What is Pediatric Dental Care?
Dental Care Includes:
-- Mouth exam, cleaning, & topical fluoride treatment.
-- Diagnosis & radiographs (x-rays)
Mouth Exam for New Patients or Recares
During a mouth exam the dentist will check for any signs of dental decay, periodontal problems, abscess/infection, signs of oral cancer, proper tooth/jaw development and future orthodontic needs. The dentist will also discuss any questions or concerns you may have.
During a dental cleaning (prophylaxis) the dental hygienist will remove any plaque and tartar from your child’s teeth. This includes dental flossing. Your child’s teeth will be polished with a powered brush that feels similar to that of a battery operated toothbrush.
Towards the end of the visit a topical fluoride will be applied by either a mouth rinse, styrofoam tray or a toothbrush. The fluoride, when applied to the surfaces of the teeth regularly, helps to strengthen the teeth against decay.
Why is a timer given out to children? How is it helpful?
Most children need to brush their teeth longer. The sand timer helps to extend brushing time to 2-3 minutes and to hopefully give the child enough time to do a more thorough job.
Proper Brushing Technique
The toothbrush should be held with the bristles at a 45 degree angle to the gums. The brush should move in a circular motion to sweep plaque away from the gumline. In younger children, large circles can be used to encourage proper brushing. It doesn't matter if you start brushing on the top or bottom, but you should follow the same pattern each time you brush to make sure no teeth are missed. Encourage kids to follow a pattern, too! To complete plaque removal, brushing should always be followed by flossing.
If your child has had a traumatic injury to either their teeth or gums it is a good idea to have it checked by your dentist. An x-ray of the area and a visual examination will help to determine what, if any, treatment needs to be done.
Occasionally you may consider having another opinion regarding potential treatment of your child. At a second opinion visit it is highly recommended that any x-rays taken at the first visit office be brought so new ones are not needed. A thorough exam of the teeth and x-rays will be completed so a plan of treatment can be presented.
Ortho Mouth Exam
A visual exam of how the teeth articulate (come together) and an exam of the TMJ (jaw joint) will be done. If it is determined that orthodontic records (panelipse, cephalometric x-ray, study models, and photos of the teeth) are needed another appointment will be scheduled. A consultation will follow where the child, parent, and dentist discuss treatment, potential braces, appliances, etc.
Dental x-rays are pictures of teeth, bone and soft tissue that can not be seen in a visual examination – essential to accurate diagnosis.
The radiation from dental x-rays is VERY LOW. We have new state inspected equipment and the child is covered with a lead-lined apron.
Our x-ray protocol follows the guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Why does my child need dental x-rays?
1. Evaluate developing teeth and jaws.
A panoramic x-ray is taken when the adult front teeth have erupted to evaluate adult tooth development.
-- check for extra teeth (supernumerary teeth)
-- check for missing teeth (congenitally missing –failure of tooth formation)
-- check for cysts and tumors
2. Cavity detection – Bitewing x-rays
Bitewing x-rays are taken every 18 months unless a child is cavity prone. Then bitewing x-rays would be taken more often.
Bitewing x-rays are taken for detection of decay in between teeth where they touch each other.
3. Periapical x-rays
Periapical x-ray shows the whole tooth (crown & root)
-- Check position of developing adult tooth
-- Check for dental abscess
-- Check fractured tooth following an accident
-- Check for an extra tooth (supernumerary)