Many parents have a tough time judging how much dental care their kids need. They know they want to prevent cavities, but they don’t always know the best way to do so. Passing on good oral habits to your child is one of the most important health lessons you can teach them. This means helping him or her brush twice a day, showing the proper way to floss, limiting between-meal snacks and seeing your dentist regularly.
Paediatric Dentists: Consider taking your child to a dentist who specializes in treating kids. Paediatric dentists are trained to handle the wide range of issues associated with kids’ dental health. They also know when to refer you to a different type of specialist such as an orthodontist to correct an overbite or an oral surgeon for jaw realignment.
A paediatric dentist’s primary goal is prevention (heading off potential problems before they occur) and maintenance (using routine checkups and proper daily care to keep teeth and gums healthy).
If your Child has a Problem
If you are prone to tooth decay or gum disease, your kids may be at higher risk as well. Therefore, sometimes even the most diligent brushing and flossing will not prevent a cavity. Be sure to call your dentist if your child complains of tooth pain, which could be a sign of a cavity that needs treatment.
New materials mean paediatric dentists have more filling and repair options than ever. Composite resins, are gaining popularity. These resins bond to the teeth so the filling won’t pop out and can be used to rebuild teeth damaged through injury or conditions such as cleft palate. Tooth-coloured resins are also more attractive.
But in cases of fracture, extensive decay, or malformation of baby teeth, dentists often opt for stainless steel crowns. Crowns maintain the tooth while preventing the decay from spreading.
As kids grow older, their bite and the straightness of their teeth can become an issue. Orthodontic treatment begins earlier now than it once did, but what once was a symbol of preteen embarrassment //? a mouth filled with metal wires and braces //? is a relic of the past. Kids as young as age 7 now sport corrective appliances, and efficient, plastic-based materials have replaced old-fashioned metal contraptions.
Dentists know that manipulation of teeth at a younger age can be easier and more effective in the long run. Younger children’s teeth can be positioned with relatively minor orthodontia, thus preventing major orthodontia later on.
In some rare instances, usually when a more complicated dental procedure is to be performed, a dentist will recommend general anaesthesia be used. Parents should make sure that the professional who administers the medicine is a trained anaesthesiologist or oral surgeon before agreeing to the procedure.
Don’t be afraid to question the dentist. Giving your child an early start on checkups and good dental hygiene is an effective way to help prevent this kind of extensive dental work. Encouraging kids to use a mouth guard during sports also can prevent serious dental injuries.
As kids grow, plan on routine dental checkups anywhere from once every 3 months to once a year, depending on the dentist’s recommendations. Limiting intake of sugary foods and regular brushing and flossing all contribute to a child’s dental health. Your partnership with the dentist will help ensure healthy teeth and a beautiful smile.