Pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry concerning the oral health of children. Deciduous teeth have a much thinner enamel which makes them more prone to developing cavities than permanent teeth.
Even though baby teeth fall out naturally, it’s important to keep them healthy and in good condition to avoid tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to premature loss of the tooth. When a tooth is lost too soon, the surrounding teeth can shift around in the mouth and lean into the space where your tooth was, negatively impacting the eruption of your permanent teeth. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Mariam Barikbin at your local dentist in Jacksonville, FL today.
When your child brushes their teeth, it is also important to brush the tongue which harbors a lot of bacteria.
Dr. Mariam Barikbin will clean your child’s teeth by scaling away plaque buildup, polishing the teeth with an electric-powered toothbrush and gritty toothpaste, flossing the teeth, and applying fluoride varnish to protect against cavities.
An oral exam will be conducted to look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. X-rays may be taken if there are none on file or if it has been a few years.
If any oral health problems, tooth damage, or alignment issues are detected, treatment options will be discussed to correct them. Dr. Barikbin will discuss any alternative procedures available and if your child would like to be sedated.
Once a treatment plan has been agreed upon, we will schedule an appointment for you at a time that is convenient for you. Certain treatments may require follow-up visits to check that the treatment has been successful or does not need any further adjusting.
Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a topical substance that can be applied to decayed teeth as an alternative treatment to dental fillings. Some children cannot sit through the drilling that is required to remove decay from a tooth.
SDF is applied to the tooth to prevent and reverse cavities without the need to remove decay from the tooth. The silver is anti-bacterial and the fluoride remineralizes or restores nutrients to the tooth to strengthen the enamel and make it more resistant to acid attacks that lead to cavities.
Stainless steel crowns are durable metal crowns that act as caps over your natural tooth to protect it from damage. Your child may need a dental crown if they have a chipped, cracked, or a weak tooth that is vulnerable to further damage if they continue to use it.
While stainless steel crowns have a noticeable silver appearance, they are considerably more durable and have a longer lifespan than other dental crown materials. When stainless steel crowns are used to protect baby teeth, the crown will fall out naturally when the baby tooth is ready to fall out to make room for the permanent tooth.
In this case, the aesthetic concern of the crown is only temporary. However, they also may be used in the rear permanent teeth because these teeth are not visible when the child smiles, and these teeth withstand a lot more force than the front teeth.
Space maintainers are stainless steel band and loop devices that are attached to the teeth adjacent to the gap where your child is missing a tooth. Baby teeth have the important job of holding a space for the permanent tooth to erupt. However, when a baby tooth is lost too soon due to decay or injury, there is no longer a tooth to hold space until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt.
When you lose a tooth it also leads to bone loss and shifting teeth. If your teeth shift, they can move into the space where your previous tooth was, leaving no room for the permanent tooth and can lead to crooked teeth and overcrowding.
A pulpotomy is different from the traditional pulpectomy that is performed during a root canal treatment. Because a pulpotomy is a treatment used to treat damaged and exposed pulp in a baby tooth, it is also referred to as a “baby root canal”. Instead of removing all of the damaged dental pulp, only the pulp in the crown of the tooth is removed and filled.
A parent can pass cavities to a child through saliva transmission. Never share food, cutlery, or bottles.
The most commonly extracted teeth are wisdom teeth, because of their tendency to grow in improperly, which can cause repeated infections and severe pain. Other teeth may require extraction if they are severely decayed, chipped, cracked, or otherwise broken. They also may need to be removed if they have become loose in the socket as a result of gum disease, if there isn’t enough space in the mouth due to overcrowding, or for certain orthodontic situations.
After having a tooth extracted, it’s important to encourage blood clotting for proper healing. Certain activities can dislodge or prevent blood clots from forming, so you will need to avoid smoking, spitting or sucking, rinsing your mouth for the first 24 hours, eating solid foods, chewing on the side of the extraction, and drinking hot liquids.
Once the numbing agent has worn off, you may feel some soreness or tenderness at the site of the extraction, which can be relieved with pain medication. However, you should not take aspirin, which is a blood thinner and can prolong the healing process.
Leave your gauze in place for about 3-4 hours unless it becomes soaked with blood. For the first 24 hours, it’s important to stick to soft foods, get plenty of rest, and elevate your head to reduce swelling. While swelling is less common in simple extractions, patients who have received multiple extractions may notice some additional swelling which can be relieved by applying cold compresses to the face.
Your dentist will inform you when it is safe to introduce solid foods back into your diet and how to clean your teeth but you should leave them alone for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours have passed, you can gently swish around a saline rinse in your mouth to eliminate bacteria.
It is possible for dental implants to become infected. This is known as “peri-implantitis.” However, this is a very rare complication, and it typically only occurs if the implant is not cared for and kept clean after surgery.
You can avoid peri-implantitis by following your dentist’s instructions while recovering, and by brushing and flossing regularly after your implant has healed.
Dr. Barikbin will always try to save your tooth first before considering an extraction.