At Leaf Dental, we strive to keep the entire family cavity free. Our main objective with children under three years of age is the creation of a “dental home,” parental education and evaluation of tooth development. We discuss nutrition and when to expect eruption or loss of future baby teeth.
Once a child turns three, we stress the importance of semi-annual cleanings and fluoride treatments. We evaluate the oral cavity for permanent teeth and place sealants on teeth as it becomes necessary to prevent future cavities.
Baby teeth will ultimately exfoliate, but until they do, they must be kept healthy as they maintain space in the mouth for adult teeth. If they are lost too early, the space in the mouth begins to close up and there is inadequate space for adult teeth to erupt causing crooked or malpositioned teeth.
At the initial dental visit, each child will undergo a comprehensive oral exam with necessary radiographs. Parents or guardians will have the opportunity to discuss their concerns regarding the child’s oral condition or development.
It is very important to evaluate the development of a child’s oral cavity to prevent crooked or malpositioned teeth. Once the malpositioning is diagnosed, a child may need braces and can be referred to an orthodontist for evaluation.
Brushing and Flossing Techniques
Good oral health begins early! This is why we make all attempts to help a child learn how to properly brush and floss.
During the course of every day and night, teeth begin to form a film called plaque. While normal brushing removes most of the build-up, dental cleanings are needed to remove the hardened plaque called tartar. Routine dental cleanings are necessary to help prevent cavities.
Recently erupted teeth are most susceptible to decay. To reduce cavity incidence and risk, we routinely perform fluoride treatment on children’s teeth.
When teeth erupt, they are most susceptible to decay. At this time, we place dental sealants into the grooves of teeth to prevent decay.
Once teeth get decayed, the process by which the bacteria eats away at the tooth does not cease on its own. Once the tooth gets penetrated with bacteria, it must be removed mechanically and a filling must be placed to restore the tooth for proper function.
When baby teeth are severely decayed or abscessed, a child may need to have a pulpotomy, or a baby root canal. At this time, the nerve is removed to stop the current or prevent a future abscess.
When baby teeth are severely decayed or have had a pulpotomy, a crown must be placed on a child’s tooth. This crown maintains the tooth and space in the mouth until the baby tooth exfoliates.
Kids will be kids and accidents can happen when playing sports. To avoid fracture or loss of teeth, we advocate using a athletic guard. With a simple impression, a athletic guard can be fabricated for protection during athletic activities.
There can be a variety of reasons for extracting a tooth. We are always happy to discuss the pros and cons of any dental treatment with you, including extraction.
Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas”, is a safe, mild sedative that your dentist may utilize to help calm your child throughout a dental procedure. It is typically delivered through a “space mask,” carrying oxygen mixed with the nitrous oxide. All your child needs to do is stay calm and breathe through the nose. The sedative takes effect in approximately five minutes.
Nitrous oxide does not put your child into a deep slumber. He or she will be awake throughout the procedure and, as happens quite often, will enjoy a sense of happiness. Following the procedure, your child will breathe pure oxygen for around five minutes to clear out remaining gas.