2014-08-27 / Health Care

Child-Specific Dental Procedures

Pediatric Dentistry:

Pediatric dentistry is essential for ensuring healthy teeth and gums in children and also for teaching children about proper dental hygiene, such as brushing and flossing techniques, among other things. Children are often unaware of the risks associated with not caring for their own oral health, such as the development of cavities and gum disease. Therefore, it is important to encourage thorough teeth cleaning at a young age and to continually check for tooth decay, so that any small problems that may develop can be addressed before they become larger problems. Numerous families take advantage of dental practices that specialize in pediatric dentistry in metropolitan NYC because of the beneficial impact they provide for their children’s dental futures.

One of the most effective treatments offered at a practice focused on pediatric dentistry is a simple routine teeth cleaning and dental examination. Teeth cleanings are typically scheduled every six to 12 months and involve a meticulous brushing and flossing session. This also allows the dentist to check for cavities or other problems with a child’s teeth. The dentist may also offer a fluoride treatment, which guards against tooth decay by strengthening teeth and making them more impervious to sugars and plaque bacteria. Fluoride comes in various forms, such as foam, gel, and varnish, and the dentist will choose the best option for the child.

During these routine visits, the dentist will also take x-rays of the child’s mouth according to a set schedule. These pictures allow the dentist to examine teeth, roots, soft tissue and bones that cannot be seen with the naked eye. With the use of x-rays, dentists can see bone damage, tooth decay, dental injuries, impacted teeth and other tooth maladies. Without this simple procedure, developing problems with a child’s mouth can go undetected and, worse, untreated.

If a child has a cavity, tooth decay, or a cracked tooth, a tooth filling may be necessary. This procedure involves the removal of the damaged part of the tooth and the replacement of the decayed portion with a silver or toothcolored filling. Fillings bond to the existing tooth and strengthen it, which stops additional decay or damage. Tooth-colored fillings are optimal because of their natural appearance and longer lifespan. Dental sealants also can protect against further tooth decay. Tooth extractions may be required if a tooth is damaged beyond repair, although in children the need for this procedure is fairly rare.

Once children enter their teenage years, orthodontic procedures are a terrific way to ensure that teeth and jawbones are properly aligned. This is important because teeth that are not aligned can lead to biting problems and other issues. The most common orthodontic procedure is the application of braces. Braces are available in two forms: traditional and Invisalign. Traditional braces are visible (usually metal) and are applied to each individual tooth, while Invisalign braces are clear plastic aligners that function similar to a mouthpiece. Both types of braces straighten teeth and improve patients’ smiles, although traditional metal braces are more common in teens.

Whether a trip to the dentist involves a routine cleaning, a dental filling, a set of x-rays or the application of braces, the branch of pediatric dentistry provides the expertise necessary to address children’s specific dental needs. These needs can be handled by a pediatric dentist who is experienced in treating only children or a family dental practice, such as Park Dental Care, that is equipped to handle the dental needs of the whole family.

For more information about pediatric dentistry procedures, contact Park Dental Care today at 718- Dentist. Queens residents, as well as those located throughout metropolitan NYC, will find that we are conveniently located near the N & Q subway lines at the Astoria-Ditmars Blvd. station. Let us show you how a healthy smile from an early age can set the stage for a lifetime of dental health!

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