Symptoms of teething or any other dental problems manifest in the behaviour of a child. They may be anxious, distressed and cry more, and loose their appetite and concentration. That can lead their parents to a stressful situation. Therefore it is crucial to schedule regular dental checkups with pediatric dentist and prevent any dental problems as much as possible to diminish the risk that the child will develop severe tooth cavities. So, the child will stay away from any unwelcomed tooth pain, which can cause them discomfort and lack of concentration.
Early checkups help prevent cavities and tooth decay, which can lead to pain, trouble concentrating and other medical issues. Children with healthy teeth chew food easily, learn to speak clearly and smile with confidence. Due to this In pediatric dentistry, when examining the children teeth, dentists first make sure that the teeth are developing correctly and ensure they continue to have good oral health when they are older.
For this purpose, it is important to create a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere for the child during dental check-ups. In this way, With some preparation and a good attitude, you can help your children have a positive view of their oral health and a trusting relationship with their dentists. When kids are happy during dental checkups, better dental care can happen. It is a win-win situation for the dentist, the parents, and, of course, the children.
Routine Childhood Dental Exams
Your child’s first dental visit is to help your child feel comfortable with the pediatric dentist. Depending on the child’s age, the visit may include a full exam of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to check growth and development.
In some cases if needed, your child may also have a gentle cleaning. This includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar, and stains.
Also administering X-rays (if needed) and other gentle treatments to ease the children’s teeth problems. The children’s dentist may show you and your child proper home cleaning such as flossing, and advise you on the need for fluoride.
In this respect, Teaching kids dental routine will help them understand the importance of good oral hygiene and how to maintain a proper dental care routine. It is clear that establishing a regular dental care routine make it natural for them to always maintain good dental habits right throughout their lives for optimum oral health.
Who is a Pediatric Dentist ?
Pediatric dentists are specialists dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through teenage years.
Children’s dentists have completed at least five years in dental school and three additional years of hospital-based specialist training, Including the treatment of kids with complex medical conditions and special needs. so that pediatric dentist can become expert in specialized treatment methods of various types of dental problems among children.
In addition, during this course, the essential training will be provided to the children’s dentist to manage and tackle the issues or concerns associated with the health, physical, or mental status of the patient.
Why is it important for children to go to the pediatric dentist?
Pediatric dentist can advise kids on how to prevent decay and identify any oral health problems at an early stage. Just opening up the child’s mouth for the dentist to take a look at is useful practice for the future. In fact, prevention and treatment is the center of attention for children’s dentist.
Meanwhile, dentists help promoting the knowledge and attitude about oral health maintenance in parents and in return, this will influence the oral health of children at early age.
Children’s dentist receives all necessary training at dental school and then becomes a resident dentist to take additional hospital-based specialist training. In addition, the best pediatric dentist will keep on working to introduce and implement better methods to prevent dental problems among children during their training and practice.
Today, there are many brochures and educational guidelines to help parents prepare for their child’s first dental visit, as well as to help them improve their knowledge about preventative oral care.
However, children dentist has a proper role in ensuring a healthy smile for the child. In fact, with the close cooperation of parents with children’s dentist, it is more likely to guarantee the children’s oral health and the beauty of their smile for the rest of their lives.
Meanwhile, It is easy to see that children’s dentistry has a role to play in protecting children and preventing impairment of their health or development. Where is indicating the responsibility of dental team to facilitate care by providing family-friendly dental services that are convenient and meet the needs of children and families.
Most Common Dental Problems in Children
- Tooth decay
- Gum diseases
- Premature tooth loss
- Thumb sucking
- Teeth grinding
- Crowded Teeth and the need for orthodontics
- Jaw Deformity and Malocclusion
- Baby Teeth Discoloration
Dental Treatment for Children
Some of the common pediatric dental procedures are:
Tooth restoration and filling
Tooth filling is a procedure in children’s dentistry, in which tooth decay or the cavity is carefully removed from children’s teeth. Then, the dentist will fill the cavity with filling and restored the teeth. Due to the fact that filling materials are being used inside the tooth or its surrounding areas, many people refer to tooth restoration as filling. In this way, this method is used by children’s dentist to restore the structure of the natural teeth.
