As with all medical therapies that affect children’s health, medical expertise in pediatric dentistry should include two fundamental factors: adopting an appropriate psychological approach and a commitment to effective prevention of diseases.
Coping with dental check-ups and treatment can be a harrowing experience for a child, therefore it is very important to create a relaxed and comfortable, stress-free environment for the youngest patients. A “sensitive” and positive approach by the medical and nursing staff helps to mitigate any fears and create a cooperative environment from the first visit.
Of course, in pediatric dentistry prevention is an important principle. Indeed, it is essential to anticipate disorders and abnormalities at an early stage, so as to offer better and quicker solutions to children’s dental problems. However, do not forget that child prevention sets the stage for adult oral health and wellbeing.
For this reason, a first dental check-up is recommended at the age of 5-6 years.
Pediatric dentistry and oral hygiene
Having a proper dental hygiene is essential to maintain your oral health and prevent many diseases. Pitino Dental Centre professional staff have always been involved in trying to curb the tendency of many parents to underestimate the importance of regular oral hygiene at an early age. Since children at that age have milk teeth that will eventually be replaced, they are not considered valuable. This belief is wrong and can promote early dental and gum disorders.
Teaching children to undertake a thorough dental cleaning, together with healthy eating habits, is the most important prerequisite for oral health and for this reason it is the first goal to achieve.
Doctors at Pitino Dental Centre consider their primary task is to give young patients, and their parents, all the health information available about the prevention and removal of bacterial plaque and the correct use of toothbrushes.
Pediatric dentistry and tooth decay: prevention and treatment
Caries in milk teeth can be dangerous even for permanent teeth, while deep cavities can damage the underlying permanent teeth. Premature extraction of milk teeth can create tooth overcrowding problems because the space needed to accommodate future permanent teeth is not maintained properly.
Currently, sealing permanent molars represents an effective strategy for preventing pediatric caries. When necessary, it can also be applied to the deciduous teeth. Molars are at a higher risk of caries because of the deep fissures that characterize their surface. Applying a special resin along the fissures of the molars (sealing) makes it possible to preserve the enamel and prevent the development of any future cavity from plaque and bacteria.
Fluoride plays an important role in human nutrition and in oral and dental health. It serves the oral cavity by fortifying the teeth to protect them from acids. It is also part of enamel’s chemical structure and, therefore, it integrates with it and hardens it until it becomes more resistant to substances that can damage it and destroy it progressively.
Professional fluoride prophylaxis (topical) consists in applying a gel with a high fluoride content directly onto the teeth that exerts its beneficial action when remaining long-term in the mouth. To be effective it must be repeated every 4/6 months In addition — but not as an alternative — people can choose systemic fluoride, which consists in giving the child fluoride-based tablets or drops daily. They can be given to all children, from the age of 6 months to 12 years, especially in the case of tooth structural abnormalities or specific disorders.
Pediatric dentistry and orthodontics
Keeping milk teeth in place until they are lost naturally is very important to adequately hold space in the arch areas and avoid future occlusal abnormalities.
It is possible to carry out early screening of the child’s occlusal development (still in the presence of deciduous teeth) in order to intercept malocclusions and / or skeletal changes in mandibular or maxillary load.
When such abnormalities are discovered in time during the growth phase, they can be treated more easily with the aid of minimally invasive orthodontic appliances, avoiding the need of subsequent invasive practices such as extractions or orthognathic surgery. In addition, orthodontic treatment in childhood reduces costs, thereby preventing a longer therapy in adulthood.