Taking care of children’s teeth is not dissimilar to caring for adult teeth. The treatment principles are the same, just performed on a smaller scale. However, a dentist who offers pediatric dental services will always cater their treatment and oral health education to the patient’s age. This helps enhance the child’s level of understanding of oral hygiene and dental procedures, and encourages them to become more familiarized and comfortable in the dentist’s office. Call today to schedule an appointment at Coronado Family Dental. Don't hesitate to stop by our office located at 11130 Lomas Blvd NE Suite F2, Albuquerque, NM 87112.
Children should start seeing the dentist as early as 1 year old.
After your child is introduced to our dentist in Albuquerque and team, a dental hygienist will gently clean your child’s teeth and gums, removing plaque and bacteria, polishing each tooth, and then giving them a thorough floss.
X-rays may be recommended if your child has never had them before, if it’s been a few years since their last set of x-rays, or if the dentist suspects oral development issues or a hidden oral health problem. As the parent or guardian, you will be asked to approve x-rays before they are taken.
The preventive dentist will examine your child’s mouth, teeth and x-rays to ensure your kid is free of cavities and that their smile is developing properly. If the parent did not sit in with the child during their exam, the dentist will bring parents into the room at this point to discuss their findings.
Next, the dentist will provide a recommendation for further treatment if needed. Some treatments, like fluoride treatments or dental sealants, can usually be applied at the first appointment and may be recommended during regular cleanings. Other treatments, like filling cavities, may require a second appointment.
If additional treatment is needed to keep your child’s smile healthy, we’re happy to schedule follow-up appointments before you head out. We also recommend that you schedule your child’s next oral exam and teeth cleaning at this time.
Pediatric cleanings and oral exams are just like cleanings and oral exams for adults. A dental hygienist will clean your child’s teeth, then an Albuquerque dentist will examine their mouth and x-rays to look for potential oral health and oral development issues.
Fluoride treatments consist of a fluoride gel or paste that is “painted” onto your child’s teeth after a teeth cleaning. The fluoride helps remineralize and strengthen your child’s teeth, and can even reverse “soft spots” which are the first stage of tooth decay.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is an alternative to fillings for cavities in baby teeth. It uses a blend of silver, ammonia, water, and fluoride that kills bacteria and seals your child’s tooth, preventing further decay and keeping the tooth healthy until it falls out naturally. It’s only used in baby teeth because it will permanently stain the treated area black.
Stainless steel crowns are a good alternative to fillings. They are pre-fabricated in a variety of sizes, and are placed directly onto your child’s tooth to cover and protect it from further damage and decay. Depending on the placement method used during the process, the dentist will either trim your child’s tooth before the crown is placed, or the crown may be placed directly over the tooth after it has been cleaned, without the need to trim the tooth with a dental drill.
A space maintainer may be required if your child loses a baby tooth early. This dental prosthetic is made to sit between your child’s healthy teeth, resting in the gap where their missing tooth used to be.
By doing so, the space maintainer prevents the surrounding teeth from shifting toward the now-empty socket, which is common after tooth loss. This ensures that your child’s permanent tooth will erupt properly when it’s ready. Without a space maintainer after premature tooth loss, your child may experience oral development issues that may require orthodontic intervention.
A frenectomy is used to treat tongue and lip ties (ankyloglossia). With this condition, the “frenulum” of your child’s lips or tongue are excessively thick, which restricts proper lip and tongue movement. This can lead to breastfeeding problems, difficulties with chewing, and even speech issues later in life.
During a frenectomy procedure, your dentist will snip these bands of tissue to release the tongue and/or lip ties, and restore their proper range of motion.
Parents will be given aftercare instructions and exercises to do with or for their child or infant to ensure proper healing and the effectiveness of the procedure.
Also known as a “baby root canal,” a pulpotomy is used to open up your child’s tooth and remove the decayed pulp from the inside of the root canals. This is required if their tooth has become infected due to untreated decay or an oral injury.