If your child’s baby teeth are decaying, it is necessary to repair the decay teeth in order to stop the growth of Bacteria and its spread to other teeth. In fact, if these conditions are neglected and left untreated, caries may spread to other parts of the child’s mouth and eventually lead to the teeth loss (before the due date) for the child.
Fluoride therapy plays an effective role in improving the strength of tooth enamel and makes tooth enamel harder and increases its resistance to decay.
Although toothpastes consist of very low levels of fluoride and also municipal water sources, today it is possible to use higher dose of fluoride routinely on children’s teeth under supervision of the pediatric dentist during the child’s dental appointments however, bear in mind that too much fluoride over a long period when the teeth are forming under the gums can cause dental fluorosis—a discoloration of teeth, usually with opaque white marks, lines, or mottled enamel and poor mineralization.
Fissure sealants (or dental sealants) are an acrylic coating that children’s dentist applies to the natural fissures and pits on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth in order to prevent the development of dental caries in deep grooves (also known as fissures).
In fact, these small grooves are suitable environments for the accumulation of bacteria that cause tooth decay in children. Note that tooth enamel in the early stages of development are more valuable to penetrate bacteria and acid and therefore has less resistance to caries. In this regard, It is widely agreed that sealants are highly effective in helping to prevent decay in fissures as it is assumed that fissure sealants have a long lasting protective effect in children’s teeth.
Baby-tooth root canal treatment
Dental pulpotomy is normally performed on children to try and salvage what is left of a decayed primary or deciduous tooth (typically a molar), where bacteria reached the pulp of children’s teeth due to caries. Meanwhile unlike a regular root canal, a pulpotomy only removes infected pulp from the exposed part of the tooth, not the root. Damage deciduous teeth must be treated to avoid the spreading of inflammation and infection that can cause tooth abscess.
Baby tooth caps
When a child has a large cavity in a baby tooth, there is often not enough tooth structure left to hold the filling. In these cases, a kind of protective cover is placed over a tooth, typically to restore them after decay. Stainless steel caps are also used to repair broken or cracked teeth and teeth weakened by injuries. When crowns are used on baby teeth, they’re typically intended just to help replace the function of a natural tooth until it is ready to fall out on its own.
As stainless steel crowns are pre-made, they are placed over a tooth, simply in one session. Baby teeth that have root canal treatment (pulpotomy) also need to be restored with this crown as a protective cover.
Baby tooth extraction
Although baby teeth play an important role in your child’s health and development , there are many reasons why your child’s teeth may need to be extracted early. Children’s tooth extraction may be done in case of severe toothache, severe decay or infection, trauma or disruption in the normal tooth loss pattern.
Sometimes the decision to extract a tooth may not be due to a problem with the tooth itself, but due to the fact that the extraction is beneficial for the adjacent teeth; For example, if a baby tooth prevents the proper eruption of a permanent tooth. In addition, the children’s dentist may extract child’s tooth to speed up the start of orthodontic treatment.
Although the main goal is to try to preserve the baby teeth, and to keep them healthy till they fall out on its own, however, there are some reasons that make the dentist recommend tooth extractions in certain circumstances. The dentist normally provides parents with different treatment options and help them make the best decision.
Children’s dental orthodontics
Common problems that are corrected by a pediatric dentist or orthodontist include:
- Crowded teeth
- Protruding front teeth
Cessation of habits, like thumb sucking and correcting the bite once this has stopped.
Generally speaking, Orthodontic treatment commonly uses to treat misalignment of the teeth or jaws and managing the development of the teeth.
The American Dental Association and American Association of Orthodontists state that children should first see a dentist or orthodontist to visit and check the need for orthodontics when they are around seven years old.
For this purpose, it is necessary to monitor teeth development with the administration of diagnostic radiography by a pediatric dentist.
As a result, by visiting a children’s dentist, it is possible to guide the child teeth development to an ideal smile design. Perhaps orthodontics for children can diminish the potential need for surgery or other excessive treatments in the future.
