Pediatric Dentistry in
Mission Viejo & Fullerton, CA
Friendly, Caring Pediatric Dentistry
OC Smile, Offering Compassionate, Qualified, and Friendly Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric dentists receive an additional two to three years of specialty training following dental school to ensure your child receives the best care. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have dental examination by their first birthday. Your child may be evaluated then, allowing for an individualized preventative program to be planned. As a practice, OC Smile strives to provide “dental health care” vs. “disease care”. Most dental problems may be resolved easier if detected early. Prevention is the best form of treatment, and an early start to good dental habits eliminates problems before they begin.
How To Treat Your Child's First Teeth
Your child’s 20 baby teeth will begin to appear usually between six and nine months, though in some cases it may start as early as three months or as late as twelve months. The two lower front teeth tend to erupt first, followed by the two upper ones. The first molars come in next, followed by the canines (eyeteeth). Sometimes your baby can experience teething discomfort during this process. If so, there are courses of action to help make your child more comfortable.
Your infant’s gums and newly erupting teeth should be gently wiped after each feeding with a water-soaked gauze pad or damp washcloth. Starting at age 2, when there are more teeth in the mouth, establish a daily brushing routine with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and no more than a thin smear of fluoridated toothpaste. Your child may need your help with this important task until about the age of 6.
Your Child's First Dental Appointment
Pediatric Dental Treatments
There are a variety of dental treatments offered to prevent tooth decay in children, or to save or repair teeth when necessary. They include:
Topical Fluoride — Fluoride incorporates into the enamel of teeth, making it harder and more resistant to decay. Although there is a small amount of fluoride in toothpastes and in some drinking water supplies, a higher concentration can be applied professionally to your child’s teeth for maximum protection.
Dental Sealants — A plastic coating can be applied at the dental office to prevent cavities by sealing the little grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth known as “pits and fissures.” These little crevices become the perfect environments for decay-causing bacteria. Immature tooth enamel is more permeable and therefore less resistant to tooth decay. Dental sealants are easy to apply and provide years of protection.
Root Canal Treatment — Perhaps you have had a root canal treatment yourself, to save an injured or severely decayed tooth. Well, sometimes children need root canals, too. As mentioned above, baby teeth are important guides to the permanent teeth that are already forming beneath your child’s gums. Therefore, saving them from premature loss can help prevent a malocclusion (“mal” – bad; “occlusion” – bite) that requires orthodontic treatment.
Bonding — Chips and minor fractures to front teeth — common childhood occurrences — can be repaired with tooth-colored bonding materials. These lifelike resins made of plastic and glass can be used on baby teeth as well as permanent teeth and last until the youngster has completed facial growth.
Orthodontic Concerns For Your Kid
By around age 7, most malocclusions have become evident. Interceptive orthodontic treatment around this time can help direct proper tooth positioning and/or jaw growth, eliminating or simplifying the need for later treatment. There are many orthodontic problems that can be detected early and are examples of why a trained professional should evaluate your child during his/her growth and development.
Sports & Your Child's Teeth
If your child is active in sports, a custom-made mouthguard is a highly recommended safeguard. According to the American Dental Association, an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer dental harm when not wearing one of these protective devices. A custom mouthguard is made specifically for your child using a model of his or her teeth. This will offer greater protection than an off-the-shelf model. It’s an investment that pays off highly in the form of reduced pain, suffering — and dental expenses down the road!
Fullerton, CA & Mission Viejo Pediatric Dental Office – Top-Rated Family & General Dentists Serving Mission Viejo, Fullerton & The Surrounding Areas
The chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth are the most likely place for a cavity to form in his or her mouth. If you run your tongue over this portion of your mouth, you’ll notice why: These portions of your teeth are not as smooth as the rest of your teeth. Instead, they’re lined with microscopic grooves known as “pits and fissures,” which trap bacteria and food particles. A toothbrush’s bristles can’t always reach all the way into these dark, damp recesses. This generates ideal circumstances for tooth decay to flourish.
Furthermore, a child’s newly erupted permanent teeth do not have the same level of decay resistance as adult teeth. As teeth age, the hard enamel coating that protects them changes to become stronger. Fluoride, which can be found in toothpaste and some drinking water — as well as dental treatments — can help to strengthen enamel, but it’s difficult to get fluoride into those pits and fissures on a regular basis. Dental sealants, fortunately, are a viable answer to this issue.
Dental sealants are clear plastic resin coatings that smooth up the chewing surfaces of the back teeth and make them decay-resistant. A sealed tooth is significantly less likely to develop a cavity, necessitate more costly dental care in the future, or, most importantly, cause pain to your child.
How Dental Sealants Are Placed
You can think of a sealant as a mini plastic filling, though please reassure your child that it doesn’t “count” as having a cavity filled. Because tooth enamel is devoid of nerves, applying a sealant is painless and does not necessitate the use of numbing agents. The tooth or teeth to be sealed are first examined, and any little decay discovered is carefully removed. After that, the tooth will be cleansed and dried. The surface is next treated with a solution that roughens or “etches” it somewhat, allowing the sealing substance to adhere better. After that, the tooth is cleaned and dried one more. The liquid sealant is then painted on the tooth and solidifies in about a minute, sometimes with the assistance of a special curing light. It’s as simple as that!
Taking Care of Your Dental Sealants
Sealed teeth, like unsealed teeth, require the same level of dental hygiene. Your child should continue to brush and floss his or her teeth on a daily basis, as well as undergo professional cleanings on a regular basis. It’s crucial to keep an eye on the sealants for signs of wear and tear, even though they should last for up to ten years. During this period, your child will receive a preventive therapy that has been shown to minimize decay by over 70%.