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Importance of Routine Dental Visits for Your Child

Importance of Routine Dental Visits for Your Child

Routine dental visits are essential for all people of any age, starting around three years old. As long as there are teeth present, there is the possibility of cavities, gum disease and any other mouth or tissue abnormality. 

What Happens at Your Child’s Appointment? 

Your child is recommended to have a check-up exam and a dental cleaning at least every six months with their dentist and dental hygienist. During these appointments, your child’s teeth will be completely cleaned with various tools, stains removed with polishing, fluoride treatments provided to prevent cavities, oral hygiene instruction demonstrated and reviewed, and their teeth and mouths thoroughly checked over to assess for health.

A diagnosis will be made regarding their teeth and gums’ health, and any necessary referrals will be made, such as to an orthodontist. These visits are critical times to check in to make sure they are doing an adequate job with their brushing and flossing and to set new goals for them regarding keeping their teeth and gums healthy at home.

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Common Issues During Exfoliation/ Eruption 

Several common issues occur in children’s mouths when they are losing baby teeth and getting adult teeth, and these issues are looked for and assessed each time your child comes in for their check-up. Periodically, x-rays will be taken to assess the adult teeth’ position under the gums and the health of the baby teeth. Listed below are several common issues that occur in children’s mouths that may affect future spacing and alignment:

  • Premature loss of a baby tooth 
  • Delayed loss of a baby tooth 
  • Eruption of an adult tooth behind a baby tooth
  • Ectopic (meaning out of place) adult canines or any other adult tooth under the gums 
  • Hypoplastic enamel of adult teeth (meaning the enamel didn’t form properly)
  • Extra or missing adult teeth 

A check-up exam and x-rays will give a precise diagnosis if any of these conditions arise, and the necessary steps can be taken. A referral may be made to an orthodontist. A baby tooth may need to be extracted to create space, etc. It is vital to catch these problems as early as possible to create a solution. Make sure to bring your child in every six months for their cleaning and check-up exam. 

If your child is due for their cleaning and check-up exam, or you have any questions about the health of your child’s teeth, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

Learn When Dental Crowns Are Used For Children

Learn When Dental Crowns Are Used For Children

When a child has tooth decay, because the baby tooth is smaller and the nerve and blood supply is quite large for the size of the tooth, the decay can often travel fast into the underlying structure of the tooth, including the nerve and blood supply. Once the decay enters the nerve of the tooth, there is no way to save the tooth without either extracting it or performing a form of root canal treatment and placing a crown on top. If one of these two options is not performed, the tooth will end up having an infection that can be painful to the child and potentially cause problems with the adult tooth underneath. 

Option 1: Extraction

When an extraction is performed, the baby tooth with the deep cavity is removed, and a space maintainer is placed. The space maintainer is used to hold the space for the adult tooth to have enough room to erupt when the time comes. Because adult teeth find their place by resorbing the roots of the baby teeth before them, sometimes the adult tooth may erupt slightly off course if the baby tooth is taken out premature. 

Option 2: Nerve treatment and stainless steel crown

Saving the baby tooth is the ideal solution to a large cavity. A filling is placed that removes all the decay, the nerve and blood supply is treated, and a stainless steel crown is placed on top. This gives the baby tooth more of a chance of staying in place until the adult tooth below is ready to erupt. Placing a crown instead of removing the tooth also allows for adequate function such as chewing and eating.

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The first sign of a cavity is a stained or brown spot, usually between teeth or on the biting surface of a tooth, or a chip to a tooth. If you suspect your child may have a cavity, it is crucial to bring them into the dentist immediately, so it is not left to progress. If you have any questions about cavities, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.