What should I know about orthodontia for my children?

This age group is characterized by the mixed dentition phase, and problems with the jaw and teeth can become apparent during this time. During this time period, your dentist will check to see if the teeth and jaws are aligned, and how the permanent teeth are coming in. Children should be receiving a comprehensive evaluation for orthodontic development around the age of seven. During this time, your pediatric dentist may refer your child to an orthodontist if he/she feels like they may benefit from an early evaluation.

What is a panoramic radiograph?

During the orthodontic evaluation, the dentist may choose to perform a panoramic radiograph. This typically occurs after the first set of permanent molars have erupted. This radiograph allows the dentist to do an overall evaluation of the joints and position of the adult teeth that are still developing.

What is the best way to prevent cavities in my child?

The best thing any parent can do to prevent cavities is to teach children about good oral hygiene. It is also important to reinforce good nutrition, which includes talking about healthy and unhealthy snack choices. Parents should also play a role in brushing and flossing until the child is about 8 years old and has the dexterity that adults have to brush and floss effectively. Of course, parents should follow up every 6 months for routine exams and cleanings.

How can I protect my child’s mouth during sports?

We highly recommend mouth guards for all kids that play any type of contact sports including football, hockey and soccer. Mouth guards do more than prevent just tooth injuries. They are also effective in reducing concussions and more severe brain injuries. There are many options such as over the counter mouth guards as well as custom mouth guards.

What are sealants?

Sealants are a protective coating applied to the chewing surface of teeth. It is worked into the tiny grooves where cavity-causing bacteria live. Toothbrush bristles are too large to reach into the grooves making sealant application one of the most important preventive treatments available. The procedure is painless and quick!