Posts for: January, 2016
As a kids dentist, we provide young children with early orthodontic treatment and interceptive orthodontics. If you have been watching your child’s teeth develop and are noticing that they are crooked, poorly shaped, have gaps in between them, or that their bite is not coming together appropriately, we encourage you to visit our dental office. With so much going on, scheduling an orthodontic evaluation is easy to miss. We encourage you to change that this year and bring your child in to discuss their smile.
Early Orthodontic Treatment Options
When you visit a kids dentist to discuss interceptive orthodontics, we can provide you with information regarding various treatment plans. Our goal is to examine them early before they would traditionally begin an orthodontics treatment. We can take x-rays and examine them to see what teeth need to come in, if there is enough room for them, and if they are coming in straight. Many young kids have problems with their teeth because they lost baby teeth too early and the surrounding teeth shifted, taking up the space reserved for permanent teeth. Other times, challenges are had because the palate was never big enough to support a full set of permanent teeth. Still, some children suffer from things like an overbite due to sucking their thumb. These are the types of problems we can identify early and potentially treat. Doing so is beneficial to children because it can often prevent further challenges. For example, if we expand the palate before their adult teeth all try to come in, they could grow into the correct position and never require an adjustment. The key is to start the process early so we recommend bringing them in around the age of six or seven.
Our early orthodontic treatment options include:
- Spacers. To create more room for their teeth, we may place small metal bands around their teeth. These spacers are comfortable and can create just enough space for teeth to fit next to each other without competing for room.
- Expanders. This is an incredibly effective treatment because an expander can widen their palate. A key will be used to widen the expander on a daily basis. Slowly, the palate will expand so there is enough room for their existing and future teeth. This solution can also be used while wearing braces, but sometimes wearing it first can prevent the need for future treatments.
- Retainers. Occasionally, children can benefit from retention. In this case, we will have a retainer created for them to wear.
- Headgear. To further align the jaw, we may recommend the use of headgear. This is typically used when braces are being worn, but they can also be used as an early treatment option.
To discuss interceptive orthodontics in further detail or to see which early orthodontic treatment options could be best for your child, call and schedule an examination with our dental office. We may recommend one, all, or none of the above procedures. As a kids dentist, our treatment plans are personalized for each patient, and we look forward to helping your child have the best possible smile.
We are the best pediatric dentist in Hingham, MA because we offer comprehensive dental care to children newborn all the way through college. Our goal is to help our young patients to remain in excellent oral health as they grow so that they can maintain healthy teeth for a lifetime. We understand that habits are formed early and we aim to help your child form good ones. As a dentist for special need children, we have the skills necessary to help ALL children to have a positive experience with dentistry.
Some of the services we offer are:
- Fluoride treatments. As the best pediatric dentist, we use fluoride treatments to help our young patients avoid getting common cavities and toothaches. When fluoride is applied professionally, the risk of children developing cavities is reduced by 30 percent. This is an incredibly simple treatment that can keep children healthy. Additionally, we recommend that children brush with a fluoride toothpaste on a daily basis in order to augment the treatment we provide here.
- Dental sealants. Another way that we prevent cavities is by applying dental sealants to the chewing surfaces of the teeth. As a dentist for special need children, we are focused on preventing cavities and the toothaches they cause by applying dental sealants to the teeth. Once this barrier is in place, plaque and acid cannot attack that portion of the teeth. This barrier is incredibly effective for preventing tooth decay and it only takes a couple of minutes per tooth to apply.
- Pediatric dental sedation. We are the best pediatric dentist because we do not only provide the treatments that children need, but we do so in a way that is gentle and comfortable. We offer pediatric dental sedation because we know that some children have a hard time holding still during a procedure. Others are fearful and need sedation to relax and not experience any discomfort. This is rare. Not all dentists offer sedation, but we do so that our patients can have a positive experience, regardless of what type of treatments they are getting.
- Space maintainers. In order to reduce the likelihood of needing braces, we often recommend space maintainers. These are typically used when teeth fall out before the adult or permanent teeth are ready to grow in. The open space that is left tends to become crowded as other teeth begin to move into that space. This can create a challenge when permanent teeth are ready to descend. Space maintainers are small, convenient, and comfortable. At the same time, they can help to preserve or create needed space in the mouth.
Schedule an Appointment with the Best Pediatric Dentist
Whether you are looking to have your child’s teeth cleaned, their teeth examined, a cavity filled, a dental emergency solved, or preventative care, we encourage you to call our office and schedule an appointment. We can provide your child with fluoride treatments, sealants, space maintainers, pediatric dental sedation and more.
