Establishing healthy oral habits is essential for children. The daily practices they begin when they’re young can affect their dental health for the rest of their lives.
At Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas, we believe in a unique, safe, and fun dental experience for your child. Let’s take a look at some of the most common pediatric dentist procedures you may expect to encounter during your child’s dental health journey.
The first step is finding a dentist for your child. A dentist that specializes in pediatric care is essential, so be sure to do your research and look for a few key traits.
Once you choose your dentist, you should take your child to see them either six months after the eruption of their first tooth, or by their first birthday at the latest, for their first checkup. Your dentist will examine your child’s new teeth to catch any developing issues.
After your first visit, begin cleaning your child’s teeth for them until they’re old enough to do so themselves, even with infants. The best way to ensure proper dental hygiene is by establishing consistent, healthy habits.
Instruct them in the correct way to brush their teeth and gums, and set a regular brushing routine. Ensure they brush for two minutes twice a day, morning and night, with a fluoride-infused toothpaste.
In addition to proper in-home dental care, the next essential pediatric dentist procedure to maintain is a regular cleaning every six months. Here’s what you can expect at a standard cleaning. Your child’s dentist will:
- Use a scaler to scrape excess tartar off the surfaces of your child’s teeth
- Rinse your child’s mouth with water, then polish their teeth
- Floss between teeth to be sure all plaque has been removed
- Inspect your child’s teeth and gums for issues or abnormalities
- Complete a fluoride treatment approximately four times a year, if necessary
These regular cleanings and checkups can go a long way to preventing further dental issues later in your child’s life.
As your child grows, x-rays are another easy and useful pediatric dentist procedure that dentists use to ensure the health of your child’s teeth. X-rays can reveal issues that a visual exam may not catch, like hard-to-see cavities, impacted teeth, or tooth decay.
The x-ray process is simple. Your child will be seated throughout the event, and a lead vest will be placed over their torso. The x-ray machine will be placed next to your child’s mouth and record images of their teeth and gums. The images are usually available right away, so your dentist can immediately see if there are any underlying issues.
Once your child’s permanent, or “adult” teeth, come in, dental sealants are another pediatric dentist procedure that can improve the health of your child’s teeth. When adult teeth come in, they have fissures and pits in which food and bacteria can become trapped. Dental sealants are a cover for those pits, preventing this trap and keeping bacteria away.
When we apply dental sealants at Children’s Dentistry, we thoroughly clean your child’s teeth, removing all traces of bacteria and food. Then we apply an acid etch, a bonding agent, and finally, the sealant. This quick and painless procedure will help keep your child’s teeth healthy and bacteria-free.
Fillings, Root Canals, Crowns, and Bridges
Should your child get cavities (they’re actually quite common), there are a wide variety of pediatric dental procedures that can correct the issue. The first and most common are composite fillings. These are tooth-colored fillings made from a composite resin that fill the holes left behind by cleaned-out cavities.
At Children’s Dentistry, we provide safe, non-painful sedation dentistry to carry out composite fillings. We utilize either nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or an oral sedative, depending on what’s best for your child. Your dentist will then completely remove all traces of the cavity and fill the hole with the resin.
Root canals and crowns can sound like scary procedures, especially for children. At Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas, we understand these fears, and strive to provide the most comforting, safe, and welcoming environment possible.
Pediatric dentist procedures like root canals don’t have to be feared. When a child needs a root canal, it’s because there’s an infection in the pulp of the tooth. We can remove the infected part of the pulp, rather than extracting the entire tooth. The dentist will then clean the canals of the tooth and replace the pulp with a therapeutic material. Finally, the dentist will apply a crown, sealing the tooth and helping it look just like the rest.
If your child loses multiple teeth, they may be in need of a bridge. A bridge for children is a pediatric dental procedure that fills a gap in your child’s mouth with multiple artificial teeth stuck together. This bridge can hold the space in a child’s mouth until their adult teeth come in and fill the gap.
At age seven, you should take your child to the dentist for their first screening for orthodontic services. This screening can see if they have any irregularities in their teeth or jaw and catch problems early.
At their screening, you can expect the dentist to do a visual examination as well as take a few x-rays. They may also ask if your child has any habits like teeth grinding or thumb sucking, as these habits can change what type of orthodontia your child may require.
Types of orthodontia include metal, ceramic, or lingual braces. Your child may also be able to utilize Invisalign, a type of clear braces, as their pediatric dental procedure.
Trust Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas
Our number one priority is providing a safe and relaxing experience for your child. From our engaging lobby to our kid-friendly rooms, we warmly welcome you and your child and will care for you as part of our family.
Contact us to schedule your child’s visit.