Quality, gentle pediatric dental care at We Smile Dentistry
Oral care needs evolve. New challenges to the health and appearance of your smile may arise. Oral health plays a vital role during childhood. Conditions such as early decay can affect your child’s development, academic performance, and social health during their formative years. As your source for gentle, non-judgmental, quality pediatric dental care in London, Ontario, We Smile Dentistry supports your child’s overall well-being at every stage of development.
Here, we discuss some of the most prominent threats to your child’s health at different childhood phases.
Early Childhood Caries (ECC)
This condition refers to at least one decayed, missing, or filled tooth surface affecting children up to the age of five. Prevention of early cavities and decay actually starts even before your child is born. Pregnant women should regularly visit us for professional exams and cleanings. The bacteria responsible for ECC can be passed from mother to child.
We will demonstrate healthy preventive behaviours. For example, one of the biggest risks to developing teeth comes from bottles full of sugary fruit juices and other drinks. Caregivers tend to pacify babies with drinks that may actually contain very little nutritional value (but plenty of sugar). These sugars bathe and erode developing teeth.
Young children should be encouraged to drink from cups and to eat rather than drink fruit. The first visits to our office ideally start no later than your child’s first birthday.
School-aged children and tooth decay
As children’s first permanent back teeth erupt through the gums (at around the sixth or seventh birthday), food can become trapped in these molars’ pits and grooves. These teeth not only have uneven surfaces, but they are also hard to reach. So, molars are more vulnerable to decay than other teeth. We Smile Dentistry may recommend the application of dental sealants. This thin, safe coating keeps out food particles and bacteria to preserve the health of natural teeth and avoid the need for restorative treatments.
Wisdom tooth trouble
Teenagers and young adults may develop problems with how the last molars break through the gums. These third molars or “wisdom teeth” may not have sufficient space at the back of the mouth to erupt properly. In turn, a tooth may become “impacted” or trapped beneath the gums. As the teeth attempt to break through, the pressure and pain may be intense. Additionally, these molars can damage neighbouring teeth. We monitor oral development closely during routine exams. Our sophisticated equipment helps us to detect problems early accurately. By intervening promptly, your child avoids pain, missed school days, and other complications.
Other problems that we will monitor include:
- Misalignment – Crooked, crowded teeth and “bad bite” can interfere with effective brushing and flossing. We will intervene with behavioural modifications (prolonged thumb-sucking, for instance, can affect jaw and teeth development). We also offer many orthodontic options on site.
- Gum disease – Plaque and tartar can also irritate the gums and break down these healthy attachments to the teeth. We offer many light-touch therapies to restore your child’s periodontal health non-invasively and painlessly.
- Trauma – Some dental injuries can be avoided. If your child is active in sports, we customize mouthguards to protect the teeth, gums, and jaw from injury. Likewise, we are accustomed to seeing chips and other telltale signs of bruxism or teeth-grinding. Bruxism can indicate that your child is stressed. We will discuss options to protect the teeth and gums (such as custom nightguards) and reduce the force placed on the teeth and interconnected structures, such as the jaw joints.