At Lancaster Dental Arts we are proud to offer a space in our facility devoted only to pediatric/children’s dentistry. Our team of kind and friendly in house children’s dentists offer EVERYTHING that your child might need, in a calm and relaxing atmosphere.
Along with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, we at Lancaster Dental Arts recommend that a child’s first dental visit be scheduled by his/her 1st birthday. It is very important to make the first visit as positive and enjoyable for the child as possible. We want your child to enjoy getting to know our doctors and staff and be comfortable at all times. A pleasant, comfortable first visit builds trust and helps put the child at ease during future dental visits. Let the child know that the doctors and staff will explain everything in detail and will answer any questions he/she has. Children should be encouraged to discuss any fears or anxiety they feel.
Parents should not make a big deal out of the visit and refrain from using any words that could cause unnecessary fear, such as needle or drill. We are experienced in dealing with children with anxiety and can explain treatment procedures in a positive and pleasant manner to avoid any anxious or negative feelings toward dentistry.
Tooth Decay Prevention
Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting in the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur on the teeth and sugars in the everyday diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria, causing it to produce acids that break down the mineral in teeth, forming a cavity. Dentists remove the decay and fill the tooth using a variety of fillings, restoring the tooth to a healthy state. Nerve damage can result from severe decay and may require a crown (a crown is like a large filling that can cap a tooth, making it stronger or covering it). Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental checkups, diet control and fluoride treatment. Practicing good hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth and costly treatment.
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.
Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride and brushing and flossing regularly ensures significantly lower cavities. Dentists can evaluate the level of fluoride in a primary drinking water source and recommend fluoride supplements (usually in tablets or drops), if necessary.
Sucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Children usually cease thumb sucking when the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Typically, children stop between the ages of 2 and 4 years. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of primary teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth. If you notice prolonged and/or vigorous thumb sucking behavior in your child, talk to your dentist.
We want your child to have the best experience possible in our office. For some children it is hard to understand why they have to keep their mouth open and hold very still for so long. We offer different alternatives to help your child to have a pleasant experience with minimal discomfort.
Nitrous Oxide/ Oxygen
If a child is worried by the sights, sounds or sensations of dental treatment, they may respond more positively with the use of nitrous oxide / oxygen, also called happy gas. Perhaps the safest analgesic in dentistry, nitrous oxide/oxygen can reduce anxiety and gagging in children and make long appointments easier. The child remains fully conscious during treatment. Recovery after treatment is rapid and complete. Nitrous oxide is not effective for children who are congested or will not breathe through their nose.
Your baby’s first (primary) teeth play an important part in overall health, growth and development. Primary teeth allow your child to chew properly, are important for speech and attractive appearance, and help guide the permanent teeth into place.
Starting a routine of regular daily home care during infancy can help your child maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime. At your child’s first visit, we will recommend a personalized daily home care program to prevent decay and other dental problems.
The first teeth usually begin to erupt between ages 6 to 12 months. Babies may have sore gums, tenderness and occasional irritability from teething until age 3 years. Massaging sore gums gently with a clean finger or cold, damp terry cloth can help soothe the gums. Avoid topical medicines unless prescribed by your pediatrician or pediatric dentist.
While your baby is teething, it is important to monitor the new teeth for signs of decay. Examine the new teeth regularly for dull, chalky spots.
Thumb Sucking and Oral Habits
The most common forms of oral habits are thumb and pacifier sucking. These habits should end by age 5 years. The longer oral habits are continued, the greater the chance they can affect the shape of jaws and alignment of teeth.
Injury to Primary Teeth and Mouth
Although a child may not complain of pain or discomfort, falls and bumps to the teeth should not be ignored. Mouth injuries should be evaluated and treated early to decrease the likelihood of more serious problems developing. For example, a discolored or fractured primary tooth can become infected, which in turn can damage the permanent teeth.
Pediatric Dental Procedures
These procedures are done to either prevent or solve your child’s dental problems:
Examinations and dental cleanings
Oral hygiene instructions
Stainless steel crowns
Mercury free fillings