Children’s dentistry is quite literally the dental treatment of children, aged anywhere from toddler to teen. Although children may not need dental treatment that can be as complex as some adult dental treatments, e.g. implants, crowns and bridges etc., it is crucial that your child starts seeing their dentist early in their life to prevent dental related issues from arising. Developing positive oral hygiene habits from a young age can often be the difference between a positive or negative experience with their oral health.
What dental work does my child need?
Most children’s dentistry is preventive. Modern dentistry puts a strong focus on teaching good habits regarding brushing and flossing, seeing your child regularly to monitor and maintain their ongoing oral health and providing fissure sealants or other protective measures. Fissure sealants basically form a protective barrier on your child’s tooth, filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years. Of course if your child is experiencing more serious dental concerns your general dentist can either provide treatment or refer you to a specialist, however these are the most common dental services for children.
What age should my child start seeing the dentist?
Technically, once teeth start coming through in your child’s mouth you can start to take them to the dentist. Firstly, for promotion of great oral health but secondly, to help them create a positive association with their dentist and create a good relationship with the whole team so that they develop a positive outlook to their future dental visits. This will also allow for your dentist to monitor oral function, normal development and cleanliness and if necessary, provide advice on areas to improve.
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Exam and X-rays
A dental examination and x-rays are very important to help your dentist determine the health of your teeth, gums and mouth. Your dentist will examine your entire mouth and gently explore the state of your teeth and gums, talking you through the process step by step.
Why do I need a dental x-ray?
Your dentist will take x-rays of your mouth to assist with the initial diagnosis in the exam. A selection of our practices offer panoramic x-rays also known as OPG’s (Orthopantomogram), which show a broad view of the jaws, teeth, sinuses, nasal area, and jaw joints, and reveal problems such as impacted teeth, bone abnormalities, cysts, solid growths (tumours), infections and fractures.
If you have any dental problems, it is always best to contact your Maven Dental Group dentist for an exam and x-rays, so they can provide you with a treatment plan that is unique to you.
What kind of x-rays are there?
Digital radiography (digital x-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. Digital x-rays are essential, diagnostic tools that provide information not visible during a visual dental exam. Your clinician will use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden problems and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
This technique uses a sensor or small digital film that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping your clinician detect problems easier. Digital x-rays reduce radiation by 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays.
Bitewing x-rays show the upper and lower back teeth and how the teeth touch each other in a single view. These x-rays are used to check for decay between the teeth and to show how well the upper and lower teeth line up. They also show bone loss when severe gum disease or a dental infection is present. Most, if not all dentists have this technology available.
(Available at selected Maven Dental Group practices)
Your clinician may use an OPG to get a general overview of your mouth, especially those hard to reach areas.
This image allows your clinician to see:
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Any changes in your bone that supports your teeth (checking for signs of periodontal disease)
All of your teeth from the crown to the bottom of the root (checking for abscesses, fractures, impacted wisdom tooth positions or ill-fitting restorations)
Maven Dental Group hygienists are highly trained clinicians who are enthusiastic about educating patients on the most effective ways to keep their teeth and gums healthy and long-lasting. They will advise you on all aspects of dental hygiene, including the use of toothbrushes, electronic aids, dental floss and inter-dental brushes.
There are two simple steps to good oral hygiene and healthy teeth and gums; regular visits to your Maven Dental Group dentist and dental hygienist, and good home care.
Poor oral hygiene can lead to a number of health concerns, some of them extremely serious if left untreated.
Some signs to look for are:
What will happen if I have poor oral hygiene?
Research shows a clear link between periodontal disease and the following medical conditions:
- Cardiovascular disease. Increased risk of stroke and heart attack
- Premature birth with low birth weight in babies
- Increased risk of pneumonia, particularly in elderly patients
How often should I see my dentist or hygienist?
For most people, to maintain healthy teeth and gums, it is recommended you visit your clinician and dental hygienist twice a year.
What will my dentist or hygienist do?
Your dentist and dental hygienist will examine your mouth to assess the overall health of your teeth and gums and to look for any signs of disease (see below for more information).
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He/she will then do a professional clean and polish using a combination of modern techniques. This process removes any bacterial deposits and plaque from above and below the gum surface. Once the plaque has been removed, your teeth will be polished, leaving them feeling smooth and fresh.
Your dentist or dental hygienist will then show you how to care for your teeth at home, and will recommend the correct products for you to use.