If you need orthodontic treatment for your child, you can get the necessary recommendations and treatment methods by visiting a children’s dental clinic.
At what age should a child start going to the pediatric dentist?
When your child first milk teeth appears it is time when the standard every-six-month dental visit recommendation kicks into gear. That is when the child is between ages 4 and 6. However, The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you bring your child in for a dental checkup no later than your child’s first birthday.
Bear in mind that the first visits with the pediatric dentist are so they become familiar with the environment and get to know the dentist. The children’s dentist can advise kids and their parents on how to prevent decay and identify any oral health problems at an early stage.
How to Prepare Your Child for that First Dental Visit with children’s dentist?
The best way to ensure a calm and successful first dental visit is to take a little time to prepare your child. For example by talking to your child, in an age-appropriate way, about the sequence of events during the visit. In addition, kids tend to mirror their parents reactions to the situation. This is especially true if you fear the dentist yourself. Therefore, try to project the attitude that a dentist’s visit is fun, and that the children’s dentist is a friend who is there to help.
An early start on good dental health is important for all kids. A constructive experience at the first dental visit can motivate children on a lifetime of good oral care and overall health.
The more children visit dentists, the more they get accustomed to dental practice and it becomes normal and they understand that it is for their own well being to visit the dentist to ensure their dental health is in order.
In this way, You can also support children’s awareness of oral health by explaining the importance of the proper methods of oral and dental health care such as proper brushing, regular visits to the children’s dentist, flossing, and choosing the right diet is of particular importance. It is likely that interventions that reduce sugar intake have the potential to impact risk factors for both dental caries and for obesity among children.
It is important to arrange your child’s first dental appointment with the pediatric dentist when they are usually in a good mood and attentive. The best time for younger children tends to be in the mornings. Try to avoid later appointments for their first few visits. Later in the day, children are often tired, which may negatively impact their first dental experience.
Should the parent remain with the child in the dental operatory?
For younger patients under the age of three, dental teams usually invite parents to stay with their child during the initial examination, cleanings, and other dental treatments. Since, child feel more comfortable with the parent close by , parents may be asked to sit in the dental chair with their child on their lap.
However, Studies have shown that children over the age of 3 often make better relationship with their pediatric dentist and respond better to dental treatments when their parents aren’t in sight.
Despite this fact, there are still some situations where children’s dental fears and anxiety may lead to behaviour management problems for the dentist. In fact this can be a barrier to the successful dental treatment of children, In these circumstances Sedation can be used to relieve anxiety and manage behaviour in children undergoing dental treatment.
Once the child has been registered for the sedation procedure, a member of the dental staff will take the child’s vital signs, weight, and medical history. As the parent or legal guardian, you will be asked to sign a consent form before the sedation is given.
In this respect, Written consent must be obtained for treatment under conscious sedation or general anaesthetic, as set out in the GDC’s guidance.
To describe the process, Sedation medication may be given by mouth, through the nose, or directly into a vein through an intravenous (IV) line.
What causes tooth decay in a child?
Tooth decay in babies and young children is often known as baby bottle tooth decay. Baby bottle tooth decay frequently caused by babies being put to bed or down for a nap with bottles filled with sugary liquids that contain natural sugars (such as milk, formula, and fruit juice). Bacteria in the mouth metabolize sugars to produce acid that demineralizes the hard tissues of the teeth and develops tooth decay.
Children whose pacifiers are frequently dipped in sugar or syrup are at risk. Giving sweet drinks while the baby is sleeping is very damaging to children’s teeth because the saliva flow decreases during sleep.
Primary tooth care
Baby teeth may be small and temporary, but they have a very important role in the development of the permanent teeth. They serve as best space maintainers for permanent teeth. Without a healthy set of primary teeth, your baby will clearly have trouble chewing and speaking. For this reason, it is very important to protect baby teeth and take care of them against decay. You can take care of baby teeth by following these tips:
- Brushing teeth twice a day once baby teeth come in
- have some form of fluoride every day
- Visit the dentist by your baby’s first birthday
Regular visit to children’s dentist