The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children have their first dental checkup by the age of 1. Why so early?
The oral hygiene habits children learn at this formative age will last a lifetime. Developing healthy habits now will ensure the best long term oral health of your child. At Rock Creek Dental, we will provide a positive dental experience ensuring your child wants to continue being a regular visitor all the way into adulthood.
Seeing your child at this early age will also enable our family dentist to detect any possible developmental problems or cavities before they become a larger issue.
Your Child’s First Checkup
Rarely do people think of a baby or toddler as having a cavity. The unfortunate truth is, these are issues that may affect your child. If your child has a cavity that is left untreated, the decay can rapidly progress causing larger long term issues.
Our family dentist will not only look for tooth decay, he will also verify that your child’s jaw and teeth are progressing properly. If any issues are found, our dentist will develop a therapy plan that will benefit your child’s long term dental health.
Dental Treatments for Your Child
Here are some of the treatments we use to repair or save children’s teeth, assist in their development or even prevent tooth decay from beginning.
- Sealants – Children’s teeth have small crevices (pits and fissures) on the chewing surface of their rear teeth. Dental sealants are plastic coatings that cover these crevices, preventing the development of cavities.
- Topical Fluoride – A nature mineral, fluoride helps to strengthen tooth enamel making the tooth more resistant to decay. While the level of fluoride provided in toothpastes and drinking water may be sufficient for some children, others may benefit from higher concentrations of fluoride applied to their teeth by a dentist.
- Orthodontic Treatment – Dentists are often able to detect issues with jaw growth and tooth positioning by the time their patients are 7 years of age. Orthodontic treatment can be found to be beneficial for fixing these problems at this young age rather than waiting until they have developed more complicated issues requiring more costly treatments in your child’s teen years.
- Bonding: Especially active children can be prone to small fractures and chips in their teeth. Your Rock Creek family dentist can use special bonding materials (glass or plastic resin colored to match the tooth) to treat the damaged areas and restore the full function and appearance of your child’s teeth.
- Root Canal Treatment: The health of baby teeth is crucial to the development of permanent teeth, helping to guide their formation under your child’s gums. If serious issues are found with your child’s baby teeth, it may be determined that a root canal is necessary to salvage the tooth. This repair will help prevent more serious issues in the future.
Should Your Child Use a Mouthguard?
Our Rock Creek family dentist may recommend your child wear a mouthguard if he or she regularly plays sports. The ADA (American Dental Association) warns that athletes are sixty times more likely to damage their teeth if they don’t wear a mouthguard.
Custom made mouthguards provide great protection for just a small investment preventing serious pain and unnecessary expenses in the future.