Oral health for kids can impact their general health.
If a child maintains poor oral hygiene, they may have to start dealing with dental problems early on such as cavities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, twenty percent of kids aged 5 to 11 have one or multiple unaddressed mouth decay problems.
Therefore, it's important to keep up with daily oral care practices.
Additionally, at Reich Dental Center – Roswell, we advise parents and guardians to bring their kids into our office exams and checkups.
Good oral hygiene care at home and regular dental checkups and examinations are the cornerstones of a healthy mouth.
When Should Children First Visit a Dentist?
You do not have to wait long to bring your child in for their initial dental visit. We advise you to make a trip to our pediatric dental office by the time your child attains one year of age or six months after the eruption of their first tooth.
Dental Exams and Cleanings
When kids come into our office, our dentists will conduct exams and perform dental cleanings.
Dental exams look at the gums and teeth. Since the gums and teeth are developing, a pediatric dentist is able to notice any abnormalities, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Exams also help determine if baby teeth are erupting correctly.
Dental cleaning is done to combat bacteria responsible for gum disease, acids in the mouth, and bad breath.
Cleanings also help eliminate plaque, the cloudy, thick biofilm that adheres to the teeth. When not removed, plaque hardens and turns into tartar. Removing tartar is difficult, and only a dental appointment is able to address the problem.
Sports Mouth Guards
A pediatric dentist may also prescribe mouth guards if a child is actively engaged in sports and other activities such as martial arts, skating, baseball, and skateboarding. Customized mouth guards help children protect their mouths and teeth from potential injuries.
Besides dental exams and cleanings, and the safety afforded by a custom mouth guard, another preventative measure is the application of dental sealants to the molars.
Dental sealants are a preventative treatment recommended especially for children. Children find it hard to reach the back areas of the mouth when brushing, meaning that the teeth may suffer cavities.
If a child cannot clean the molar region of the mouth, bacterial plaque continues to build up, leading to gum disease, cavities, and possibly even infection.
Painting sealants on the teeth offers a protective layer from mouth acids, food debris, bacteria, and plaque.
What Are Dental Sealants?
A dental sealant is a thin resin coating that is painted onto your child's back teeth. This coating prevents tooth decay and cavities from developing and spreading on your child's teeth.
While the dental sealant provides a layer of protection to the back molars, it is still important for your child to maintain a regular oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a daily and flossing once daily.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants protect the molars and premolars from catching and retaining food, plaque, and bacteria in the pits and grooves that these larger back teeth typically have.
These larger back teeth can often be harder for children to reach and thoroughly brush. With dental sealants, these teeth are further protected from decay. The sealants act as a barrier.
Dental Sealants Procedure
Applying dental sealants is a quick, easy, and painless procedure. Your child will not need an anesthetic. The dentist will simply paint on the sealant material on top of the molars.
The plastic-like material will harden on top of the teeth. The material is typically clear or tooth colored so it is not noticeable. The sealant will take a few minutes to harden and dry.
The dentist will apply sealants to all of the molars.
If the sealant loosens up, it could potentially create an area where the tooth could develop cavities. The dentist will check your child's sealants whenever they come in for a dental exam and cleaning. They may need to be reapplied after several years.
Is My Child a Candidate for Dental Sealants?
Your child can receive dental sealants after their back teeth have fully developed.
Fluoride - Another Preventative Measure
Another preventative measure in kids'dentistry is fluoride treatment. Fluoride can be applied to your children's teeth as an additional protection against tooth decay and other dental diseases. We can apply fluoride topically or as an oral supplement for your child.
Fluoride has been used in the dental industry for many years. It is a natural mineral that the human body can utilize to prevent cavities.
Fluoride has been tested extensively, and it does not harm people in any way. That is why many cities add fluoride to their city water supply. This way, everyone who drinks water from the faucet is helping protect their teeth.
In some cases, fluoride is even capable of helping teeth reverse cavities that have just started forming. Because of this, fluoride is also added to many toothpastes and mouthwashes.
How Is a Fluoride Treatment Done?
A fluoride treatment is typically done at every six-month checkup.
This treatment is even done when children are infants, although the type of fluoride used and the way it is applied is different.
When a child has no teeth, we will rub a fluoride gel on the gums.
As they get their baby teeth, we will use a type of fluoride varnish. We brush this type of fluoride on the teeth. Once the teeth are covered, the saliva in the child’s mouth makes it harden. This turns the fluoride into a protective coating that will be absorbed into the enamel on the teeth. This strengthens the enamel.
The fluoride varnish also remains on the teeth until your child brushes them, which provides extra protection for the day.
Benefits of Kids Dental Care
Not keeping up with daily oral hygiene habits can lead to severe dental problems in kids, presently and in the future.
When you bring your child into our dentistry office, we will identify any problem areas.
We will look for cavities, gum disease, and other issues and provide treatment, including dental sealants. This way we are able to prevent serious harm to the gums, teeth, and bone.
Schedule a Dental Sealants Application with Your Roswell, GA Dentist!
We encourage you to bring your child in to see our pediatric dental team at Reich Dental Center – Roswell. Call us at 770-992-3353 to set up an appointment.