After the area is disinfected, a special healing dressing will be applied to the remaining pulp. This dressing will encourage the pulp to heal, which will keep the baby tooth alive and healthy until it falls out as part of your child’s natural oral development.
Kids laugh around 400 times per day.
The answer may surprise you. It’s typically recommended by the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) that children start seeing the dentist when they’re 1 year old, or whenever their first tooth erupts.
Is your child a little older? You should bring them to the dentist in Albuquerque, NM for an appointment as soon as you can to ensure their teeth and mouth are healthy and strong.
Going to the dentist early and regularly helps your child become more familiar with the process of regular dental visits, making them less likely to be anxious about going to the dentist as they grow up. Seeing the same dentist regularly throughout your child’s early years will also allow the doctor to become more familiar with your child’s teeth. They’ll be able to identify any potential oral development issues early, and take the proper action to ensure their teeth stay strong and healthy. These regular appointments also encourage children to build better life-long oral health habits.
The most important thing you can do to prepare your child to see the dentist is to speak about it positively. They don’t have any experiences with the dentist yet, so this is an opportunity to help the doctor make a good first impression.
First, talk to your child about the importance of dental care and how it’s the dentist’s job to teach them how to take good care of their teeth. When describing what to expect at their appointment, tell them that the doctor will clean and count their teeth to make sure that they are healthy. When you introduce your child to the dentist and the team, introduce them as friends. Because we are!
Teeth in babies start developing as early as three months after their birth. However, their teeth will start pushing out from the gums when they’re four to seven months old. The two bottom front teeth on the lower jaw are typically the first to appear. Four weeks later, the two upper incisors appear, followed by lateral incisors beside them and two more beside the lower incisors.
After about a month or so, the molars located at the back of the mouth break out from the jaw. These are the teeth used to grind food for swallowing and have the most roots (two or three) of all teeth. The eye teeth (canines) are the next to appear after about a month or so. The teeth keep emerging, and your little one should have all their primary teeth by their third birthday.
In rare cases, some kids are born with teeth known as natal teeth. Natal teeth have weak roots and are often loose or discolored. On the other hand, some kids develop teeth after the first few weeks. These teeth are known as neonatal teeth and can cause pain and choking during breastfeeding.
Yes, fluoride treatment is safe and immensely beneficial for kids of all ages. The treatment involves painting a varnish containing fluoride on the teeth. The fluoride forms a protective layer on the teeth, penetrating the enamel and making it more resistant to acids from mouth bacteria. Fluoride also remineralizes the teeth and can “reverse” minor dental decay.
It’s normal for parents to be apprehensive of fluoride because drinking fluoridated water causes fluorosis, which discolors kids’ teeth. However, this only occurs when the teeth are consistently exposed to excess fluoride over time. Fluorosis leads to white streaks and spots on the teeth and brown discoloration in excess amounts. Professional dentists understand the appropriate amount of fluoride to use to prevent discoloration or any negative effects after fluoride treatment.
However, there’s always the risk of allergic reactions to fluoride in children allergic to the chemical. Kids allergic to fluoride treatment will experience tongue and face swelling, mouth lesions, headache, and nausea after fluoride treatment. Dentists don’t recommend treatment for children with such allergies.
Ingesting excessive amounts of fluoride can also lead to fluoride toxicity. Fluoride toxicity causes abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. They may also experience seizures and organ damage in extreme cases. Fluoride toxicity is impossible with fluoride treatment since there’s no way kids can ingest the fluoride.
However, watch your kids closely to ensure they don’t eat their tube of toothpaste, especially if they have candy-flavored kid's toothpaste. The excess fluoride is likely to cause stomach upset and diarrhea. Visit the nearest doctor if your child eats their entire tube of toothpaste. They’re at risk of fluoride toxicity.
Around 85% of children see the dentist regularly.