I like to see kids for the first time at age 2 when they have all their baby teeth. I will often have moms come in and hold the child in their hands while I look at the child’s teeth. If a child needs a procedure before age 3 or 4 then I will send them to a pediatric dentist.
I love taking care of kids. I also work with the pediatric dentists in town if a child needs a procedure that is outside my expertise.
Our Practice With Pediatric Dentistry
I am not a Pediatric Dentist. However, I can do much with dental care for children as a family dentist: Fillings, dental sealant treatments, preventative care, cleanings, nutrition counseling and orthodontic screening as well as some minor orthodontics and habit therapy.
Tooth Care for Babies
It’s important that parents don’t put kids down with a bottle of milk, breast milk or juice because that will cause those baby teeth to decay as soon at they come in.
If you put a child down with a bottle they are more likely to get ear infections. Sugar in their throat may go up into the Eustachian tube and cause an infection.
The best practice is to never put a baby down with a bottle even when they have no teeth.
I advocate fluoride treatments because statistically they do prevent cavities. We also do fluoride varnish because it lasts a little longer than the fluoride treatment.
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay by keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves.
With a dental sealant treatment we acid etch the tooth when it comes in, put a resin on top of the tooth that flows all the way down into the gum, then expose it to a light. The resin sets up and the surface of the tooth is perfectly smooth, the grooves in the tooth that are likely to get decay are not gone. The sealant may stay up to 20 years.
What we can offer:
- Help with single tooth movements.
- Make appliances which will prevent thumb sucking which pushes back on their teeth causing them to misalign.
Some kids have tongue thrusts; they swallow and push their tongues against their teeth. That will make their front teeth misalign. There is an appliance called a tongue crib that will keep their tongue back.
Palatal expanders can be made for mouth breathers who can’t breathe through their nose. If the mouth is open all the time there are several problems that can occur.
- With the mouth open, there is no resistance from the jaw to keep the teeth from over erupting. It’s a condition often called long face syndrome. The palate will get really high.
- With the mouth open, the facial muscles may cause the palate to be pinched. The upper teeth are supposed to be on the outside of the lower teeth. For people who breathe through their mouth, the palate will be squeezed and those upper teeth will instead fit on the inside of the lower teeth.
A palatal expander will correct those conditions or even prevent them from occurring if caught soon enough. There are other recommendations that can be made to help with mouth breathing depending on the individual.