No matter how old you are, oral health is important, but it’s especially important to start learning how to maintain oral health at a young age. At Texas Dentistry, we offer a wide variety of treatments that keep your little one’s oral health in good shape from childhood to their future visits as a young adult and beyond. Through performing routine checkups, cleanings, and restorative treatments with a gentle touch, our team can ensure that your child has positive dental experiences that contribute to a lifetime of oral health. Schedule their first appointment today to get started with pediatric dentistry in Terrell!
Children should have their first dentist visit by their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth coming in. During this introductory visit, we’ll briefly look inside their mouth to check for cavities. If it will make your child feel more comfortable, you’re welcome to have them sit on your lap. Most of the first appointment will be focused on answering any questions you have about your child’s oral development, at-home care, diet, and potential future treatments.
Although routine cleanings and checkups are critical for all patients regardless of age, children are at a higher risk for developing tooth decay compared to other patient groups. That’s why consistently bringing them in for routine checkups and cleanings are especially important. During their visit, we’ll closely examine their teeth, gums, and other oral structures for plaque and tartar accumulation, then remove it carefully and completely. Then, we’ll also give them a fluoride rinse to protect their developing tooth enamel in between their semiannual visits.
All teeth are vulnerable to decay, but the chewing surfaces of your child’s molars and premolars are particularly prone to providing a haven for food debris and bacteria in their many pits and fissures. As a result, plaque can cause decay faster on these teeth than on others. To provide additional reinforcement, dental sealants can reduce the risk of cavity development and protect these susceptible teeth. This clear coating of dental plastic hardens instantly with a special curing light, and this extra protection can last for at least 10 years.
Sometimes, small imperfections in teeth can develop into the early stages of a cavity. Too small to treat with dental fillings, these “pre-cavities” need to be handled with more conservative treatment. Our dentists can use silver diamine fluoride to stop cavities from developing, reduce the sensitivity that typically occurs in early cavity development, and strengthen your child’s tooth enamel just like a normal fluoride treatment. That way, your child holds onto their natural tooth structure for longer.
Does your child participate in sports like football, basketball, or hockey? Do they like high-risk sports or activities such as skateboarding or riding a bike? Make sure that your child has a custom-fitted mouthguard! Not only will a generic mouthguard feel uncomfortable, and therefore likely won’t be worn, but it also will not provide the optimal protection that a mouthguard provided by Texas Dentistry will. To keep the risk of a broken or even knocked-out tooth to a minimum, consider giving them a custom-made mouthguard that will fit comfortably in place.
Everyone deserves to have high-quality dental care. However, many other dental offices are not capable of treating all kinds of patients, including those with special needs. Our dentists take pediatric dentistry seriously, and our team at Texas Dentistry can be prepared to meet your child’s needs, remain patient throughout their appointment, and ensure their safety and comfort from start to finish. Before their appointment, please give us a call so that we can provide the necessary accommodations for your child.
Is moving their mouth or tongue difficult for your child? If so, it could mean that they have an enlarged frenulum, the thin piece of oral tissue connecting the lips and tongue to the floor/roof of the mouth. We can perform gentle and conservative frenectomies to give your child better, easier movement of their tongue and mouth and improve their ability to speak and eat the foods they enjoy.
If your child has a tooth that has become severely damaged or developed an infection, we will strive to save that tooth however we can. Pulp therapy allows us to treat, restore, and save baby teeth and permanent teeth alike. We will closely check your child’s tooth through X-rays and a detailed visual exam to develop a personalized treatment plan. These procedures, called pulpotomies and pulpectomies, are very common for children, but we will walk you through each step of the process so you both feel comfortable and at ease.
Although uncommon, there are instances when we’ll recommend extracting baby teeth manually. For example, if a permanent tooth begins to erupt, but its associated baby tooth has failed to come out, we’ll take steps to remove it gently. We also may need to extract baby teeth to provide space for orthodontic treatment, treat tooth decay, or remove parts of a broken tooth resulting from physical injury.
Depending on your child’s needs, we may use a custom-made acrylic or metal oral appliance to create space inside their small mouth. This appliance provides the room needed for permanent teeth to develop properly and come into a healthy position, and it can be removable or fixed, according to our recommendations and your preferences. It will likely take a few days for your child to become accustomed to the appliance, but space maintainers are worth the effort. After all, they can ensure healthy oral development with fewer complications in the future.
At Texas Dentistry, we understand that some children struggle with dental anxiety, especially if they’ve had a negative experience in the past or if they have a mental disability. Regardless of the reason, we can help them feel comfortable and relaxed and make sitting in the dental chair easier. Nitrous oxide also called laughing gas, is one of the most common forms of sedation that we provide to calm patients with mild anxiety or fear of getting dental treatment.