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If a child is old enough to have at least one tooth, they’re old enough to have a cavity. Your little one should be receiving quality dental care from the very start; that includes any restorative procedures that are deemed necessary in addition to the usual preventive checkups. Dr. Ponnaganti and the rest of our team are looking forward to helping your child’s smile grow and develop! Call us today to schedule an appointment for children's dentistry in Westchase, FL dental office if your child hasn’t seen a dentist in at least six months.
Naturally, biannual checkups and cleanings are important for protecting any smile from decay and gum disease. For children whose mouths are still developing, however, these visits also give us a chance to check for warning signs of problems that can occur while they’re growing up. For example, baby teeth that don’t fall out when they’re supposed could have a negative impact on your child’s permanent teeth. We can identify these problems and intervene as early as possible to prevent long term damage.
While your child is learning how to brush and floss, they might have a hard time with the molars near the back of the mouth. These teeth have rough, uneven surfaces that give food and bacteria plenty of places to hide. To give your child an additional safety net, we can place a dental sealant over the tooth. It’s no substitute for good oral hygiene, but it does act as a barrier against the harmful substances that cause decay. Children without sealants are three times as likely to develop cavities; we recommend having them placed as soon as possible around the ages of 6 and 12 (when the first and second molars erupt).
It’s not uncommon for children to be afraid of dental care, which unfortunately can make some procedures more difficult – particularly the treatment of cavities. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers us several options for giving your child the treatment they deserve with minimal stress and discomfort. Silver diamine fluoride can be used to stop tooth decay from spreading any further, making it an excellent alternative to dental drilling in many cases.
Once a cavity has already formed, there’s no way for the tooth to heal itself. Dr. Ponnaganti will need to fix the damage with a filling. But this doesn’t mean that your child has to grow up with a tooth covered in unattractive metal. We can instead use composite resin, a material that can be shaded so that it blends in seamlessly with your teeth. This material also bonds with the tooth itself, meaning we won’t have to make any alterations to your little one’s natural tooth to make room for the restoration.
It’s always gratifying to see your child playing the sport they love, but don’t forget that heading out onto the field comes with a certain degree of risk! Athletes of all ages have lost teeth in sports-related accidents, and your little one could be at an especially high risk if they’re not wearing the proper safety gear. Mouthguards that have been designed by a dentist tend to fit much better and provide better protection than store-bought, “one-size-fits-all” mouthguards.
Your child should stop sucking their thumb by age 4 at the very latest. As long as they grow out of the habit in a timely manner, they should avoid the long-term consequences of their non-nutritive habit. That said, if they need extra help giving up on thumb sucking, we’re here to provide the guidance they need. We can give you advice on how to intervene at home while also checking for warning signs of any problems that might already be setting in.
When your child has difficulty breastfeeding or drinking out of a bottle, it might mean that there’s an overly developed tissue in their mouth that’s stopping them from moving their lips or tongue properly. If they don’t grow out of their lip or tongue-tie, they might face difficulties speaking and eating in the future. If we deem it necessary, we can remove the unwanted tissue through a brief procedure known as a frenectomy. Rest assured that we’ll do everything we can to keep your child comfortable until the treatment is complete.
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