DENTAL CARE FOR KIDS (Pediatric Dentistry)
At MAcare we go out of our way to make your children comfortable with their dentist visit.
We offer an array of services ranging from: regular dental checkups, routine dentistry, teeth cleaning, dental x-rays, fluoride application, tooth extraction, fillings and sealants.
At MAcare Pediatric Dentists take great care in the children’s dental preventive and instruction care that we provide you and your kids. We know that proper dental care on your children’s teeth is the best way to keep them smiling!
Should you have any special dental needs for your child, we will be happy to assist in their dental care with our sweet and caring staff.
We make kids smile
Pediatric dentistry is a dental specialty that concentrates on providing preventive and therapeutic oral health care to infants and children
A common question that all parents ask is “why spend on the maintenance of milk teeth when they are to be finally replaced by the permanent ones?’’
Milk teeth are as important as the permanent ones because:
- Baby teeth are important in proper feeding and nutrition
- Milk teeth serve as space maintainers for the proper spacing and alignment of the permanent teeth
- Healthy milk teeth are crucial in helping the baby learn how to speak properly
- Healthy looking teeth are important in building self-confidence at an early age. Small children because of immaturity are quick to tease peers about unattractive or decayed tooth
Ideally the first visit of a child should begin at 6-8 months of age as the first tooth begins to erupt. Pediatric dentists are trained to perform infant examination and also to provide the necessary information regarding infant oral health. Most of the kids who have regular dental visits from infancy remain caries free (decay free) throughout their lifetime.
Pediatric dentists provide children (also their parents) with information regarding dental caries, oral hygiene measures, and other common oral problems, thereby helping them achieve a smooth transition from milk teeth to an ideal set of permanent teeth.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (Nursing Bottle Caries): the term describes a dental condition which involves the rapid decay of many or all the baby teeth of an infant or child. The teeth most likely to be damaged are the upper front teeth since they are the first teeth to erupt and thus have the longest exposure time to the sugars in the feeding bottle. The lower front teeth tend to be protected by the tongue as the child sucks on the nipple of the bottle or the breast.
Baby bottle Tooth Decay is caused by long exposure of a child’s teeth to liquid containing sugars generally when the baby falls asleep with a bottle containing milk or juice or a pacifier dipped in honey. The liquid pools around the front teeth during sleep and the bacteria contained in the baby’s mouth turns the milk sugar or other sugars to acid which causes the decay.
By the time the condition is noticed by the parents it may be too late and extraction of the decayed too may become necessary. As a result, your child may suffer from long term disorders which include speech impediments, possible psychological damage, crooked or crowded teeth and poor oral health.
- The condition can be easily prevented by
- Cleaning your child’s teeth daily
- Giving plain water after a bottle of juice, milk or after using pacifier for a long time
- Start bottle weaning by at least a year
- Make sure your child gets the fluoride needed to prevent decay
- Have regular dental visits for your child, beginning with the growth of the first tooth
Root Canal Treatment in milk teeth: In cases where tooth decay extends deep into the nerve portion of the tooth it might be necessary to perform a root canal as described for the permanent tooth. Although the morphology of milk teeth makes the treatment difficult, it might still be considered as a better alternative to tooth extraction
Space Maintainers: A space maintainer is a removable or fixed appliance designed to maintain an existing space. Space Maintainers are usually fitted in children when they have lost baby teeth early. The gap left from loosing this tooth needs to be held open for the permanent tooth to erupt in the correct position.
Fluoride Application: A child’s teeth are more prone to decay due to lack of proper dexterity of brushing. Application of fluoride varnishes at regular intervals strengthens the tooth structure by incorporating fluoride ions into the structure making them more prone to acid dissolution. Not only do the permanent but also the milk teeth benefits from fluoride treatment.
For children under 3 years of age
The professional application of fluoride is particularly recommended because of the ease of application, patient acceptance and proven anti-decay benefits. For maximum benefits , re application should be made every 4 months.
Of the various home-use fluoride products (toothpastes, mouthwashes and gels) only fluoride toothpastes are recommended for young children, but caution must be exercised to minimize fluoride ingestion
Oral Habits in children
Frequently children acquire certain habits that may either temporarily or permanently be harmful to the teeth and tooth supporting structures. These habits are acquired as a result of repetition. In the initial stages there is a conscious effort to perform the act. Later the act becomes less conscious and is repeated often, enough may enter the realms of unconsciousness.
Some common oral habits seen in children include thumb sucking, mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, lip biting, grinding of teeth and nail biting.
Psychological Approach: it is generally said that children lacking parental care, love and affection resort to this habit. Thus the parents should provide the children with adequate love and affection. Also the child’s attention has to be diverted to other things as games and toys. The dentist and the parents should together work to motivate the child to discontinue the habit.
Mechanical Aids: they are basically reminding appliances that assist the child who is willing to quit the habit but is not able to do so as the habit has entered the subconscious level. They may be removable or fixed appliances.
Pit and Fissure Sealants:The chewing surface of the teeth have certain depressions called Pit and Fissures which serve as potential traps for food and bacteria making the teeth susceptible for decay. Although other factors such as dietary habits, oral hygiene and amount of sugar intake do play an important role, the Pit and Fissures have been suggested as ‘the single most anatomic feature leading to the development of tooth decay”. Therefore as a preventive measure certain Pit and Fissure sealants are placed.
The decay inhibiting properties of sealants are attributed to the physical obstruction of the Pit and Grooves. This prevents penetration of fermentable sugars and the bacteria cannot produce acid that causes tooth decay.
The sealant application is relatively simple, the meticulous technique requires patient co operation and should be postponed for uncooperative patients until the procedure can be properly executed.