children's dentistry

Halloween may be over, but between the excess candy and the sugary sweets of the holiday season, children’s teeth could soon become vulnerable to issues like tooth decay. To safeguard them against cavities, your Dallas, TX, dentist recommends care at home, and in our office, to strengthen teeth and protect them from cavities and premature tooth loss. Our team knows how to work with children to help them feel welcome, and we’re eager to talk them through the treatment process and ensure they remain calm and relaxed. In today’s blog, we’re going to look at a few simple ways to help little smiles stay strong, bright, and whole! After all, strong teeth and gums often help protect people of all ages from a wide range of common health issues throughout their lifetime.

Home Care

First, routine care at home is crucial for smiles of all ages. Once the first baby teeth erupt, you should clean your child’s smile in the morning and before bed. Try to prevent them from falling asleep with a bottle of juice or milk as well, as this could cause tooth decay in babies and toddlers alike. As your kids grow, they should use a toothbrush and a rice-sized blot of fluoride toothpaste. You can assist them, and then later monitor them as they age, to ensure proper care. Brushing should take about two minutes once all the teeth arrive, and we recommend using an age-appropriate toothbrush. You can use a manual or electric one, as long as it’s being put to use twice a day! Children also need to floss before bed, as this removes what a toothbrush’s bristles alone cannot reach. We also suggest paying attention to their diet, as diets high in sugary and starchy foods, or beverages with lots of sugars or acids, could mean a higher risk of tooth decay. Drinking more water, and enjoy healthier snack and meal options, helps improve overall health, and provides teeth with essential vitamins and nutrients to keep them strong.

The First Visit

Now, like you kids need to have their teeth examined once every six months. The first visit happens within six months after the first baby tooth erupts. Afterward, we may suggest one every six months. These visits enable our team to keep a close on the smile as the teeth arrive, and watch for warning signs of issues like gingivitis, cavities, misalignment, and even airway obstructions that could negatively impact their sleep and mood. We also clean the teeth during these visits, using an ultrasonic scaling device and a manual tool to remove harmful plaque and tartar. Your little ones enjoy brighter teeth and fresher breath, and a reduced risk of cavities, infection, and gingivitis. To help make the time in the chair enjoyable, we have movies they can watch and hear during the treatment, with a wide selection available! We also take time to talk with your children about their oral health, and the importance of routine daily care. We instill good habits, and these routine visits also help prevent dental anxiety, so they’re more likely to continue seeing dental professionals regularly as adults too! We want to make sure kids of all ages know how to keep their smiles strong, healthy, and bright.

Preventing and Treating Tooth Decay

Our team also provides unique treatments designed to help strengthen teeth and protect them from a cavity and other complications. For example, every six months we may place a fluoride varnish on the surfaces of the teeth. The fluoride strengthens the outer enamel and prevents the erosion and demineralization behind tooth decay. We also have dental sealants, which involves placing a special acrylic coating on the rear teeth. The coating prevents food from becoming caught between the teeth, and significantly lowers the risk of cavities. These sealants stay in place for between 5 and 10 years on average, and wear away with time. We can re-apply as needed too. If we find the early stages of cavities, in which a filling isn’t necessary, we could apply Silver Diamine Fluoride, which instantly halts the decay process and often prevents the teeth for a filling! However, if a filling is necessary, we can provide lifelike ones created using a metal-free composite resin that is safe for people of all ages!

Addressing Premature Tooth Loss

What if your child loses a baby tooth prematurely due to decay or infection, or possibly an injury? The gap in your smile could impact how the permanent teethe arrive, and increase the risk of misalignment and the need for braces down the road. However, we can offer space maintainers to help ensure the permanent teeth are guided into place properly, and the smile stays healthier. If you have any questions about how we treat little smiles and protect them from serious oral health issues, or if you would like to schedule a visit for you and your child, then contact our team today. We want to help make sure your children start the holiday season with stronger smiles and better oral health! Remember, a winter visit means the next checkup should come right as summer break starts, so no need to worry about missing school or extracurricular activities in spring.

Schedule a Visit With Your Dallas, TX, Dentist

With pediatric dentistry, our team knows how to ensure kids enjoy their time in the office, and gain a better understanding of their smile and how to keep teeth and gums strong. For more information on our approach to children’s dentistry, or about any of our preventive and general services for people of all ages, then please schedule a consultation by calling the Viva Dental Family Dentistry office nearest you at (214) 337-7800 (Dallas) or (972) 437-6000 (Richardson). Let’s make sure your child greets 2021 with his or her best possible smile! By scheduling a visit now, you and your family have a chance to use your 2020 dental insurance benefits and health savings account funds before they expire at the end of the year.