At Fountain View Family Dentistry, we regularly care for the dental needs of children and enjoy acclimating them to our Woodstock dental office. Children marvel at the sky-painted ceiling and twinkling stars, and our friendly staff will ensure your child’s comfort throughout his or her visit. Dr. Harden’s childrens dentistry services include educating children about dentistry, restoring and maintaining the primary and permanent teeth, applying preventive measures for dental caries, and correcting functional problems.
Tooth Decay in Kids
Many people mistakenly believe children are immune to oral health problems. In reality, dental caries (tooth decay or cavities) is the most chronic childhood ailment – five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. Establishing a proper oral health routine in your child at an early age will prevent pain, embarrassment, and future dental problems.
Early Childhood Dental Visits
The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the first preventive dental visit as early as age one and no later than age two. However, children are never too young to be seen by the dentist for injuries or developmental problems. As soon as the first baby teeth erupt, children are susceptible to dental decay with all its related problems. Our philosophy at Fountain View Dentistry is that children need to be mature enough for a proper dental visit, and consequently, our Woodstock office generally starts seeing children around age three. By beginning early and maintaining regular checkups, normally every six months, we can minimize dental problems or prevent them altogether.
Helpful information concerning children’s dentistry:
The First Visit
Your child’s first visit will involve a thorough dental examination along with preventive homecare guidance and tips for the parents. We may clean the teeth, apply fluoride, and take X-rays depending on you and your child’s comfort levels. Dr. Harden will thoroughly examine the child’s mouth and inspect each tooth for signs of damage or decay. The first visit is thorough, but short, comfortable, and allows the child to get acquainted with our office. By ensuring a positive experience, we help reduce the anxiety level for subsequent appointments, should any dental work be required.
In preparing your child for their first dental procedure, (i.e. fillings), always be optimistic and keep explanations short and matter-of-fact. If you’re feeling anxious for your child, try not to show any signs, as you may upset the child and create negative associations. Avoid using words like “hurt,” “needle,” “drill,” “shot,” etc. If necessary, offer your child some type of incentive in order to get him or her to the appointment. Be positive, prepare them for a fun visit, and leave the rest up to our office. We will provide excellent care for your child and make the experience as pleasant as possible at the same time.
A child’s primary teeth actually begin forming before birth. As early as four months of age, the primary or “baby” teeth erupt through the gums – the lower central incisors first, and then the upper central incisors. The remaining 20 primary teeth typically emerge by age three, but the age and order varies from child to child.
Primary teeth are important for several reasons when considering your childrens dentistry. Foremost, strong teeth allow a child to eat and maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth allow children to pronounce clearly and develop proper speech habits. They also guide the eruption of permanent teeth and contribute to a positive self-image.
When a deep cavity forms close to a primary (baby) tooth’s nerve, Dr. Harden may recommend a pulpotomy. During a pulpotomy, Dr. Harden removes the irritated part of the nerve, while leaving the healthy root canals intact. To ensure the comfort of your child, the first step involves thoroughly numbing the area with our comfortable computer anesthesia.
To gain access to the irritated tissue, Dr. Harden will make a small opening in the crown of the tooth. He uses tiny instruments to carefully clean the nerve tissue out of the top of the tooth. Then, he places a medicated packing material into the opening.
Dr. Harden protects the treated from fracturing with a stainless steel crown. The crown provides the tooth with enough strength to endure daily wear and tear before it has the chance to naturally fall out in its own.