It goes without saying that good dental habits start early, and we strive to make sure that positive dental experiences for your child also start early. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends taking your child to the dentist by their first birthday, or when their first tooth erupts. Most children require basic routine dental care such as exams, dental cleanings, along with dental x-rays only when necessary. And because we use digital x-rays in our office, when we do need to take an x-ray on a child, we are using the lowest level of radiation possible.
Significant dental development occurs during childhood. It is important to identify any potential problems during this time. When we are able to diagnose at an early age, any necessary treatments are typically less invasive and much more predictable. On the other hand, if dental issues are left untreated during the developmental years, they can worsen over time, necessitating more advanced and extensive care in the future.
There are a number of preventative treatments we provide for our young patients at Maidu Dental. These include:
Examinations: During routine examinations, Dr. Markham will assess the teeth, gums, jaw joints, and surrounding structures to ensure everything is working properly. She will also perform a cavity check at every appointment.
Cleanings: Oral bacteria repopulate every few months. This is why regular dental cleanings are so important. By keeping bacteria at manageable levels, we can help prevent cavities.
Dental Sealants: Back chewing teeth can sometimes have deep pits and grooves. These areas trap food and harbor cavity-causing bacteria. Dental sealants are a simple way to shield the teeth from debris, plaque, and decay.
Fluoride Treatments: If plaque is not routinely removed, it becomes acidic and begins to demineralize the tooth enamel, weakening the structure. Topical fluoride treatments can remineralize enamel, strengthen teeth, and help prevent cavities.
Orthodontic Assessments: Some orthodontic issues are much easier to address when children are still in the developmental years. David Markham, our board-certified orthodontist, can perform orthodontic assessments and make recommendations when necessary.
If a child does need a filling, it’s important to take care of the cavity early, before it becomes a larger cavity and would require more extensive work. Baby teeth fall out and are replaced by adult or permanent teeth, but baby teeth are still important for maintaining space for proper permanent teeth eruption, as the child mouth and jaws grow. So, while some people may think that it’s ok for baby teeth to decay since they will “fall out anyway”, we try to keep baby teeth as long as possible.