As a young adult dentist, we treat young, active patients. While teeth require the same level of constant preventative care, regardless of age, the needs of our patients do change with age. We find that young children need more assistance learning how to take care of their teeth, brushing and flossing properly. As they age, these habits still need to be cemented but there are additional challenges to consider like how they head to the soda machine in between classes and prefer to snack on M&Ms over cheese or carrot sticks. Still, this is only one of our dental concerns. Keeping their teeth while playing sports is at the top of our priority list.
Get a Custom Mouthguard from a Young Adult Dentist
The best way for us to prevent dental damage is to have your teen fitted for a mouthguard that can be worn when they practice or play sports. The American Dental Association has reported that hundreds of thousands of young athletes do not suffer dental injuries on an annual basis because they are wearing a mouthguard while playing. Ours are different than what you can buy in the store because they are customized to your exact specifications. What you buy in the store can be of the one-size-fits-all variety, which means they can be uncomfortable and even fall out during play. Our goal is to provide our young patients with a mouthguard that is so comfortable they do not mind wearing it on a regular basis. Regardless of what type of sports they play, this is highly recommended. Wearing it severely decreases the likelihood of their teeth being knocked out or damaged while playing.
A Young Adult Dentist Can Help Before Sports Season Begins
In addition to wearing a mouthguard, we can help to prevent a dental sports injury by straightening their teeth. If their teeth are crooked and they get hit, there is a chance of their tooth piercing through their lip or face. This can lead to significant bleeding that can be hard to stop. It can also lead to the development of a scar or scar tissue over time. Addressing this problem by straightening their teeth can prevent this type of injury. After examining your child, we will let you know if that is something to further explore.
We can also help to prevent sports injuries by making sure that your child has clean and healthy teeth. If their teeth are healthy and free from decay, they will be stronger and better able to resist an impact that could cause damage. Consider a frozen pond in winter. If it is a solid sheet of ice, it can be skated on and even jumped on without cracking and breaking. However, if there is one small crack, simply walking on it can cause the entire sheet of ice to split into pieces. The teeth are similar, in that teeth with decay are already slightly damaged, making them more likely to break when hit with an outside force. We can address this issue by treating tooth decay and infections, restoring the teeth of our young patients to perfect health.
As a pediatric dentist, we encourage you to bring your child to our dentist office as soon as they have teeth. You can bring them in around one year of age and continue bringing them in through college. While they will probably be driving themselves, the encouragement of parents is incredibly valuable and makes it more likely that they will continue receiving dental care throughout adulthood.
Visit a Pediatric Dentist Early and Often
We recommend that you bring your children to our dental office twice a year for a dental examination and teeth cleaning. This allows us to remove the plaque and tartar from their teeth that got missed when brushing at home. We can teach your child how to brush and floss properly but even with their best efforts, it can be hard to reach every place within their mouth. This is where we come in. These regular appointments will help to prevent cavities and gum disease as they grow.
Preventative Care from a Pediatric Dentist
There are several things that we can do to help your child have excellent oral health that goes above and beyond traditional teeth cleanings. We can help to strengthen their teeth and reduce the likelihood of them getting cavities. This can be done by providing children with a fluoride treatment. This is a mineral that when applied to the teeth, helps to strengthen them. As a result, it becomes more difficult for acid to attack the teeth to the degree that creates cavities. Statistically, these treatments reduce the risk of developing cavities by 30 percent. Since the treatment is non-invasive, does not smell or taste, and is done within a few minutes, there is typically no opposition from children to receiving it. Another way that we can prevent cavities is to apply dental sealant to the chewing portions of children’s teeth. Dental sealant is a plastic like material that is gently brushed onto the teeth in order to create a barrier that prevents food and plaque from touching that portion of the teeth. A sealant can last for several years but we will inspect it during regular dental exams and teeth cleanings. This is an incredibly simple process that only takes a couple of minutes per tooth, yet the results are compelling, as our young patients suffer from fewer incidences of decay and toothaches.
Dental Care Does Not Stop in High School
As a pediatric dentist, we know that many parents are diligent about bringing their children to the dentist when they are young. Unfortunately, as they reach teenage years or go to college, dental care is often put on the backburner to sports, academics, and social activities. The challenge is that many college students see an increase in tooth decay and even gum disease. We attribute this to being away from home, eating food that is not as healthy, drinking lots of energy drinks and being less diligent with oral hygiene. As a parent, the best thing you can do is to bring your college student to the dentist during their winter and summer breaks.