California Bright Dental Group welcomes children of all ages, including toddlers and teens, for a fun dental experience. The doctor enjoys seeing children and is wonderfully patient during all visits and procedures, especially being a Dad of two little active boys. We believe that developing good oral hygiene habits early is key in pediatric dentistry. The doctor does his best to educate parents and children about their oral health and works with you to encourage your little ones to take care of their smiles.
WHEN TO PLAN YOUR CHILD’S FIRST VISIT?
Your baby is ready for his or her first dental appointment by around 1 years old. For your toddler’s first visit, The doctor will help you develop an at-home dental hygiene routine that incorporates fun and positive oral care habits. Just like Mom and Dad, we suggest regular six month check ups for your child to ensure they are maintaining a healthy smile and great habits from the beginning.
Teen dentistry addresses a very important stage of your child’s life and development. The habits they have been practicing at home for years are finally beginning to show results, whether good or bad. As a teenager, they likely care a little bit more about keeping their smile healthy and they probably also have a better understanding of what exactly that entails.
Just because your child has finally come around to good dental health habits, it doesn’t mean they can skip their professional cleanings or office visits. In fact, as their habits and dental health are now being cemented during this formative time of their life, it’s still vitally important that they are showing up for their six-month check-ups consistently.
At your teen’s visit, The doctor will focus on evaluating the following:
- Sealants on Molars
- Evaluation of Wisdom Teeth
- Good Eating Habits
- Proper Review of Hygiene Care
- Athletic Mouthguard
What are sealants?
Dental sealants are a form of preventative treatment that is used to help prevent or slow down the development of caries. The plastic coatings are placed on the chewing surface of the teeth, which are generally the molars or premolars. These teeth are the most susceptible to caries because, due to the anatomy of the tooth, food particles get stuck in the fissures of the tooth. When food accumulates in these areas, plaque forms and attacks the enamel, causing a cavity to form. The plastic coating of the dental sealant helps prevent the food from being stuck in the fissures of the tooth.
When are sealants placed?
Dental sealants are first placed when the first permanent molar is erupted. The dental sealant will help protect the permanent teeth of children to help prevent the formation of cavities. These sealants can also be placed on adults that are at high risk for forming dental caries. Sealants last for many years, but new ones can be placed when the old sealants have worn down.
While there are many orthodontic problems that orthodontists agree are best treated after all permanent teeth have come in, early treatment can be in a patient’s best interests if their problem is one that could become more serious over time if left untreated. The goal of early treatment is to intercept the developing problem, eliminate the cause, guide the growth of facial and jaw bones, and provide adequate space for incoming permanent teeth. A patient may require a second course of treatment after all permanent teeth have come in to move those teeth into their best positions.
The kinds of problems orthodontists may recommend treating while a child still has some baby teeth include:
- Underbites – when the lower front teeth are ahead of the upper front teeth
- Crossbites – when the jaw shifts to one side
- Very crowded teeth
- Excessively spaced teeth
- Extra or missing teeth
- Teeth that meet abnormally, or don’t meet at all
- Thumb-, finger-, or pacifier- sucking that is affecting the teeth or jaw growth
Some of these orthodontic problems are inherited, while others may result from accidents, dental disease, or abnormal swallowing.
Early orthodontic treatment can take many forms. The orthodontist could prescribe a fixed or removable “appliance” – a device used to move teeth, change the position of the jaw, or hold teeth in place in order to bring about desirable changes. Sometimes no appliances are necessary. Rather, removal of some baby teeth may help the permanent teeth erupt better. The extractions will be timed to take best advantage of a patient’s growth and development.
Regardless of how treatment goals are reached, the bottom line is that some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they are found and treated early. Waiting until all the permanent teeth have come in, or until facial growth is nearly complete, may make correction of some problems more difficult.
What are Athletic Mouth Guards?
Protective mouth guards are an important part of safety against injury for youth and adults who are involved in sports. Professional mouth guards / sport guards can be made in many colors and different thicknesses proportional to the risks of the sport. For example, ice hockey players would need thicker guards than soccer players. Mouth guards can aid greatly in reducing the potential for jaw fracture, concussion or severe tooth damage in the event of a blow to the jaw or teeth. They are highly recommended for athletes involved in all sports that could result in trauma to the head, jaw or teeth. The doctor and his staff will take impressions of your teeth to allow the fabrication of a comfortable, custom fitting mouth/sport guard to protect your health.