Good home-care habits are vital to your child's oral health, and regular cleanings are essential to maintaining his or her smile. During your child's check-up and cleaning, Dr. Lindsey will remove plaque and buildup that regular brushing and flossing can miss. She will also examine the development of your child's teeth to ensure continued dental health and will offer council about at-home care that you and your child can understand and implement in his or her daily routine.
Although drinking water, toothpaste, and many mouthwashes contain fluoride, regular dentist-supervised fluoride treatments are vital in strengthening your child's teeth. With Dr. Lindsey's supervision, a fluoride varnish can be applied to your child's teeth. This fluoride inhibits the loss of minerals and helps strengthen weakened areas of the tooth, making your child's teeth strong and more resistant to decay.
A dental sealant refers to the application of a white plastic material that acts as a barrier between food and the chewing surface of your child's teeth. Sealants can protect these areas from decay. Children often struggle to brush effectively, especially in the deep grooves of the back teeth. Additionally, many children have a diet high in sugary snacks, so it is easy to see why sealant treatment can be valuable in preserving and protecting your child's teeth.
When any decay is removed from your child's tooth, placing a filling restores the natural shape and structure of the tooth. In most cases, there is a choice between a tooth-colored composite and silver amalgam as the material used for the restoration.
When damage, injury, or decay doesn't leave enough tooth structure to hold a filling, or when a tooth is at high risk for future cavity development, a crown is the best restoration for your child. Pediatric crowns are permanently cemented over the remaining natural baby tooth. Your child's smile will feel natural and look complete.
Sometimes the best treatment for your child's long-term dental health involves a tooth extraction. A tooth extraction could be necessary to remove a source of infection, which could potentially harm the developing permanent tooth or to make room for new "adult" tooth to come in properly. Under Dr. Lindsey's care, a tooth extraction is a gentle procedure. You and your child will be informed of each step to eliminate the "fear of the unknown." Remember, your child eventually loses each baby tooth naturally, so he or she will have little trouble adjusting to the missing tooth. Every young smile is different. When it comes to a tooth extraction for your child, Dr. Lindsey will explain the specific circumstances and goals for his or her smile.
Space maintainers are metal appliances custom fit for your child's mouth. When baby teeth are lost too soon due to trauma or decay, the other teeth around that area will start to move and fill in the space left by the missing tooth. This is called "space loss." If the teeth are not prevented from shifting, there will not be adequate space for the eruption of the permanent tooth, which can lead to the need for extensive orthodontic treatment. The goal of space maintenance is to hold the space providing a path for the natural eruption of the developing permanent tooth.
Nitrous oxide is a gas given to the patient through a mask that is placed on their nose. It will not cause the child to go to sleep but is used as a relaxation aid. Nitrous oxide is recognized by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry as a "safe and effective technique to reduce anxiety, produce analgesia, and enhance effective communication between a patient and healthcare provider." Nitrous oxide has a very fast onset, as well as recovery. Your child can return to school or to other regular activities after treatment.