Chelsea Pediatric Dentistry focuses strongly on prevention and wants to help our patients grow up cavity-free. We strongly encourage you to have your child’s teeth sealed because it is one of the most effective and easy ways to help prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities and can be applied to baby molars and adult premolars and molars. They should be applied as early as possible after the adult tooth erupts and before cavities get a chance to form. The chewing surfaces are the most likely areas to get cavities and toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves of back teeth. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food. Sealants generally last several years and the cost of sealants is very low compared to getting cavities fixed.
Sports Mouth Guards
Once your child starts playing competitive sports such a hockey, basketball, football etc. we strongly recommend that they wear a sports mouth guard to protect their adult teeth from fracturing due to trauma. While over-the-counter sports guards are readily available, the comfort and fit of a custom-made sports guard is unparalleled.
A Fluoride treatment in the form of a varnish (a sticky coating which minimizes ingestion) will be applied to your child’s teeth at the end of each check up visit or more often depending on their cavity risk. Your child will be able to eat and drink right away, just nothing hard or sticky or too hot for 4-6 hours. Fluoride is a safe and effective way to help your child’s teeth stay strong and cavity-free. We will also discuss optimal fluoride intake from all sources; i.e. Fluoridated water, toothpaste and mouth rinsing to help keep your child’s teeth strong while minimizing the risk of Fluorosis (white or brown spots) on their developing adult teeth.
When a tooth is lost prematurely due to cavities or trauma, a spacer is often recommended to hold the gap open for the adult tooth to erupt later when it’s ready. Space maintainers help prevent shifting and crowding of the adult teeth.
Habit Breaking Counseling and Appliances
If you child has a non-nutritive sucking habit such as thumb, fingers, pacifier, lip or tongue sucking that is causing damage to the oral structure (i.e. abnormal shape of mouth, protruding teeth or bite opening or shifting), we offer many types of custom-made oral appliances to help your child stop these harmful habits if traditional counseling and positive reinforcement strategies are not successful. We never make your child feel bad or embarrassed but instead offer positive encouragement that leaves them feeling empowered and in control; thereby, motivating them to want to stop the harmful habit.