Dentistry For Your Child
Is your child between two to three years of age or older? It’s time to visit the dentist.
How Important Are Healthy Baby Teeth?
To some of you the question above may seem odd, but as parents we fall into two categories:
- Those that feel since we get a second set of permanent teeth that there is no need to care for the baby teeth, and
- Those that feel all teeth are equally important.
In reality, healthy baby teeth are extremely important, not only for chewing/eating, but also to hold the space for the permanent teeth, protect the developing permanent teeth from tooth infections and even for self esteem. We may not think that young children are bothered by missing teeth but if it is not part of the normal tooth exfoliation cycle they may be affected by it.
Consider the difference between a 7-8 year old who loses their front teeth when all the other kids are doing the same, versus a 3-4 year old who loses their front teeth because of cavities/infections and has to wait another 3-4 years for their permanent front teeth to erupt.
How to Choose a Dentist for Your Child?
A child’s teeth are different from that of an adult, and of course providing dental services for children is also very different. Similar to adults, children still need to understand what is being done, why and what they will experience and of course, to have trust in the dentist, hygienists and assistants providing the care.
A Child’s First Visits to the Dentist
If this is their first visit, then taking time to explain and show them what we do is very important. If they have already had a negative experience then changing that perception and building positive experiences is extremely important to prevent long term fear that continues into adulthood.
Remembering our early dental experiences and after having children of our own, we realize that just because our patients are young, does not mean that they do not understand or need to understand what is going on. And they need to feel safe.
We purposely count out loud from one to five while working, because we tell our young patients that when we get to five, we will stop and give them a “rest”. We also tell them that if they would like me to stop anytime, they just have to raise their hand. This gives them a wonderful sense of self-control and takes away their feeling of helplessness that they would otherwise feel.
Being positive and upbeat is extremely important, not only at the dental office but also at home. We have to be very careful in our choice of words and also the tone of our voice when talking about ”the dentist”. This is something we often discuss with our parents before their child’s’ first visit.
Another characteristic that is unique with children is their patience and attention span is usually limited to 30-40 minutes. Therefore we keep visits short, positive and upbeat so that they will be happy to come back. Although this means the parents may have to come back more than once, if they don’t have to “fight with their kids to get them out the door” then that is one less battle to be won.
Sometimes we see children that have either been extremely traumatized or have a lots of severe dental cavities/infections that need immediate attention. In some of these situations, the best solution is to provide sedation dentistry so that the urgent things can be addressed immediately without further trauma while allowing the simpler things to be done later under routine settings.
A Dental Environment Suitable for Children and Adults
We know how important it is to you as a parent that your child feel safe and at ease in the dental office.
If you wish to bring your child to us, you can rest assured that Dr. Peter Balogh and the staff here at the Vancouver Centre for Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry are committed to making your child’s visit to the dentist a positive and joyful experience.
Our Pediatric Dental Services at VCCID in Burnaby
So what pediatric dental services do we provide for children?
Our services include:
- Cleaning, diagnostics and infant smile care education (including fluoride education)
- Teething solutions
- Eruption order
- Treatment for baby bottle decay
- Treatment of cavities, infections
Read below for a description of some of our pediatric services:
Cleaning, Diagnostics and Infant Smile Care Education (including Fluoride Education)
In addition to a cleaning and diagnosing any issues with your child’s teeth, we will discuss and provide some simple guidelines to help you handle the emergence of your child’s first teeth including, brushing with toothpaste and avoiding cavities.
We understand how trying teething can be for both baby and parent and we at VCCID are here to discuss and offer solutions to make the process easier for your family. Whether cold compresses, pressure techniques, topical medications or other remedies, we will be happy discuss the best option for you and your little ones.
At birth, we usually have 20 primary teeth which begin to erupt at around 6 months of age. They begin to fall out at different times during childhood and by 21 years of age, all 32 of our permanent teeth have erupted. Our teeth vary in size, shape and location within the jaw. These differences help each individual’s teeth to work together to help chew, eat and smile. They also allow for each individual to have their own shape and look.
If you are concerned about or interested in learning more about eruption order, we will be happy to discuss this with you.
Treatment for Baby Bottle Decay
Have you been noticing white spots on the surface of your child’s teeth? If so, your child might have early symptoms of baby bottle tooth decay. This infection is caused by frequent and prolonged exposure of a child’s teeth to food or liquid containing sugar. The sugar in these foods and drinks are transformed into acid by the bacteria in the mouth, thus dissolving the outer part of the teeth and causing decay.
At the Vancouver Centre for Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry, we can teach you what signs of tooth decay to be aware of, discuss preventative measures, as well as treatment options.
A dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth—most frequently the molars and premolars—where most cavities in children are found. The purpose of sealants are to prevent tooth decay. The way they work is that the sealant bonds to the depressions and pits of the teeth which forms a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.
While brushing and flossing are great ways to protect the teeth from decay, it’s often impossible to reach the deeper areas of our back teeth to remove food and plaque. If your child has exceptionally vulnerable teeth, we can discuss dental sealants as a viable pediatric solution.
Dr. Balogh’s Commitment to You and Your Child
Our goal is to make your child’s visit to the dentist a happy one. We offer a comfortable, non-threatening environment for the little ones, and make a point to answer any questions or concerns you have about your child’s dental care.
For more information about our pediatric services or to make an appointment with us at our dental office at Metrotown in Burnaby, call us today.