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Elements of Children’s Dentistry
Children’s dentistry is often overlooked or seen as less important than dentistry as an adult – but this simply isn’t the case! It is so important that the month of February has even been designated as National Children’s Dental Health Month.
Cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases in early childhood and can cause pain and infections and even lead to problems eating and speaking. Luckily, cavities are preventable. Focusing on oral health from an early age will give your little one a good foundation for lifelong oral health.
What will my visits look like?
It is recommended by the Chippewa Falls dentist’s that you bring in your child for a checkup annually or bi-annually, the same as would be recommended for an adult.
Once there, your child will receive a routine cleaning and an inspection to make sure that there are no issues. They will also be able to speak to your little one about brushing and flossing, and show them the best way to do so.
What if there are issues?
As stated, cavities, also called dental caries, are very common in childhood. The best way to prevent cavities is to maintain regular oral hygiene of brushing and flossing and to visit the dentist regularly. It is also important to schedule an appointment with the Dentist Clinic of Chippewa Falls if you notice any potential signs of tooth decay in your little one. Potential signs of tooth decay include:
- White, brown, or black spots on teeth: spots on the teeth which seem whiter than the tooth around it can be an indicator that the tooth enamel is eroding. This can make it easier for a cavity to form. A light brown spot usually indicates an early cavity, while black or darker brown spots mean that a cavity has already formed.
- Tooth sensitivity: enamel erosion and full cavities can both cause sensitivity of the tooth, especially to heat and cold.
- Toothache: a cavity often causes pain in the gum tissue around the affected tooth.
If a cavity does occur, the treatment is much the same as in adults – your child will be given a shot of local anesthetic and then the tooth decay will be drilled out, after which the tooth will be sealed with a filling. Alternatively, depending on the nature of the issue, your dentist may determine that the best course of action would be to cap the damaged tooth with a stainless steel crown to restore function to the tooth.
Whatever the issue, special consideration will be taken to ensure that your child is relaxed during this process. Sometimes this can include the usage of laughing gas, a mild sedative that can help keep your child relaxed and calm during any dental procedures. This is delivered through a small mask placed over their nose, which will deliver the gas as they breathe in. After a few minutes, this will lead to feelings of happiness and relaxation which will make any dental practices needed a much easier and more positive experience for them.
The children’s dentists of Chippewa Falls are trained and focused on making sure that your child is comfortable, be it during a cleaning or the fixing of a cavity or anywhere in between. We want to ensure that the positive feelings around dentistry can be promoted and maintained in even our littlest patients, setting them up for a lifetime of good dental health!