What is involved in a pediatric dental visit?

Your child’s first visit is mostly about allowing your child to get to know the staff and pediatric dentists at Kidd Smiles and to have a positive experience that will motivate them to keep their mouths clean. During a regular dental visit, these are some of the things that you can expect at your child’s checkup:

  • Oral exam & X-rays – We will conduct a complete pediatric dental exam of your child’s mouth and take any necessary X-rays
  • Dental Cleaning – We will remove any tartar buildup on your child’s teeth as well as floss their teeth and gums and a complete a professional teeth cleaning / brushing.
  • Treatments – We will complete any fluoride treatments or sealants necessary to make sure your child’s teeth stay healthy and strong.
  • Education – We’ll take the time to teach your child a good brushing and flossing routine they can follow at home in order to keep their mouth healthy.
  • Reward pack – We will send your children home with a new toothbrush as well as a reward for their visit. We want to ensure that your child has a positive experience by encouraging and rewarding them for keeping their mouths clean.

Regular dental checkups are vital to making sure that your child has a happy and healthy smile. When they visit us, our goal is to ensure that they leave with a smile on their face and memories that motivate them to keep their mouths healthy until their next checkup. If it’s been over 6 months since your child had a dental checkup, request an appointment today.

Fluoride Treatments

When your child visits our office, we will first clean and examine their teeth. If a fluoride treatment is needed your child will be offered a choice of kid-friendly flavored fluoride which will be then be put in a special tray that will hold it against your child’s teeth. We’ll place the tray in your child’s mouth, then have them wait a few minutes while the fluoride soaks in. Once the time is up, we will remove the tray and your child will gently rinse out their mouth and be done! After a fluoride treatment, they should wait a few hours before eating or drinking.

Dental Sealants

Some children naturally have deep pits and grooves in their back teeth which can lead to problems if left untreated. Also, there are children with poor brushing habits that if left unchanged can begin to get decay at those hard-to-reach molars in the back fo their mouths. It can be frustrating to cope with as children grow and develop. For situations like these, dental sealants can be used to offer a means of protecting molar and premolar chewing surfaces from decay and cavities. It is a simple process that is recognized by the American Dental Association as a key means of cavity prevention.

So what exactly are Dental sealants?

They are a thin plastic film that is applied to the tooth of your child. The procedure is done in the office in a single visit! It is an amazing process that can help kids who are still learning proper brushing and dental care, and prevent major issues in the future that can become expensive, time-consuming, and uncomfortable to your child.

Our first step is to identify and fill any spots of decay in your child’s mouth. We then prepare your child’s teeth by cleaning their teeth and then apply an etching solution onto the tooth we plan to treat. After about 15 seconds we thoroughly rinse the solution, dry the surface of the tooth, coat it with the sealant, and harden it instantly with a curing light. The entire procedure is fast, easy, and comfortable. The entire process takes about 10 to 45 minutes, depending on the number of teeth we want to seal and protect.

Once it is applied the dental sealants create an impenetrable physical barrier for small food particles and cavity-causing bacteria. They are highly effective in preventing tooth surface decay which can result into cavities. With proper care and maintenance sealants can last up to ten years of your child’s life.

Currently, insurance companies cover sealant procedures but have restrictions to age and specific tooth limitations. We are happy to help you find out what exactly your insurance covers, and keep in mind that this procedure is very affordable. Many insurance companies are starting to recognize this technique’s value as a preventive measure to help reduce future dental costs and more aggressive treatments that we all want to avoid.

Which teeth should be sealed?

With the natural flow of saliva, it can help keep your child’s teeth smooth but there are grooves and crevices that food particles get stuck in. So teeth that have the most risk of decay and complications are back molars. Specifically the six-year and twelve-year molars.  Permanent premolars and primary molars can benefit from this procedure as well. While these are the most common teeth that have problems, any tooth with grooves and pits can benefit from dental sealants.  The best way to know is to come in for an evaluation and talk with a Doctor about your child’s case.

Fillings

Fillings replace and restore tooth structures that are damaged due to decay or fracture with a material. We will replace old, broken-down amalgam/metal fillings with white fillings (composites) to restore your smile and teeth to a more natural look and feel.

With today’s advancements, patients no longer have to suffer the embarrassment of unsightly silver fillings or metal margins of the past. Eliminate the dark, black appearance in your teeth with state-of-the-art, tooth-colored resin or porcelain materials.

Compare white fillings against silver amalgam fillings:

  • White fillings bond to teeth and strengthen them by restoring most of its original shape. Silver amalgams, on the other hand, weaken teeth and make them more susceptible to breaking. Broken teeth can be very expensive to replace; composites can actually save time and money in the end.
  • Most patients prefer white filling composites. This is due to the natural color, strength and overall appearance and feel. Composites are naturally more comfortable.
  • Hot and cold sensitivity is greatly reduced with composite material compared to the silver/mercury amalgams.
  • Restorations with composites require less removal of the tooth and less structure to place than those with amalgams — especially with new cavities. Dramatically smaller holes are needed with a composite.

Primary Teeth Development

Below you is a graph to show the average times that a tooth will come in and normally fall out.  As always if you have questions or want to learn more please reach out to us!

Other facts regarding your child’s teeth eruption:

  • Girls primary teeth usually come in before boys.
  • Lower teeth are typically the first to erupt.
  • Primary teeth are whiter in color than permanent teeth.
  • At 2 to 3 years of age, all primary teeth should show.
Upper Teeth When should it emerge? When should it fall out?
Central Incisor 8 to 12 months 6 to 7 years
Lateral Incisor 9 to 13 months 7 to 8 years
First Molar 13 to 19 months 9 to 11 years
Canine (Cuspid) 16 to 22 months 10 to 12 years
Second Molar 25 to 33 months 10 to 12 years
Lower Teeth
Central Incisor 6 to 10 months 6 to 7 years
Lateral Incisor 10 to 16 months 7 to 8 years
First Molar 14 to 18 months 9 to 11 years
Canin (Cuspid) 17 to 23 months 10 to 12 years
Second Molar 23 to 31 months 10 to 12 years