If you have a child or you are going to have one, you want to make sure you know how to best care for them. You need to determine when the child needs health care and when to start changing their diet as they age. Another aspect of the child health and development that you want to have a good idea about is their oral health. It does not mean the care of just their teeth but everything that is in their mouth. The interesting thing is that you need to change how you care for your child oral hygiene based on their age. As they grow their mouth will change as well as the things that they are eating. That is why you need to know what to do and when to make these changes.
Smile Reef Offers Tips for Child Dental Care & Oral Hygiene Instruction for Parents
Newborn Oral Care: When you have just had a new baby the last thing that you want to worry about is their dental care. The problem is that just as important their vaccinations are and feeding them a full meal their oral care is on the list too. A new baby will be feeding strictly on mother’s milk or formula through a bottle. The baby getting this type of food can bring the nutrients that the child needs but it can build upon their tongue and their gums. When the baby is in infancy you want to start with a soft clean cloth to wipe down the babies mouth after they are done eating. This will also stimulate the babies gums which will bring the blood flow to them. There are some children that will start to develop teeth and when they do you want to also use a soft baby toothbrush on their fresh teeth two times a day. This will make sure that the buildup is removed from the teeth as well.
Toddler Dental Care to Avoid Tooth Decay: When you have a toddler they seem to want to get into everything. They also are getting to an age that they want to be independent. When it comes to their oral health it is a great age to start showing them how to brush their teeth. They should have all their baby teeth in and learning good technique early can help in the long run. Although you are teaching them it is important that you continue to do the thorough cleaning for several years.
Tooth Care for Older Children & Teens: The next step of a child’s oral care is when they are on their own when it comes to brushing. This is the time in their life that they need to be brushing well at least two times a day. They also should be flossing on a regular basis. Any extra care that is needed will be determined when the child gets to the dentist. The child should have began their dental treatments when they start to cut their first teeth. This will help to keep the child calm about going to the dentist.
Pediatric Dental Care
Smile Reef is a pediatric dentist that has kind and gentle dentists to keep your child at ease. Call us to schedule your next appointment today.
Many concerns come with sedation dentistry. There are lot of questions that have been raised about how safe sedation and anesthesia are in pediatric dentistry and there are even reports that complications have led to deaths in rare cases. It’s reassuring to know that when done by a qualified, experienced and highly trained dentist, surgeon or anesthesiologist, sedation dentistry is extremely safe. For children that are anxious or have special needs, sedation dentistry is a great way to make sure they get the dental care they need. When anxiety takes over, children will become fearful and are likely to resist. As they grow older it will get worse and they might start skipping dental visits all together.
Sedation Options for Children
There are a few options to consider with sedation. The one the dentist will recommend will depend on the procedure, the length of time it will take and your child’s needs.
1. Local anesthesia– This is the simplest option and involves the injection of numbing medication around the area that will be treated. Local anesthesia works to block the nerve in the area that transmit pain. Numbness will be felt in the area to be treated. This is almost always used with another form of anesthesia to reduce the amount of anesthetic needed to make the patient comfortable.
2. Nitrous Oxide– When patients are anxious, nitrous oxide will be used along with local anesthetic. It is also known as ‘laughing gas’. Nitrous oxide is very effective in reducing anxiety in patients that are cooperative, but may not work in patients that cannot sit still or those who are scared of the dentist. Patients will remember most of the procedure. It is not used as a sedative but just to reduce anxiety levels.
3. Oral Sedation– Oral sedation is swallowed and will be given in syrup or pill form. The effect will cause the patients to relax for the dental procedure. There are some problems with oral sedation as it can take 30 minutes or more to work and can last a long time. Many patients don’t feel completely awake for 2 to 6 hours afterwards. Doses cannot be titrated either, which means the patient may not be sedated correctly for the procedure and if it wears off too early, the patient will feel pain.
4. IV Sedation– To ease treatment, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon or pediatric anesthesiologist will administer measured doses of anti-anxiety drugs. These doses are given through an IV line and are very carefully measured and adjusted as needed for each patient. The doses can also be titrated to get the exact sedation needed. The child will have no memory of the procedure, so future appointments won’t be scary.
5. General Anesthesia– If a child is unable to cooperate during the procedure for any reason, then general anesthesia may be necessary. There is a risk with general anesthesia, but it’s very small. All patients will need to be evaluated and a medical exam along with blood work may be needed.
There are ways to make dental procedures easier and more enjoyable for your child. Smile Reef has the training and experience needed to figure out the best option for your child so going to the dentist isn’t so scary. Call our office today.