Children and Infant Dental Care
Having a family dentist that cares for the best interests of your children is an important decision. It is also important that your children feel comfortable with their dentist and are educated at an early age about good dental habits. We’re ready to give you and your family the quality dental care you deserve. Schedule a consultation to learn more.
To deliver the best possible care to children, we must follow certain guidelines. Preschool children, age five and under, should be scheduled in the morning because they are fresher and more cooperative, thus we increase our chances of a more positive experience. School age children, age six years and older, with the need of extensive dental treatment, should be seen in the morning for the same reasons. Although dental appointments are an excused absence from school, we encourage the need for excellent home care to minimize the need to miss school for appointments. After school hours and holidays are reserved for exams, oral cancer screenings, prophylaxis, and other preventative services.
Pediatric Check-ups: Pediatric check-ups should begin at age one. Tooth decay can start early and it is important to discuss a program of preventative home care, which includes brushing, flossing, diet control, and use of fluoride. Parental education in regard to the dental needs of their child is very important.
Cleanings: In most cases the behavior of the child dictates some preventive care but by age 2, children should begin a schedule of regular cleanings. This is an important step to ensure that the primary teeth are in a healthy condition and allows the dentist to detect any potential gum problems.
X-rays: Dentists, acting in accordance with guidelines from the American Academy of Dentistry, recommend X rays only when necessary to protect your children’s dental health. They may be needed to diagnose tooth decay, abnormalities or for orthodontic planning and treatment
Children’s Dental Treatment: When your child has had local anesthetic for their dental procedure: If the procedure was in the lower jaw – the tongue, teeth, lip and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep. If the procedure was in the upper jaw – the teeth, lip and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep.
Often, children do not understand the effects of local anesthesia, and may chew, scratch, suck, or play with the numb lip, tongue, or cheek. These actions can cause minor irritations or they can be severe enough to cause swelling and abrasions to the tissue. Please monitor your child closely for approximately two hours following the appointment. It is often wise to keep your child on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off.
Care of the Mouth after Trauma Please keep the traumatized area as clean as possible. Watch for darkening of traumatized teeth. This could be an indication of a dying nerve (pulp). If the swelling should re-occur, our office needs to see the patient as-soon-as possible. Ice should be administered during the first 24 hours to keep the swelling to a minimum. Watch for infection (gum boils) in the area of trauma. If infection is noticed – call the office so the patient can be seen as-soon-as possible. Maintain a soft diet for two to three days, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again. Avoid sweets or foods that are extremely hot or cold. If antibiotics or pain medicines are prescribed, be sure to follow the prescription as directed. Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.
Care of the Mouth after Extraction: Do not scratch, chew, suck, or rub the lips, tongue, or cheek while they feel numb or asleep. The child should be watched closely so he/she does not injure his/her lip, tongue, or cheek before the anesthesia wears off.Do not rinse or swish inside the mouth for several hours. Do not spit excessively. Do not drink through a straw. Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction area Bleeding – Some bleeding is to be expected. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place for fifteen minutes. This can also be accomplished with a tea bag. Repeat if necessary. Maintain a soft diet for a day or two, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again. Pain – For discomfort use Children’s Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age of the child. If a medicine was prescribed, then follow the directions on the bottle. Please do not hesitate to contact the office if there are any questions.
Care of Sealants: By forming a thin covering over the pits and fissures, sealants keep out plaque and food, thus decreasing the risk of decay. Since, the covering is only over the biting surface of the tooth; areas on the side and between teeth cannot be coated with the sealant. Good oral hygiene and nutrition are still very important in preventing decay next to these sealants or in areas unable to be covered. Your child should refrain from eating ice or hard candy, which tend to fracture the sealant. Regular dental appointments are recommended in order for your child’s dentist to be certain the sealants remain in place. The American Dental Association recognizes that sealants can play an important role in the prevention of tooth decay. When properly applied and maintained, they can successfully protect the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth. A total prevention program includes regular visits to the dentist, the use of fluoride, daily brushing and flossing, and limiting the number of times sugar-rich foods are eaten. If these measures are followed and sealants are used on the child’s teeth, the risk of decay can be reduced or may even be eliminated!