It’s an exciting time when your child starts attending grade school! Children start to become more independent at this stage of life, making new friends and participating in activities outside of the home. With all of their new priorities, it’s important to not let good dental health fall by the wayside, and the Park Place Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics team is happy to help every step of the way.
Throughout this stage, maintaining a solid foundation of consistent dental check-ups and quality oral hygiene at home is crucial! These good habits will ideally be developed during the infant and toddler years, and our top goal is to help kids maintain them as they grow. Dr. Shen will also pre-screen for orthodontic care. Through our pediatric dental services and orthodontic care, we will help your child build confidence in their smile! We will also start monitoring more complex oral health issues that could arise, such as orthodontic concerns, damage from poor nutrition, and the need for an athletic mouthguard.
At this stage, most children are capable of brushing and flossing on their own, however, we strongly recommend that parents continue to supervise their oral health habits and help out when needed to ensure that the teeth and the gums stay clean. As baby teeth fall out and adult teeth emerge, keeping them clean and free of decay should be an important priority for families. Also, daily intake of fluoridated water and limited snacks high in carbohydrates and sugar are both good habits that can help ensure dental health for years to come.
During each visit to Park Place Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, our team will want to thoroughly review your child’s smile and eliminate plaque accumulations that may have developed along the teeth and gums. Professional fluoride treatment and dental sealants will be provided as needed for preventive purposes, and a variety of restorative services are available for decay or injuries that may have developed between appointments. During this stage, we will also pre-screen your child for orthodontic treatment. Early screenings don’t always mean braces right away, but it does give us time to familiarize ourselves with the unique needs of your child and help you choose the best time to start any necessary treatment!
Our wide variety of available services for school-aged children give them the support and confidence they need to show off their growing smiles proudly! Our experienced pediatric dentists offer preventive care, restorative services, safe technology, oral surgery, and more. Keep reading to learn more about each individual treatment option:
Check-ups and cleanings should be scheduled every six months on average. During these important visits, we will want to inspect every aspect of your child’s oral health, including each tooth surface, the gum tissue, their overall bite, their jaw, any existing restorations that are in place, and more. Once we have all the information we need, we can sit down with you (the parent) in order to plan out any necessary treatment. Professional cleanings are also essential because they get rid of accumulations of dental plaque, a bacteria-filled substance that can cause cavities. By cleaning it away, we’re able to protect growing smiles from tooth decay and help them feel refreshed as well!
Did you know that four out of five cavities in children under 12 occur on the chewing surfaces of their back teeth? Even after learning to brush and floss, your son or daughter may struggle to keep these hard-to-reach areas clean. Thankfully, dental sealants can help. Our team will paint on this thin, tough, plastic-based substance and harden it over the tooth so that it can work as a barrier, keeping out food particles and bacteria. Sealants are safe, comfortable, and can last for several years with proper maintenance.
Fluoride is a very valuable mineral that can be found in most community water supplies, as well as various oral health products. This is because safe exposure to fluoride has been proven through research to have positive effects on growing smiles, helping teeth become stronger and less prone to decay. If your child needs an extra supplement of fluoride to reap these benefits, we can provide this during regular appointments.
Our team works hard to help children prevent cavities, but they can pop up here and there despite our best efforts, unfortunately. When they do, we’ll correct the damage done to the tooth with a tooth-colored filling. These fillings blend right in with the smile, which means your son or daughter won’t even be able to tell the difference between them and their natural tooth enamel. They’re also comfortable and safe for smiles in need.
There’s a lot that can happen underneath the surface of a smile, and X-rays are the best way for our doctors to see more than the naked eye can show us. We use state-of-the-art digital technology in order to capture highly detailed images of your child’s developing teeth and jaw. Unlike traditional film, digital X-rays are very fast and very safe. In fact, they reduce unsafe radiation exposure by up to 80%!
Every tooth has multiple layers with a “pulp” at the center. This pulp contains nerves, tissues, and blood vessels that work hard to channel nutrients and oxygen into the tooth. If your child suffered a traumatic dental injury or advanced tooth decay, harmful bacteria can reach this area and cause serious infection. Instead of removing the tooth, our doctors will do their best to save it with pulp therapy. While adults undergo a full root canal in this situation, we want to preserve as much of the remaining healthy pulp to support the tooth’s further development. After removing the damaged portions, the tooth will be fitted with a dental crown to strengthen the remaining structure.
Once children enter the school scene, they’re very likely to stop sucking their fingers or thumbs because of peer pressure. If they don’t, though, it’s important to encourage them to stop because of the damage that can be done (and most likely has already been done) to their jawbone and oral health. Our doctors are happy to provide parents with tips and guidance on how to break this habit for good.
From infancy, children may end up with one or more bands of oral tissue that connect to the lips, cheeks, or floor of their mouth. These attachments (also known as “frenum”) can interfere with their dental health and cause discomfort and aesthetic problems as well. Thankfully, our dentists are capable of performing oral surgery in order to correct this issue. A frenectomy is a minor procedure where we’ll either loosen or remove the frenum; this typically only takes half an hour at most. If the tissue is too thick, a frenuloplasty can be performed instead by surgically repositioning the tissue.
Children are adventurous, eager to play, and prone to clumsiness at times. As a result, serious dental injuries can happen in the blink of an eye when a parent’s back is turned. At Park Place Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we ask you to contact our Arlington practice as soon as possible when these scary events occur. We can schedule an emergency appointment for your son or daughter right away in order to relieve any pain they’re experiencing, as well as provide first-aid tips over the phone.
Removing a natural tooth from the mouth is never our doctors’ first choice when treating young patients. However, situations can arise where it becomes a necessity in order to preserve their ongoing oral health and wellbeing, such as:
Parents can rest assured that we’ll handle this process as comfortably as possible, using sedation dentistry when necessary to ensure our patients’ comfort.