First Dental Visit
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), your child should visit the dentist by his/her 1st birthday. Making the first and every visit enjoyable and positive for your child starts at home. Inform your child of the visit and that they are welcome to ask any questions. Giving your child information regarding the visit even at a young age will help relieve their fear of the unknown. You may tell your child that he/she will likely have their teeth brushed, counted, and pictures taken of their teeth. And, that they will sit in the “big girl” or “big boy” chair to have their teeth all shiny and clean!
It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as “needle”, “drill”, or “hurt”. Pediatric dental offices make a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.
6-Month Preventative Cleanings
At Cornerstone Children’s Dentistry, our primary focus is on preventive oral healthcare for your child. We believe that through dental education of the parent and child, routine dental exams and cleanings, and other preventive services such as fluoride and sealants, many dental problems may be avoided.
Digital radiographs allow earlier diagnosis of cavities between teeth while also reducing the amount of radiation exposure to the patient. By focusing on prevention, the need for restorative treatment is decreased, thereby reducing out-of-pocket costs while also helping your child to have a positive experience at the dentist.
Comprehensive Oral Exams
During routine dental visits, Dr. Paul will complete a comprehensive oral exam to ensure your child’s oral health is on the right track. During this time, Dr. Paul will be available to answer any and all of your questions!
Topical Fluoride Varnish
Fluoride is an element that has been shown to be beneficial to teeth. However, too little or too much fluoride can be detrimental to the teeth. During your child’s exam, Dr. Paul will evaluate and discuss your child’s fluoride intake and determine whether or not in office treatment is necessary.
A sealant is a clear or shaded plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where four out of five cavities in children are found. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth.
Recent studies have shown just how important and necessary sealants are for preventing decay for a long life of great oral health.
Digital Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)
Radiographs detect much more than cavities. For example, radiographs may be needed to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment.
Radiographs allow dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child and more affordable for you.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends radiographs and examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay. On average, most pediatric dentists request bitewing radiographs approximately once a year. Approximately every 3 years, it is a good idea to obtain a complete set of radiographs, either a panoramic and bitewings or periapicals and bitewings.
Pediatric dentists are particularly careful to minimize the exposure of their patients to radiation. With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental radiograph examination is extremely small and the risk is negligible. In fact, the dental radiographs represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem. Lead body aprons and shields will protect your child. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary x-rays and restricts the x-ray beam to the area of interest. Digital radiographs and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure.
If you have any questions regarding the frequency or usage of radiographs and your child’s dental care, please call our office to discuss further. The team is happy to answer any and all of your questions.
Although new technologies in dentistry and a focus on prevention of dental disease has reduced the number of cavities in children, the fact remains that many children will require restorative treatment for dental decay at some point during their childhood years. Childhood is also a time of dental emergencies that may require restorative treatment or potentially an extraction of traumatized teeth.
Neglected cavities can and often do result in problems that may affect developing permanent teeth. They can also lead to dental infections which may be accompanied by pain and lead to other more serious health issues. Therefore, cavities in both primary and permanent teeth should be treated promptly and appropriately.
The following restorative treatment is provided in our office:
• Tooth-colored fillings (composite resin)
• Pulpotomy (nerve treatment)
• Pulpectomy (root canal)
• Space maintainers
• Management of dental trauma/emergency
For more information regarding restorative dentistry please visit healthyteeth.org.
Dr. Paul is specially trained in a child’s overall oral and facial development. Together we can determine when it is best for your family to see an Orthodontist for evaluation and treatment. Often, early steps can be taken to reduce the need for major orthodontic treatment at a later age.