Great dental hygiene starts in childhood. Don’t put off routine cleanings for your child; we encourage you to schedule a pediatric dentistry appointment at our Asheville office! During a routine cleaning, we will show your child how to floss, brush, and develop a wonderful health care regimen that can be carried into adulthood.
Dental Cleanings for Children
Our dental hygienists know that visiting the dentist can be scary for some kids, which is why they do everything in their power to make the experience fun and playful. Using various instruments, they are able to loosen and remove deposits such as tartar, stains, and plaque from teeth.
During a routine cleaning, our dentists can locate and identify problem areas in need of a bit of extra attention, as well as recommend special treatments such as fluoride and sealants. It’s also a great time for our hygienists to tell your child about all the snacks and smart habits they need to keep their teeth nice and healthy. And of course, they won’t leave without a prize for being such good patients!
Oral Health Exams in Asheville
Health exams, like teeth cleanings, should be scheduled twice a year, and to make things easier on the whole family they usually happen at the same time. During the exam, our dentist will check your child’s teeth, jaw, and tissue for any issues.
They’ll also keep an eye out for any abnormalities that may lead to problems further down the line, including examining baby teeth and any surfacing adult teeth. Afterwards, our staff will explain the results to you and let you know if your child is in need of a follow-up treatment.
Pediatric Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride is a natural element and can be commonly found in drinking water, toothpaste, mouth rinse, and varnish treatments. It inhibits mineral loss from tooth enamel and encourages strengthening of weakened areas of the tooth. It also discourages acid attacks that break down the tooth. Fluoride coupled with a healthy diet and good oral hygiene reduces the risk of decay even more, and the use of fluoride for the prevention and control of decay is proven to be both safe and effective.
Dental X-rays may be taken to detect cavities, diagnose bone disease, survey erupting teeth, or plan orthodontic treatment. Dentists use X-rays to diagnose and treat conditions that otherwise cannot be detected during an examination. Children typically need X-rays more often than adults, as their teeth and mouth grow and change.
Sealants are an important part of dental hygiene, especially for young ones! They protect the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth from bacteria and an acidic environment. They are particularly effective on the back teeth, where most children develop cavities. They are made of a clear or shaded plastic and applied to the teeth of your child to help keep away cavities, though they are no guarantee.
Sealants are applied quickly and with no discomfort. First, the tooth is cleaned, conditioned, and dried, and then the sealant material is deposited into the pits and grooves of the teeth and hardened by a special light. Plus, there’s no need to wait to eat after the appointment.
Dental crowns are a cap for the tooth, restoring them to their normal shape and size while protecting them from further damage. Crowns or caps are necessary when a tooth is damaged to a degree that a filling is no longer a treatment option. Dentists may recommend a crown after removing significant decay or performing a nerve treatment.
Two types of crowns are generally used. Stainless steel crowns are silver caps covering the back teeth. They preserve more of the tooth structure than other types and withstand biting and chewing well. Due to their strength, they are often used on young patients because they can adapt to a mouth that is still growing and adjusting.
White crowns, commonly referred to as strip crowns, are used to strengthen decayed front teeth and are made of a composite resin. White crowns commonly used on back teeth are made of a material that’s porcelain fused to metal. These crowns are more typical for adult teeth as they are more rigid.
Children’s dental crowns can be completed in one visit and often last until the baby teeth fall out.
Fillings, or composites, are made of a durable material primarily composed of quartz, ceramic, or silica. They are a dental restoration technology and able to provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small to midsize fillings. They can be used on either front or back teeth.
Most composites these days are colored to look like a tooth and some contain materials that release fluoride, further protecting a patient from further cavity risk. But prevention remains the best oral hygiene care. The risk of cavities can be decreased dramatically if you encourage your child to:
- Brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss at least once a day
- Eat a balanced diet
- Limit snacking
- See a dentist once every six months
Emergency Dental Care for Children
There aren’t a lot of guarantees in life, but one thing that’s for sure is that you’ll always experience surprises. Your child may knock out a tooth, or chip one, or cut their lip or cheek. You’re not alone when this happens–the Rebol Family is here to help.
Knocked Out Permanent Tooth
If your child manages to knock out a tooth, be sure to handle it by the chewing end, being careful not to touch the root. If the tooth isn’t dirty or chipped, reinsert it back into the empty socket if possible. Have your child keep it in place by biting down on a clean piece of cloth or gauze. Then head directly to the dentist. If the tooth is dirty or broken, put it in a glass of milk and bring it and your child to us right away.
If your child chips or breaks a tooth, come to our office right away, even if it isn’t permanent. Bacteria can enter the tooth’s pulp or nerve through the break and cause an infection. The damage needs to be evaluated and the enamel sealed to prevent bacteria from entering. You’ll want to put the broken piece in a glass of milk and bring it along; in some cases, it can be reattached at the office.
Cut/Bitten Lip, Cheek, or Tongue
A cut on someone’s lip, cheek, or tongue can lead to swelling, bleeding, and discomfort. Apply direct pressure to the wound to stop it from bleeding. If there’s swelling, try a cold compress. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be useful for discomfort
Toothaches are a part of life. A warm salt water rinse is good to relieve the ache, as is a cold compress and acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Schedule an appointment to see us promptly to rule out any problems.
Schedule A Pediatric Dental Appointment in Asheville
There are plenty of steps that you and your child can take to ensure they have good dental hygiene. Don’t wait to get your child started with dental visits, as it’s never too early to start good habits. If you are in need of a dentist for your child, call us at 828-253-5878 or request an appointment. We look forward to welcoming you and your loved ones into the Rebol Family.