Our practice is uniquely suited to treat all members of the family, from toddlers to grandparents. When it comes to children, it is very important to maintain the health of the primary (milk) teeth. Neglected cavities can, and frequently do, lead to problems which affect developing permanent teeth.
The ideal time for your child’s first dental visit is by twelve months of age. By starting early, we can enable your child to enjoy the lifelong benefits of a healthy mouth. The earlier the visit, the better the chances of preventing tooth decay and other problems. Some dental problems unfortunately begin very early in life.
A common childhood dental disease is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, or early childhood caries. This serious dental condition is caused by long, frequent exposure to liquids such as milk, breast milk, formula, and or fruit juice. Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle containing any liquid except water can cause serious and rapid tooth decay. These liquids pool around the teeth thereby giving plaque bacteria an opportunity to produce acids that attack tooth structure. Often times the parent is not aware of this process because it occurs on the backs of the upper front teeth where it is not easily visible.
Primary teeth, or baby teeth, are important for proper chewing and eating, providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position, and permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles.
Primary teeth also affect the development of speech and add to an attractive appearance. Many parents question why the primary teeth need to be restored, since, “they’ll just fall out anyway”. While the front 4 teeth last until 6-7 years of age, the back teeth (cuspids and molars) aren’t replaced until 10-13.
Once decay starts, it only progresses and becomes larger. If the decay is not removed, it can eventually get into the nerve of the tooth, causing an abscess and usually pain. This condition can also affect the developing permanent tooth.
There are a variety of common dental problems that can impact children. Dr. Arrison takes a preventative approach to oral health in an attempt to stop dental problems from occurring. But when problems do arise – such as tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath or canker sores – he is able to diagnose and treat these issues so your child is able to return to his or her normal activities, symptom-free.
Here are some common dental conditions to look out for with children:
Tooth decay, also known as dental caries, is a preventable disease. When a child’s teeth and gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of starches and sugars, acids may form that begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices leave deposits on teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally survive in your mouth, creating plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth, with tooth decay as the end result.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious oral health problem that can cause inflammation, tooth loss, and even bone damage.
Children can develop gingivitis (an early form of periodontal disease) from having too much plaque. Gum disease begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Gums in the early stage of periodontal disease, or gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing.
Daily brushing and flossing help prevent the buildup of food particles, plaque, and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and can cause bad breath in kids, also known as halitosis. While certain foods such as garlic may cause temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another medical problem. In many cases, bad breath may be due to allergies, sinus problems, or tonsil and adenoid issues in children.
Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents. A canker sore has a white or gray base surrounded by a red border.
Our practice is uniquely suited to assist children, and we strive to make each visit a pleasant one.