When should I schedule my childs first dental visit?

Regular dental visits should be a part of every child’s oral health care with the first visit being scheduled by the time the child is 12 months of age or by six months of the appearance of his / her first tooth. From the very first examination, the pediatric dentist will thoroughly check the child’s teeth, gums, jaws, bite, and oral tissues to check growth and development and guide the parents on how to care for the child’s teeth.

How Often Should My Child Have A Dental CheckUp?

As a broad guideline, it is recommended that the child visits the dentist at least once every six months for a routine dental checkup. Routine dental examinations help the dentist in adopting preventive measures for any oral health issues that may not have been noticeable to the layman eye. Regular dental checkups also help in dental cleanings and flouride treatments that inhibit tooth decay and add to the strength of the teeth and supporting structures. If signs of decay or other oral health issues have already developed, the dentist may advise more frequent visits in order to put a stop to any further damage.

What Causes Cavities In Children?

Cavities are holes caused in the tooth enamel when buildup of dental plaque or tartar causes decay. Reasons why some children have a higher risk of developing cavities include consumption of sugary foods and starches leading to growth of oral bacteria, poor dental hygiene, defects in the dental enamel such as enamel hypoplasia, and mouth breathing which results in dryness in the mouth. Toddlers who are put to bed with a bottle of milk or breastfeed during the night are also at risk of developing dental cavities. Good oral hygiene practices from the time the first tooth erupts and regular dental checkups can go a long way in preventing cavities.

How can I help my child avoid cavities?

Establishing and maintaining good oral hygiene practices is key to ensuring that the child’s teeth remain healthy and free from tooth decay and cavities. Poor oral hygiene encourages the growth of bacteria which causes buildup of plaque and tartar in the mouth and eventually leads to cavities and caries. It is also important to monitor the child’s diet to ensure that it has the right amount of nutrition and to limit the consumption of snacks and sugary foods

Does Pediatric teeth require treatment?

Children are prone to various oral health issues including tooth decay, cavities and caries. Contrary to popular belief, damage or decay caused to milk teeth does not go away when the teeth fall out. Instead the decay carries on to the permanent teeth that come later on and can cause discomfort, pain and embarrassment to the child if not treated on time. The child should visit a pediatric dentist at least every six months in order to ensure that potential dental problems are discovered and treated early.

What Is Infant Oral Health Care?

Infant oral health care is the process of carrying for the teeth of babies up to the age of 12 months. Since babies are not in a position to take care of their oral health on their own, the parent or caregiver should check for decay on the outside and inside surfaces of the infant’s gums and teeth at least once a month by lifting the baby’s lips. At the time of tooth eruption, the baby can experience soreness or swollen gums. Using a clean finger and a damp cotton ball, the baby’s gums should be lightly massaged to aid tooth eruption. From the time the baby’s first tooth erupts, the baby’s teeth should be cleaned using a soft toothbrush specifically made for infants.

What is Pulpectomy (Baby Root Canal Treatment) in Children?

If the child’s primary tooth is damaged or diseased considerably with the decay seeping to the tooth pulp, a baby root canal treatment or pulpectomy will be recommended by the pediatric dentist. The procedure is usually carried out by a pediatric endodontist who removes the damaged part of the nerves and pup tissues, sterilizes the area, seals up the gap that is created before placing a crown over the tooth for protection. Performing a baby root canal treatment helps to protect and maintain the remaining root structure of the primary tooth as well as the gums, tissues and bones supporting the structure. This also helps to prevent infection and ensure that the permanent tooth that replaces the current primary tooth remains healthy.

What Is Early Age Orthodontic Correction In Children?

Early age orthodontic correction treatment is required by children whose permanent teeth do not come through correctly or may be misaligned, causing concerns of crowding, gaps between teeth, crooked teeth, narrowing of the jaw, or protruding teeth . Correction of these oral issues is required not just from an aesthetic point of view. Malocclusion and improper growth can cause complications with bite, chewing of food, speech and respiratory issues. Generally, orthodontists recommend that children be brought in for a consultation by around six to seven years of age so that both the parents and the orthodontist have an idea of what treatment may be needed and what measures can be taken to prevent oral issues in the future.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe For Kids?

Pediatric Dentists may advise taking dental x-rays as part of the child’s routine dentist visit or before an in-depth procedure, in order to accurately study the parts of the patient’s teeth and jaw bone that are not visible to the naked eye. Issues with tooth eruption, oral decay, jawbone damage, or other dental problems can be correctly assessed and interventions can be planned with the help of dental X-rays. Parents are often concerned that X-ray radiation may be harmful to the child. Digital x-ray technology that is used in Pediatric Dentistry emits minimal radiation that is not harmful to children. Even then, dental X-rays are advised by the Pediatric Dentist only when there is an actual need to see an area of the mouth that cannot be examined otherwise.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are thin coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of premolars or molars to protect them from cavities and tooth decay. They are a preventive measure and can be applied to healthy teeth of children as soon as they erupt so that the teeth are protected from future damage through dental decay. The need for dental sealant on the back teeth arises because these teeth have deep grooves on them where plaque is likely to accumulate, causing corrosion of the teeth' enamel. They are different from dental fillings which are a restorative treatment that is used to cover holes created by cavities after the cavities form.

Why Are Fluoride Treatments Important For Kids?

Fluoride treatment is an important ally in your child’s fight against cavities. In addition to brushing twice a day and flossing to keep the teeth clean, it is important to have regular dental checkups with a Pediatric Dentist. During the routine dental visit, the Pediatric Dentist will advise fluoride treatment involving the application of topical fluoride to the child’s teeth. Fluoride treatment penetrates the dental enamel making it stronger and protecting it against corrosion from acids released from food, especially sugars and starches. Fluoride also works to reverse the effects of early dental decay and promotes remineralization of the enamel. The treatment gets over in a few minutes and is easy and painless.

How Important Is A Balanced Diet In Preventing Dental Decay?

To protect your teeth and gums and maintain good oral health, a balanced diet is just as important as brushing twice a day, flossing, and going for regular dental checkups. A balanced, nutrient-rich diet that includes whole grains, proteins, vegetables, fruits, and calcium-rich foods gives the body the power to protect itself and resist infections. Lack of nutrients can reduce your body’s ability to shield itself against infections that can cause gingivitis and periodontal disease. Some foods like sugary foods, aerated drinks, and starches can also have an adverse effect on your teeth and gums by corroding the dental enamel and causing dental caries or tooth decay.

What Is Conscious Sedation? Why Is It Used For Children?

Pediatric Conscious Sedation is an emerging trend in Pediatric Dentistry where sedation is used during dental procedures to keep the child relaxed and calm while breathing normally and being able to respond to conversation. The sedation is proven to be especially effective in children who have a high level of anxiety about dental care and procedures, children with special needs, or children who find it difficult to sit still for a specified period. At Dr. Kammath’s Pediatric Dental Care, we use nitrous oxide-oxygen inhalation sedation, which is one of the safest sedative treatments in pediatric sedation dentistry. It has an early onset and the effect of the sedation wears off almost immediately.