Specialized Dental Care For Children & Teens
At Chapko & Shah Modern Dentistry, we know that children are often nervous about their first visits to a dentist. To meet all of your child’s dental needs, you’ll need a skilled professional with the tools and training every patient deserves. That’s why our talented dentists offer compassionate and effective pediatric dentistry services at our Belvidere, IL office.
What Is Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentistry is the field of dentistry concerned with fulfilling the oral health needs of children and teens. Pediatric dentistry uses tools and techniques that are specifically geared toward younger patients whose teeth and jaws are still developing. Some of the pediatric dentistry services we offer include dental sealants, wisdom teeth removal, and education on dental hygiene habits.
Cavities are one of the most commonly occurring oral diseases experienced by American children. According to a 2019 study from the Center of Disease Control, more than half of children between the ages of six to eight have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth.
Children’s fondness for sweets while they’re still learning how to properly maintain oral hygiene can often lead to tooth decay. This means that food particles and sugars will remain on their teeth longer, allowing bacteria to attack the enamel and cause cavities.
Sometimes, adult guardians are under the impression that baby teeth are less important because they’re expected to fall out. However, this is a common misconception. Cavities that develop in baby teeth can negatively impact the health and alignment of adult teeth, as well as damage the health of the gums. For these reasons, our dentists recommend protecting your children’s teeth with sealants.
Dental sealants are barriers that are applied to the back molars for protection from cavities. The back molars are especially vulnerable due to the unique shape of their grooves, which can trap food particles and bacteria in places that toothbrushes won’t easily reach. The sealants act as a barrier between these particles and the teeth, helping to prevent tooth decay.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth are the third set of back molars and the last set of permanent teeth to come in. Wisdom teeth tend to cause problems because the human mouth has developed without enough room for these teeth. This means wisdom teeth tend to fail to erupt, erupt improperly, or grow beneath the gums at inconvenient angles, often causing pain and oral health issues like misalignment and crowding.
At Chapko & Shah Modern Dentistry, we’ll evaluate your child’s wisdom teeth and any risks presented by their development. If necessary, we’ll recommend removing them via extraction before they can begin to cause issues. Removing your child’s wisdom teeth earlier in life will greatly decrease the risk of post-procedural complications and help ensure your child’s remaining teeth remain straight and healthy.
As your child is growing, teaching them how to properly care for their teeth is instrumental for safeguarding their smile into the future. The sooner your child learns about the importance and methodology behind proper oral hygiene and regular dental exams, the more likely they are to attend their dental check-ups and take good care of their teeth as they grow older.
We’ll build a relationship with your child so they always feel comfortable visiting our Belvidere office. When they first start seeing our dentists, we’ll answer questions and walk them through the steps of any procedures so they don’t feel scared or uncomfortable. We’ll equip your child with the tools and knowledge they need to protect their smile by providing oral health aides like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss, as well as instructions on how to use them effectively. We’ll also teach you how to help your child learn and practice proper oral hygiene at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Use a toothbrush specially made for babies with very soft bristles and a small head that has been moistened with water.
- Apply a sliver of toothpaste no bigger than a rice grain.
- Gently brush your infant’s teeth in slow circles.
- Be sure to brush your infant’s teeth once a day, preferably before bedtime.
- Clean your infant’s gums with a terry cloth finger cot (finger guard) or a clean, moistened gauze wrapped around your index finger.
- Gently rub the cloth or gauze along your infant’s gums.
Pediatric dentistry focuses on the specific dental needs of children, which differ from those of adults. Child dental patients need special attention, patience, and education on how to care for their teeth, so pediatric dentistry is tailored to those goals.
While there’s no guaranteed way to prevent cavities, there are steps you can take that will greatly reduce the chances of your child developing them. Our recommendations include:
- Limit sugars and starches in your child’s diet
- Ensure that your child brushes their teeth twice a day, flosses once a day, and risnes between meals
- Introduce sippy cups around age one
- Consider having dental sealants applied to your child’s back molars
- Bring your child to Chapko & Shah Modern Dentistry twice a year for dental exams