The following pediatric dental services and procedures are available to your child:
Preventive dental care helps fight the start or progression of oral health problems, including decay, gum disease and oral cancer. Not only can it reduce the need for, but also the cost of, dental care in the future.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends your child visits their dentist every six months because regular dental checkups are key to good oral health. Dental examinations check for decay, periodontitis (gum disease), vitamin deficiencies, oral cancer, diabetes, and any irregularities in the head and neck region that could indicate oral problems. It also allows for your children’s teeth to be cleaned, and is a good opportunity for their dentist to give them and you tips on how to take care of their teeth better.
The American Dental Association recommends your baby has his or her first dental visit within six months of the eruption of the first tooth, but no later than your baby’s first birthday. The best way to prevent your children from suffering from tooth decay is to start taking them to the dentist at an early age. Even though baby teeth are not permanent, taking care of them is important because they form a path that permanent teeth follow when they erupt, and help your children speak and chew.
Most children stop thumb, finger and pacifier sucking habits on their own, but if they go on for a long time– past three years of age– your children’s pediatric dentist may recommend a mouth appliance. If a stop is not put to the habits, your children’s teeth may become misaligned, causing a need for braces down the road.
Children with Down syndrome and other disorders may be at a greater risk for gum disease, bite problems, cavities and other oral problems, so it is important that they receive special attention to ensure their oral health is protected and maintained.
It is normal for children to experience anxiety about trips to the dentist. To ensure the necessary treatments are administered, however, it is essential that children’s fears about visiting the dentist are eased. There are several ways to calm anxious children, including limiting the details given about the checkups, refraining from saying something will hurt, not promising a reward will be given after the visit, not telling them about a bad dental experience and explaining to them the importance of taking care of their teeth.
It is crucial that your children eat a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products, eggs, meat and protein. To protect their teeth from decay, limit the amount of starches and sugars they consume. If your children do drink sodas and sports beverages, or eat sugary foods, encourage them to drink water and chew sugar-free gum afterwards, and not brush their teeth for at least 30 minutes following consumption. This will help to neutralize and not spread the acid found in those types of drinks and foods.
Early orthodontic care is critical because it may mean less future treatment, and that some issues can be treated earlier and easier. Children should undergo their first orthodontic checkup by age seven, as recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists.
A dental emergency or pain can happen any time of day. We are here to treat of all your children’s dental needs, no matter what they are or if they already have an appointment. We have a 24-hour answering service.Call our office immediately, even after hours, to let the dentists know your child has a problem. Your call will be returned as soon as possible.
Enamel fluorosis changes the appearance of tooth enamel, usually in the form of faint white streaks. It occurs while baby and permanent teeth are forming beneath the gum, but cannot affect teeth once they break through the gums. Some cases of enamel fluorosis are so mild that they do not require treatment. Cases that require treatment or in which patients want to get rid of the lines, a number of treatments can be used, including veneers, tooth whitening, crowns and bonding.
Children may need esthetic dentistry services due to an accident, like a fall, or because you or they want to improve the appearance of their smile. There are a number of cosmetic procedures children can undergo, including bonding, veneers, microabrasion (a good choice for removing tooth stains), and braces.
Fluoride is a natural element that is found in water, tea, meat, eggs and fish. It helps prevent tooth decay and speed up the remineralization process in which tooth enamel is built back up. Dental office fluoride treatments are just one of the ways teeth absorb fluoride, along with fluoride toothpaste and rinses, and fluoride-containing water.
Tooth-colored fillings are a cost-effective way to restore a tooth that has been affected by a minimal amount of tooth decay. They are made of a composite, natural-looking plastic material that is less noticeable than amalgam and gold fillings. Tooth-colored fillings can be used along with dental sealants to prevent future tooth decay.
Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are applied to the surface of teeth to help prevent decay, as they add extra protection in the grooves, or fissures, of teeth where decay is most apt to occur. Sealants are applied after permanent teeth have erupted.It is important for children to have fluoride treatments even when they have dental sealants because sealants only protect the surface they are on.
Bonding uses a tooth-colored resin to bridge the gaps between teeth, and improve the appearance of discolored, cracked and chipped teeth.
Dental space maintainers are used to guide the eruption of permanent teeth in the case of baby teeth that are lost too early or keep space open for permanent teeth that are missing. There are several types of space maintainers, including removable, fixed, plastic, stainless steel, band-and-loop, lingual arch and distal shoe.
We employ a number of techniques to reduce the amount of radiation your children are exposed to due to X-rays, including only taking X-rays when there is a serious need or your children will benefit, avoiding unnecessary images, using the lowest amount of radiation necessary based on your children’s size, and always using body shields.
Malocclusion is the misalignment of teeth, and is treated in children in one or a combination of the following ways: extraction, braces, retainers, growth modification (early treatment using a functional appliance like headgear, palatal expansion, herbst or bionator) and space maintainers.
Teenage patients have unique needs due to diet, oral piercings, newly developedmalocclusion due to the eruption of their adult teeth, and typically poor oral health habits. They are sensitive to their appearance and now that their permanent teeth have erupted, they are good candidates for orthodontics to improve their bite and appearance.
Functional therapy to create balanced upper and lower jaw size and shape can be very beneficial for some patients. The benefits accrue as teeth that fit in an arch and are aligned properly for best “function” as well as appearance. When we manage jaw bone growth in specific directions during a child’s ideal growth period, we can create optimal alignment of the teeth through later orthodontics or eliminate the need for orthodontics altogether. When the choice is made to do functional therapy, we use the most advanced appliances. Functional appliances you may have heard of include headgear, palatal expansion, herbst and bionator appliances. Dr. Torres is highly trained and experienced in functional therapy.
Orthodontics is a dental specialty in which teeth are moved into proper alignment for optimal function and esthetics. Sometimes, the most appropriate course of treatment combines functional therapy with orthodontics. In addition to improving your child’s bite for a lifetime of function and appearance for a lifetime of confidence, the alignment of teeth makes them easier to clean, reducing the risk of decay and gum disease. Dr. Torres is highly trained and experienced in orthodontics. He offers both Invisalign Teen clear aligning technology and conventional wire and bracket braces.