At 7 Day Dental, our Orange County pediatric dentistry professionals firmly believe that preventive dentistry is one of the valuable services we can provide for children. Fact is, we consider it as the most important tool in our quest to help them achieve and maintain optimum oral health. With the growing number of preschool children having cavities, we say that preventive dentistry is our best defense against oral maladies. It enables us to prevent these diseases as well as catch dental problems before they worsen and become pricier and more complicated to treat.
Kid’s Dentist: Orange County Pediatric Dentistry
Orange County Pediatric Dentistry
The Healthy Start System is a series of uniquely designed oral appliances for children. These appliances are worn for just a few hours a day and/or during the night time as they sleep. The Healthy Start System is highly effective in straightening teeth. Most importantly, it is successful in alleviating mouth breathing and restoring nasal breathing in children by reshaping the oral cavity, jaw and airway.
Unknown to many parents, mouth breathing is one of the many issues associated with Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB). Statistics shows that Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) affects 9 out of 10 children in America. Its symptoms may vary from one child to another. What’s clear though is that, as per clinical studies, a connection exists between SDB and certain health issues. Research also reveals that pediatric sleep disorders affect the physical, behavioral and cognitive development of children. Hence, those who suffer from SDB tend to perform poorly in school.
Other conditions or health issues linked to SDB include:
Procedures / Treatments:
Dental examinations are primarily important because they enable dentists to detect oral diseases at their early stages and before they become health hazards. Also, regular dental examinations have financial benefits for patients in that problems are detected while they are less expensive to treat or repair. As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.”
Routine preventive dental examination usually includes comprehensive oral examination and cleaning. It also involves the following: visual examination of decays, evaluation for gum disease, and assessment of the status of recent restorations, screening for oral cancer, assessment for growth and development and orthodontic needs.
Dental prophylaxis, popularly called dental cleanings, is an essential procedure in achieving or maintaining excellent dental health. It helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease in children.
What is done during this procedure? Basically, dental prophylaxis involves the removal of plaque and tartar or calculus from the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance which sticks to teeth and causes gum disease and tooth decay.
On the other hand, calculus or tartar refers to the hard-to-remove hardened plaque found on the surface of the teeth. Calculus above the gum line is taken care of during dental prophylaxis.
Meanwhile, calculus found below the gum line is an indication of an underlying gum disease. Its removal usually necessitates a different procedure. Apart from the removal of plaques and tartars, dental cleanings help children attain a beautiful smile by polishing and removing stains on teeth.
Sealants greatly aid in the prevention of cavities, especially among the young ones. Recent studies show that about 4 million preschoolers suffer from tooth decay. Experts state that cavities in these children are often due to food particles being trapped in hard to clean spots in the mouth, particularly the grooves and depressions on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. When the food particle reacts with bacteria, acid forms and in turn breaks down tooth enamel. This process leads to the formation of cavities.
How do sealants help in preventing cavities? These clear or tooth colored sealants, typically made of plastic, prevent bacteria and food particles from residing in these susceptible areas like the pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth.
Where and how are sealants applied? For children, they are applied on permanent back teeth. In terms of their application, to seal the pits and grooves, they are painted onto the teeth surface.How long do they last? It is important to note that sealants go through the natural wear and get damaged over time; therefore, they are not permanent. Typically, they last for five years or more depending on the material used. Regardless of this fact, they are still wise investments as getting them is less expensive than having decays treated.
Do sealants prevent oral diseases or problems in general? No, they don’t. Having sealants is not equal to not suffering from decays or other dental diseases. Fact is, sealants do not prevent the onset of gum diseases and decay between teeth. This is why it is still imperative to take your child to regular dental check-ups.
Digital Diagnostic Radiographs (X-rays)
Dental radiographs are valuable tools for dentists in that they allow for early detection and better diagnosis. X-ray images enable dental practitioners to see dental problems which are difficult to spot with just plain visual examination. Some oral health issues that can be uncovered with the use of dental radiographs are decays between teeth and non-cancerous and cancerous tumors. With early detection, you can worry less about spending on costly treatments necessary to treat or repair the problem when it has become worse.
In terms of safety concerns, modern dental x-ray machines are noted to emit very little radiation. In addition, we have safeguards in place and strictly observe mandated guidelines to minimize your child’s exposure. Truth is, not finding an illness before it gets worse has heavier repercussions than getting an X-ray.
Maintaining the excellent oral health of children is not just the sole responsibility of dental practitioners. Parents also play a crucial since achieving this goal also necessitates adequate home care. As home care entails the regular removal of plaque from teeth, the need for children to undergo costly dental treatments is avoided.
Basic Dental Home Care Habits
It is recommended that you monitor your child’s brushing until the age of six. Also, make sure that he/she brushes twice or thrice a day for approximately two minutes. Choose a soft and rounded-bristled toothbrush with a head small enough to reach all parts of the teeth. Change brush every three to four months.
Effective brushing entails placing the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line and gently rocking the brush back and forth in small circular movements. Vigorous brushing and scrubbing of teeth should be avoided as this can scratch the tooth enamel and cause the gums to pull away from the teeth. Brushing of the tongue from back to front is also necessary to remove bacteria which cause bad breath.
After brushing, rinsing thoroughly is a must. Children may occasionally use mouthwash to rinse but only those which are non-alcohol based. As they aid in the prevention of cavities from forming between the teeth, anticavity fluoride rinses are recommended for them.