Pediatric Dentistry in Buffalo, NY
Providing Affordable Dental Exams, Teeth Cleaning, and General Dentistry for Children Throughout WNY
Deciduous teeth, more commonly known as baby teeth, may only last for a few years before they fall out, but they require close monitoring in order to make sure that they erupt (grow in) appropriately and remain strong until the permanent teeth have developed. Children often experience more difficulty in dealing with the pain and irritation that come with cavities and periodontal disease, so dental screenings and tooth cleanings twice a year can save children from dealing with the consequences of dental issues.
Visits to doctors may make children feel worried. After all, pediatric medical care can involve receiving shots and intrusive tests while sitting in a cold, sterile room. At our practice, though, we take our younger patients’ needs into account, and we strive to make them feel relaxed and safe as we administer our pediatric dentistry treatments. Though children can face many of the same dental problems that adults do, they may need to trust their dentists before agreeing to receive a cleaning. Parents can prepare their children for visits to the dentist by explaining to them what a teeth cleaning will entail, and our office can use visual aids to show children every step of dental procedures. Building a relationship with the dentist will both make the child feel more comfortable and allow the dentist to work more easily.
Baby teeth fall out when fully-formed permanent slowly move toward the gum line, pushing against the roots of the deciduous teeth. This process can prove far more complicated than it should be when certain conditions are present; if the baby teeth have improper spacing or if the child’s gums are not healthy, the permanent teeth may grow in at the wrong angle, or they may be otherwise weakened or discolored. Proper dental care beginning at a young age can help to slowly but surely guide the permanent teeth into the correct positions, sparing children from the potential of orthodontic measures, such as braces, during pre-adolescence.
As we all know, our baby teeth do not fall out all at once. What happens instead is a gradual, roughly six-year-long process that starts in elementary school and ends before freshman year. First, the incisors (the front teeth) are lost, the canines follow, and the premolars finally fall out, all as two molars gently grow in towards the rear of the mouth. Though this process has its benefits—it prevents children from having to resort to relying solely on their gums to break down food after infancy—it does mean that children’s mouths remain a mixture of baby and adult teeth for more than half a decade. As such, care must be taken to maintain the health of both types of teeth; the goal is to protect the newly erupted permanent teeth and to promote the health of the baby teeth until they fall out.
It is of particular importance to tend to children’s premolars, as their ridged surfaces are harder to clean, less visible, and often breeding grounds for bacteria. To preserve the health of these teeth, which naturally have thinner enamel than adult teeth do, ask our office about dental sealants, which can be used to cover the teeth and prevent infection.
What should I expect at my first pediatric dentistry appointment?
Before your appointment, as your parents fill out a health history, you can relax, have a cup of water, and watch television. During your cleaning, you can continue to relax, and I will check in with you once your procedure has finished.
If your child is in the market for a tooth cleaning or needs dental work performed, we provide a wide range of comprehensive and affordable pediatric dentistry services for children of all ages. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.