Your child’s mouth is constantly growing and developing, and it continues to do so into their late teens. Taking care of their mouth is important. While brushing and flossing are key factors, they are only a part of their oral health needs. At National Dental Hicksville, we offer dentistry for kids, ensuring that their mouth develops properly and that they develop healthy habits now for a healthy mouth that will last them well into their adult years.
Just like you, your child needs periodic professional cleanings. We recommend two cleanings per year. Children are still working on their oral hygiene techniques, and tend to miss certain areas of their mouths more frequently, making them more prone to cavities. A cleaning, which removes plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the surfaces of their teeth, helps to reduce the risk for cavities and keeps your child’s mouth clean and healthy.
Along with cleanings, regular oral exams (also performed twice a year) are important for your child. During these exams, we check your child’s teeth for signs of cavities and other damage. We inspect the soft tissues of their mouth and look at their jaw to assess alignment. Another part of the exam involves discussing your child’s oral hygiene habits with them and providing them with tips and tricks on how to improve their at-home care.
Your child’s teeth and jaw continue to grow and develop well into their late teen years. With digital X-rays, we can better monitor this development so that we can address any issues we find early on. Digital X-rays also provide us with the ability to spot cavities between their teeth and take action before they grow larger and cause more significant damage.
At National Dental, we offer a few different ways to help your child in the fight against cavities. One available treatment is fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring element in teeth that can be lost on a daily basis through a process known as demineralization. While it is possible to add some of that fluoride back (treated water, toothpaste, some foods), sometimes these methods are not enough. A fluoride treatment is quick, simple, and completely pain-free. We apply a fluoride gel to your child’s teeth, and it absorbs into the enamel. Once there, it goes to work fighting off acid attacks by oral bacteria. It also gathers at the gum line, ready to protect newly emerging permanent teeth.
Another treatment available is sealants. The chewing surfaces of your child’s molars have several grooves and depressions. It is easy for food particles to become lodged in these spaces, and difficult to remove them. Bacteria can then gather and quickly cause cavities. Sealants are designed to cover the grooves and depressions on your child’s molars, providing a flat surface that is easier to clean. Again, the process is quick and painless. After creating a rough surface on the tooth with a lightly acidic gel, we then paint on the sealant material and dry it. Should the material become damaged, it is easily reapplied.
It is recommended that your child is seen for an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. This evaluation helps to determine any issues your child might have with their teeth or jaws that can cause serious issues later in life. Some of these issues are present as early as the age of 2 or 3. With early evaluation, we can provide early treatment, lessening the severity of treatment required later. In some cases, the need for later treatment can be eliminated.
For more information on dentistry for kids, or to schedule your child’s appointment, contact National Dental Hicksville today at (516) 629-5086.