Child dentistry is a specialization within dentistry that focuses specifically on the oral health care needs of young patients. Children require different approaches from adults for oral health care.
Children's teeth are more vulnerable to decay and damage than adult teeth. Children have smaller mouths and teeth, and their teeth are not as protected as adult teeth. Children also learn healthy habits and oral hygiene habits from their parents or guardians. Parents and caregivers can care for their child's oral health at home, but children need the help of a dentist to maintain their oral health.
What are the benefits of early dentistry?
A child's smile can face several dental problems. Some common issues include tooth decay, cavities, and tooth misalignment.
Early dental care is important for your child's teeth and gums. Many dental problems can be avoided or minimized with early preventive care. A child can make regular dental appointments part of their routine, which will encourage good oral hygiene habits.
What dental treatments are involved in child dentistry?
At Dr. James Thurber DDS, our staff is dedicated to providing the safest, most effective treatments for your children. Our treatments include the following:
Dental sealants are applied to the child's teeth to protect them from cavities, especially when they are most vulnerable to decay.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. In children, fluoride helps make teeth stronger and prevents dental caries.
Many children will need dental crowns, especially if they have tooth decay or damage. Our dentists may recommend dental crowns for the following reasons.
- Teeth that have been severely decayed.
- Teeth that have been chipped, cracked, or broken.
- Teeth that are discolored
For cavities that have not reached the nerve of the tooth yet, dental fillings restore the health of your child's smile. Dental fillings can be made of different materials, including amalgam and composite resin.
Pulp therapy is also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy. This is a treatment used to save a badly infected tooth. The pulp contains a nerve supply that can become infected, leading to severe pain and swelling. Pulp therapy can save the tooth and relieve pain.
Space maintainers are typically worn after a child loses a baby tooth prematurely. This prevents unwanted shifting of surrounding teeth. They can also be used to prevent thumb sucking and mouth breathing.
If a child's teeth need to be aligned, braces are a common treatment. They are designed to straighten teeth by applying consistent pressure to the teeth.
Children should visit the dentist every six months for preventive dental care. During these visits, your child's dentist can:
- Check your child's jaw, bite, and facial growth.
- Clean your child's teeth.
- Examine your child's teeth to detect any signs of decay.
- Evaluate your child's risk of cavities and gum disease.
- Provide treatments, such as fluoride or sealants to help protect your child's teeth.
We advise children to begin seeing the dentist after their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday for preventative care.
We recommend that parents help encourage their children to brush their teeth and floss at least twice a day. This routine will help prevent cavities and tooth decay.
Why should I use a child dentist?
Pediatric patients have different dental health needs than adults. That's why it's important to find a pediatric dentist who has experience treating children. At our practice, Dr. Thurber has experience treating patients of all ages, from toddlers to teens to adults.
Dr. James Thurber DDS, located in Lubbock, TX, has modern amenities and the latest technologies that enable the best dental care facilities for patients. Call us at (806) 745-6644 and book a consultation with the dentist.