Routine dental cleanings and exams are an important part of your child maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing dental decay and disease. While daily home care is also critical, our professional cleanings will remove mineralized plaque that can develop even with good brushing and flossing. We recommend that your child see us for a cleaning and exam once every six months.
At Pediatric Dental Care of VA, we take special care to make your child’s visit an enjoyable one. From our facility design to our style of communication, we focus on giving our patients a fun, relaxing experience during their dental visits.
The dental examination is the most important aspect of a dental visit. During the exam, we will assess the condition, development, and eruption of your child’s teeth, along with the health of the gums.
The earlier we can examine a child, the better! Following the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s guidelines, we recommend bringing your child in by his or her first birthday, or 6 months after the eruption of the first teeth. Our goal for an early exam is to guide and educate parents on how to maintain healthy teeth and gums for their children. We also want to address any dental issues, such as cavities, very early in order to reduce the amount of time and treatments for the child.
Cleaning and Fluoride
Routine teeth cleanings are important for removing the buildup of plaque and tartar, both of which can lead to cavities and gum diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis. During a routine cleaning appointment, we will polish and scale your child’s teeth to remove the plaque and tartar.
In addition to the cleaning, we will give your child a fluoride treatment to strengthen the tooth enamel against decay and reduce enamel demineralization. Don’t worry – we use a fluoride gel that comes in many flavors that are more appealing to our young patients.
Digital x-rays will be taken as needed during appointments to assess your child’s oral and dental health. At Pediatric Dental Care, we offer digital x-rays to decrease the exposure of radiation to the patient. The x-rays at our offices are made especially for children, and your child will wear a lead body apron during the process. X-rays are vital in diagnosing decay and providing the overall health of the teeth and gum tissue.
If you have any concerns about digital x-rays for your child, please discuss them with our staff.
In the event that your child needs a filling, we offer composite fillings, also known as ‘white’ or ‘tooth-colored’ fillings.
In certain circumstances, such as an infected or abscessed tooth, ectopic eruption, orthodontic needs, and trauma, tooth extraction may be a necessary course of action. In cases of tooth extraction, we will provide local anesthesia. We can also administer laughing gas or sedation medication if required for patient comfort or to reduce anxiety.
If a primary (baby) molar is extracted too soon, then we provide a space maintainer to hold the space until the permanent teeth erupt. Space maintainers are appliances made of metal or plastic which are custom-fit for your child’s mouth. They are small and low-key in appearance. Most children find it easy to adjust to them after the first few days.
In addition to composite ‘white’ fillings, we provide treatment with crowns. On occasion, teeth may not be restored with a filling and instead require a crown for complete protection and coverage of your child’s tooth. A crown on a baby molar will typically come out naturally around 10 to 12 years of age, the same time when a natural baby molar would come out.
Sealants are made of a clear or shaded plastic, and they act as a protective coating typically applied on the permanent molars to help keep them cavity-free. Because molars tend to have deeper grooves and lines on the surface, they are more prone to getting food lodged, thus forming a cavity.
If your child requires sealant, we will paint it on the tooth to seal out those pesky grooves and lines. The procedure will significantly reduce the development of decay, and it is completely painless!