc.,
• Sometimes these crowns are used as space maintainers
• Other developmental problems in which the form of the tooth is affected badly
BABY TOOTH NERVE TREATMENTS AND ROOT CANALS
When nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of the roots of the tooth. An abscess occurs when the infection spreads all the way past the ends of the roots of the tooth. In addition to an abscess, an infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause:
Swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head
Bone loss around the tip of the root
Drainage problems extending outward from the root. A hole can occur through the side of the tooth with drainage into the gums or through the cheek with drainage into the skin
Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure
Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures (after the hot or cold has been removed)
Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth
Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
Sometimes no symptoms are present
There are a number of reasons why your dentist might recommend that you have a tooth, or even several teeth, extracted.
Listed below are some of these reasons
a) Broken, cracked, or extensively decayed teeth
b) Teeth that are unsuitable candidates for root canal treatment
c) In preparation for orthodontic treatment (braces).
d) Malpositioned or nonfunctional teeth
Baby teeth (dentists call them primary or deciduous teeth) aren't just for chewing. Each one also acts as a guide for the permanent tooth that replaces it. If a primary tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth loses its guide and can drift or erupt incorrectly into the mouth. Neighboring teeth also can move or tilt into the space, so the permanent tooth can't come in.
Primary teeth can be lost too early for several reasons:
• They can be knocked out in a fall or other accident.
• Extensive decay can require that a primary tooth be extracted.
• Primary teeth can be missing at birth.
• Some diseases or conditions can contribute to early tooth loss.
If your child loses a primary tooth before the permanent tooth is ready to come in, or if the permanent tooth is missing, your dentist may decide to use a space maintainer. The maintainer keeps the space open until the permanent tooth comes in.
LAUGHING GAS (NITROUS OXIDE)
Inhalation sedation, laughing gas, relative analgesia, RA, happy gas, gas, nitrous, nitrous oxide, N2O-O2... this one has more names than any other sedation technique!
Some children become anxious in the dental office and cannot relax or sit still long enough for the dentist to treat them. In some cases, the child may be very cooperative but has a strong gag reflex that makes it difficult for them to tolerate things in their mouth. For these children, the dentist may recommend some form of conscious sedation.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is simply a gas which you can breathe in. It has no color, smell, and doesn't irritate. The effects of nitrous oxide: it assists in diminishing the fear of pain - and it induces a pleasurable, relaxing feeling in which facilitates the dentist in rendering safe dental treatment.