We don’t just offer treatment for adults, but for kids and teens too! Routine care is needed to protect smiles of all ages from issues like tooth decay and gingivitis. But what treatments do we offer for kids? In today’s blog, your Lake Orion, MI, dentist talks about our approach to children’s dental care.
The First Visit
When should your child visit a dentist for the first time? We recommend an initial knee-to-knee lap exam at around age one, one the first baby tooth has erupted. This one involves no treatment, but lets us make sure the baby teeth are arriving as they should, and allows us to watch for possible signs of trouble.
Starting at around age two, children need to see our team for a checkup about once every six months. These routine exams allow us to regularly conduct checkups with advanced imaging technology, so we can identify areas of concern in the early stages, before the overall health of your child’s smile is threatened. We typically look for tooth decay, and also make sure primary teeth erupt and fall out on schedule, and ensure permanent teeth can erupt without complication, as this can limit the risk of misalignment and the need for orthodontics in the teen years. These visits also help kids gain a better understanding of their oral health and the actions needed to keep teeth and gums strong and healthy. Since they become accustomed to our office, this means they’ll be more likely to continue care as adults, protecting them from serious concerns like gum disease and tooth loss.
Our team can also perform a dental cleaning in the same visit as a checkup. With a cleaning, we carefully remove all plaque and tartar from your child’s smile with an ultrasonic scaling device and a manual pick. Doing so helps prevent complications related to plaque, such as a higher risk for tooth decay, gingivitis, bad breath, and stained teeth. In between these visits, making sure your child brushes twice a day and flosses every evening can help limit the severity of plaque until their next visit.
If we do discover a cavity, we can offer a metal-free treatment option with composite resin fillings. In one visit, we can remove decay and place these lifelike fillings, which we color match to blend with your child’s tooth. In addition, we can also offer lifelike and metal-free crowns, to improve bite balance and chewing function, or to address damaged teeth or more severe cases of tooth decay. We want your children to obtain quality care, and a brighter smile.
During each checkup, we can also fight the threats of cavities with a fluoride treatment. We apply this naturally occurring mineral to the teeth with a topical gel. The process takes minutes and your kids just need to avoid eating or drinking for about 30 minutes. The fluoride helps strengthen the outer enamel to fortify smiles against the onset of cavities. This is also why kids should use a fluoride toothpaste when brushing their teeth. Children three and younger should use a rice sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, and kids over the age of three should use a pea sized amount each time they brush.
Often, children have trouble reaching the rear teeth when they brush and floss due to limited dexterity. As a result, food and drink particles could become stuck between these teeth. Bacteria then break them down and create a plaque buildup that weakens enamel and makes tooth decay more likely for children. However, we can help with our dental sealants. This is a special plastic coating we add to the rear molars. The layers coat the teeth and prevent food and drink particles from clinging to the teeth or becoming stuck between them. The layers can stay in place for years to come, often as long as ten. There is no need to remove the layers, as they will wear away with time. But as they do, they still cling the longest to the more vulnerable portions of the rear teeth.
If you have any questions about how our team can protect little smiles, or if you would like to schedule the first checkup and cleaning of 2023 for your kids, then contact our team today to get started. We look forward to helping your entire family enjoy good oral health for years to come.
Does Your Child Needs Treatment
Contact Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, MI by calling 248-693-6213 to schedule your next appointment with our team and learn more about the care we offer for kids of all ages.