Children’s Dental Fillings Downtown Ottawa
“Why do baby teeth matter? They fall out anyway, right?” These are common questions we hear all the time at our practice. What most people don’t realize is that primary teeth do matter, and their health can have a significant impact on a child’s social, physical, and mental wellbeing in a variety of ways.
5 Reasons To Take Your Child’s Dental Health Seriously
Here are five reasons we need to help our children establish healthy oral care habits from the start as we seek to protect their baby teeth. What they do or do not do now will have a lifelong impact on their permanent teeth.
- Permanent teeth begin their development near the roots of primary teeth. So, any cavities in the baby teeth that are left untreated have the potential to become infected and spread, negatively affecting the growth of the permanent teeth.
- When tooth decay causes the premature loss of a baby tooth, proper alignment and positioning of future permanent teeth are in jeopardy, because baby teeth provide space for the permanent teeth to erupt. When that space is not held by a primary tooth, the neighboring teeth can shift and move into it, blocking a clear path for the permanent tooth to come in.
- The positioning of primary teeth works alongside our tongue, cheeks, and lips to aid in speech formation and pronunciation. Tooth structure and placement also helps in the development of facial muscles, giving shape to a child’s face.
- Chewing plays a large part in a child’s health and nutrition, and that can’t be done well when teeth are missing, decayed, or infected. Dental pain and infection that spreads to other parts of the body can lead to even greater complications.
- Primary teeth that are decayed or causing pain can affect a child’s ability to concentrate and do well in school. Teeth that show decay can also impact a child socially, causing embarrassment and lack of self-confidence.
Baby teeth are the foundation for permanent teeth. That’s why it’s essential we do everything within our power to keep them safe and healthy.
Composite Fillings for Children
It’s not uncommon for children to experience some amount of tooth decay during their childhood. In fact, over 50% of children over the age of six do. What’s important is treating the decay before it leads to pain, infection, or tooth loss.
We fill children’s cavities with tooth-colored fillings, also known as composites, in our office to preserve the baby teeth until their permanent teeth come in. We occasionally also place a baby crown on the tooth if the cavities are extensive, affecting more than one surface.
Children should come in for cleanings and checkups every six months. During these regular exams, we take x-rays and can identify cavities in the early stages. These visits are essential since some cavities don’t cause pain, but we still want to treat them as soon as possible. We recommend fluoride therapy and dental sealants to help prevent cavities.
What are the steps to restoring a primary tooth with a tooth-colored filling?
We begin by numbing the area around the tooth and putting a tooth isolating system in place. We remove the decay, and bond and cure a composite material to the tooth surface. Lastly, we adjust and polish the filling, ensuring maximum comfort.
We offer conscious sedation to children that experience anxiety at the dentist. This form of sedation comes in two forms: nitrous oxide and a medicine as a pill or syrup. Either way, your child will be relaxed but fully alert.
Nitrous oxide is often called laughing gas and is administered through a gas mixed with oxygen with a mask we place over the child’s nose. When a child has difficulty breathing through their nose or is afraid of a mask, we can provide sedation in the form of a pill or syrup. Like nitrous oxide, the sedation is mild.
Tooth Isolating System
We use a dental isolating system to protect the child’s oral anatomy during the procedure as well as the tooth in question while we treat it. The soft and flexible mouthguard also provides the child with the opportunity to relax their jaw rather than straining to keep it open. Finally, the system reduces aerosols and the accidental swallowing of any loose materials from the procedure.
What should I expect after my child’s dental filling procedure?
The most important thing to do after the procedure is to discourage you child from biting, sucking, or chewing on the numb area. When the area is numb, they have no way of telling how hard they are biting. In fact, it’s best if they wait to eat until the area is no longer numb to avoid accidental biting and damaging of the lip or cheek.
Continue to encourage your child to brush twice and floss one daily, maintaining healthy oral care habits as they progress through childhood. The care they take now to prevent tooth decay will help them establish a routine that will serve them over a lifetime.
Finally, remind your children to avoid sugary drinks and foods. When they do partake, have them brush their teeth as soon after as possible.
Continue to bring them in for routine cleanings and checkups twice a year!