No two children area like and sometimes no mater how hard you’ve tried, it just seems like there are some oral health issues that are unavoidable. We understand and are here to help! The first thing you can do is get scheduled for a full exam, which includes a radiographic (as needed) and clinical exam of your child’s entire oral cavity, gum health, as well as the condition of each individual tooth. Once the exam is complete, our pit crew will get to work on putting an action plan together to ensure that we take care of your child’s immediate challenges and / or discomforts. We will also educate you and your child on how to minimize risk factors and put a plan in place to address their overall oral health.
Especially in front teeth, if we find that your child has a lot of decay or a fracture, we may recommend a resin crown to cover the entire tooth. Aesthetically speaking, resin is a moldable material and is available in many shades that allow us to custom match the natural tooth color. While this makes an immediate difference in appearance, they do have the tendency to stain and discolor and can even fracture or break over time. This is the main reason that we only recommend them for front teeth and special care is also encouraged to prolong the longevity of the filling. In the event that there is an issue with a back primary (baby) tooth that compromises multiple tooth surfaces, we recommend a stainless steel crown. These are prefabricated crowns that cover the entire visible portion of the tooth. These crowns (commonly referred to as silver caps) are incredibly durable and the favored choice for restoring back teeth when a large portion of the tooth is lost due to extensive decay or a fracture. These crowns are durable enough to sustain normal biting forces and are usually well hidden as they are located in the back of the mouth.
If during the exam we find that your child has a cavity, we may recommend either a white or a silver filling. Our decision will be mostly based on where the tooth is located and / or how large the cavity is. Resin fillings are typically the material of choice unless the decay is very large or the caries rate is high, in which case a stronger, more durable material (such as amalgam) is recommended. At this point in the process it will be important for us to have an open discussion about the positives and negatives of each option based on the exact needs of your child. Of course we greatly value your opinion, and hope that together we can come up with a plan of action that makes sense.
Sometimes, no matter how hard we’ve tried, a more complex level of treatment is required, which could even include extractions. At this point mild sedation can greatly help increase cooperation and reduce anxiety associated with dental treatment. Various medications can be used to sedate a child, however, medications will need to be selected based upon a child’s overall health, level of anxiety, and dental treatment recommendations. In our open environment, we have found that most children respond quite positively to basic behavior modification and nitrous oxide because we spend a lot time building trust as we educate both you and your child on everything we are about to do. In most cases, if we need to perform any level of sedation, we find the parent is comfortable with what we need to do and their child is actually excited about the process and looking forward to it. Due to this atraumatic dental experience, their anxiety is usually even lower, which makes the next visit even easier!
Learn More about our Sedation Methods
Invisible germs called bacteria live in your mouth all the time. Some of these bacteria help form a sticky material called plaque on the surface of the teeth. When you put sugar in your mouth, the bacteria in the plaque gobble up the sweet stuff and turn it into acids. These acids are powerful enough to dissolve the hard enamel that covers your teeth. That’s how cavities get started. If you don’t eat much sugar or clean your mouth immediately after, the bacteria can’t produce as much of the acid that eats away enamel.
Eating healthy and nutritious snacks are not only good for your overall health, but a few of of them can actually help your teeth while you are eating them! Eating raw fruits like apples, pears, pineapple and oranges are great examples of healthy fruits that provide less food for bacteria. Raw vegetables like broccoli, celery, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes are also really good you and your teeth!
Sugary snacks taste so good — but they aren’t so good for your teeth or your body. The candies, cakes, cookies and other sugary foods that kids love to eat between meals can cause tooth decay. Some sugary foods have a lot of fat in them, too. Kids who consume sugary snacks eat many different kinds of sugar every day, including table sugar (sucrose) and corn sweeteners (fructose). Starchy snacks can also break down into sugars once they’re in your mouth. We know it is hard to keep kids away from these foods, especially when being used as a reward, but minimizing snacking on damaging foods to mealtime and excellent oral hygiene practices can minimize damages. This will keep your children able to eat comfortably and wanting to smile all the time!