Taking care of children’s teeth is not dissimilar to caring for adult teeth. The treatment principles are the same, just performed on a smaller scale. However, a dentist who offers pediatric dental services will always cater their treatment and oral health education to the patient’s age. This helps enhance the child’s level of understanding of oral hygiene and dental procedures, and encourages them to become more familiarized and comfortable in the dentist’s office. Call today to schedule an appointment at your dentist in Wesley Chapel, FL.
The #1 most common childhood disease is tooth decay.
After your child is introduced to our dentist and team, a dental hygienist will gently clean your child’s teeth and gums, removing plaque and bacteria, polishing each tooth, and then giving them a thorough floss.
X-rays may be recommended if your child has never had them before, if it’s been a few years since their last set of x-rays, or if the dentist suspects oral development issues or a hidden oral health problem. As the parent or guardian, you will be asked to approve x-rays before they are taken.
The dentist will examine your child’s mouth, teeth and x-rays to ensure your kid is free of cavities and that their smile is developing properly. If the parent did not sit in with the child during their exam, the dentist will bring parents into the room at this point to discuss their findings.
Next, the dentist will provide a recommendation for further treatment if needed. Some treatments, like fluoride treatments or dental sealants, can usually be applied at the first appointment and may be recommended during regular cleanings. Other treatments, like filling cavities, may require a second appointment.
If additional treatment is needed to keep your child’s smile healthy, we’re happy to schedule follow-up appointments before you head out. We also recommend that you schedule your child’s next oral exam and teeth cleaning at this time.
Pediatric cleanings and oral exams are just like cleanings and oral exams for adults. A dental hygienist will clean your child’s teeth, then a Wesley Chapel dentist will examine their mouth and x-rays to look for potential oral health and oral development issues.
During this appointment, you’ll have an opportunity to speak with the dentist about what to expect at different stages of your child’s oral development, such as erupting baby teeth, losing baby teeth, and growing adult teeth. We’ll go over proper at-home oral care and hygiene for different age groups, and discuss nutritional information and how diet is related to oral health.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is an alternative to fillings for minor-to-moderate tooth decay in baby teeth. It consists of a blend of silver, fluoride, ammonia, and water. When applied to a decayed tooth, this mixture kills the bacteria that cause decay, and halts the progression of the cavity.
This treatment is only used in baby teeth because it discolors the tooth permanently, turning it black. It’s a good option for baby teeth that will fall out naturally in time, or for kids who are uncooperative or too young to get a filling.
Stainless steel crowns are a good alternative to fillings. They are pre-fabricated in a variety of sizes, and are placed directly onto your child’s tooth to cover and protect it from further damage and decay. Depending on the placement method used during the process, the dentist will either trim your child’s tooth before the crown is placed, or the crown may be placed directly over the tooth after it has been cleaned, without the need to trim the tooth with a dental drill.
A space maintainer may be required if your child loses a baby tooth early. This dental prosthetic is made to sit between your child’s healthy teeth, resting in the gap where their missing tooth used to be.
By doing so, the space maintainer prevents the surrounding teeth from shifting toward the now-empty socket, which is common after tooth loss. This ensures that your child’s permanent tooth will erupt properly when it’s ready. Without a space maintainer after premature tooth loss, your child may experience oral development issues that may require orthodontic intervention.
A frenectomy is used to treat tongue and lip ties (ankyloglossia). With this condition, the “frenulum” of your child’s lips or tongue are excessively thick, which restricts proper lip and tongue movement. This can lead to breastfeeding problems, difficulties with chewing, and even speech issues later in life.
During a frenectomy procedure, your dentist will snip these bands of tissue to release the tongue and/or lip ties, and restore their proper range of motion.
Parents will be given aftercare instructions and exercises to do with or for their child or infant to ensure proper healing and the effectiveness of the procedure.
Also known as a “baby root canal,” a pulpotomy is used to open up your child’s tooth and remove the decayed pulp from the inside of the root canals. This is required if their tooth has become infected due to untreated decay or an oral injury.
After the area is disinfected, a special healing dressing will be applied to the remaining pulp. This dressing will encourage the pulp to heal, which will keep the baby tooth alive and healthy until it falls out as part of your child’s natural oral development.
Cavities can be caused by the transmission of bacteria from a mother to her infant.
The answer may surprise you. It’s typically recommended by the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) that children start seeing the dentist when they’re 1 year old, or whenever their first tooth erupts.
Is your child a little older? You should bring them to the dentist in Wesley Chapel for an appointment as soon as you can to ensure their teeth and mouth are healthy and strong. If your family is located in Land O'Lakes, we would love to become your dental home. We are a short drive away.
Going to the dentist early and regularly helps your child become more familiar with the process of regular dental visits, making them less likely to be anxious about going to the dentist as they grow up. Seeing the same dentist regularly throughout your child’s early years will also allow the doctor to become more familiar with your child’s teeth. They’ll be able to identify any potential oral development issues early, and take the proper action to ensure their teeth stay strong and healthy. These regular appointments also encourage children to build better life-long oral health habits.
The most important thing you can do to prepare your child to see the dentist is to speak about it positively. They don’t have any experiences with the dentist yet, so this is an opportunity to help the doctor make a good first impression.
Drinking a bottle of milk or breastfeeding right before bed puts your child at a higher risk for tooth decay.
Check out these frequently asked questions, or call us at (813) 377-1822 to speak with our team!
You should take your child to the dentist after their first birthday or six months after their first teeth emerge from their gums. However, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends taking your child to the dentist the moment the first tooth appears. If they don’t appear before their first birthday, you should take them when they reach one year old.
The first visit checks the health of the child’s primary teeth. The visit usually takes 30 to 45 minutes and may involve a full dental exam where the dentist checks the teeth, jaws, gums, and oral tissue. It’s also an excellent opportunity for the child to build rapport with the dentist and get used to the dentist’s chair.
The dentist might recommend gentle cleaning for cases where the teeth are well-developed. This cleaning involves gently polishing the teeth to remove signs of plaque and tartar. The doctor will give you tips and instructions on maintaining your child’s oral health as they grow up.
Taking your kids to the dentist when they barely have teeth might seem unusual, but doing so is in their best interest. These early visits help detect the signs of developing cavities and stop them before they get out of hand. Tooth decay that goes unchecked could lead to severe pain and discomfort, necessitating more expensive treatments like pulpotomies or tooth extractions.
Early dentist visits also allow the dentist to closely monitor the development of your child’s teeth and mouth. Routine visits let the dentist check for early signs of dental complications like malocclusions and address them before they spiral out of control. Doing so goes a long way toward maintaining the health and strength of your child’s teeth up until adulthood.
These early dental visits are also a great opportunity for the parent to learn more about maintaining their child’s oral health and hygiene. The dentist will advise you on how to brush and floss your child’s teeth and what foods to feed them for proper dental health. You’ll also learn about how certain habits, like thumb sucking, can affect your child’s dental development.
Adequately preparing your child for their first dental visit is crucial for a seamless visit. This entails scheduling the time of the appointment early in the morning when the child is fresh and awake. For preschoolers and older kids you can tell them what they should expect and what a dentist does. Remember to be cheerful and excited to dispel any fears and doubts in your child.
You can also role play as a dentist before the actual visit to give your child an idea of what’s coming and reduce their anxiety. You can also carry comfort items to you with the dentist. These items may include your child’s favorite toy, a favorite blanket, or anything else that makes your child feel safe and comfortable.