The chewing surfaces of molar teeth with their deep, narrow grooves (fissures) and pits, are at a high a risk of decay. These grooves collect food and plaque, and may be harder to reach with toothbrush bristles. Fissure sealants are hard protective coatings that cover and protect these grooves and pits. They significantly reduce the risk of decay and the future need for fillings by preventing food and plaque from becoming trapped within the grooves.
Sealants are recommended if the child is at a high risk of developing decay in the pits and fissures of their teeth, most commonly done on molar teeth, but can be placed on any tooth that has a pit or fissure. However, not every child requires sealants. We assess each child based on their age, when the tooth is likely to fall out, decay history, and other health and dental factors. The placement of fissure sealants is painless and non-invasive.
There’s nothing quite like the excitement of watching your child lose their first tooth! Its a definite bonus that most baby teeth come out on their own, but occasionally, baby teeth need a little extra help. When their teeth are badly decayed or damaged, or when the baby teeth start to crowd the erupting adult teeth, it may be necessary to consider having your child’s teeth extracted. Your dentist will start with an X-ray to check out the tooth’s roots and bone condition. A simple extraction typically only requires a local anesthetic.
Though baby teeth aren't permanent, they are the only teeth your child will have for several years, until the adult teeth replace them. To preserve your child's oral health, your dentist will opt to fill in the cavities in baby teeth or place a crown. Wherever possible, we will use a tooth-coloured filling material called composite resin when restoring children’s teeth. This filling can be used on baby and adult teeth. However, it is not ideal for every child’s tooth or cavity as this material works best for small fillings in low-stress areas.
A space maintainer is an appliance that is custom-made by your dentist using acrylic or metal. It can be either removable or cemented in a child's mouth. Its purpose is to keep the space open to allow the permanent tooth to erupt.
Baby teeth are in some ways placeholders for adult teeth and help guide the permanent teeth as they come in. If a baby tooth is removed because of damage or decay before the permanent teeth are scheduled to arrive, your dentist may recommend a space maintainer to make sure the new tooth is able to erupt in the proper position.
Habit Breaking Appliances
It is normal for young children to have unhealthy oral habits. Some such habits include thumb sucking, nail biting, lip biting, tongue thrusting, and mouth breathing. It is a way for them to sooth themselves, and it is pleasurable. Most children tend to stop these habits on their own, but those who don’t may need help to break the habit, especially before their permanent teeth erupt. If the habit is continued, appliances known as habit breaking appliances must be used. These appliances can either be of the removable or fixed type.
Appliances are typically used to help break thumb, finger, tongue or pacifier sucking habits. In addition they can be used to help the jaw grow & align itself, correct crossbites, hold space for adult teeth, and be used as retainers.
Finger, tongue and other oral habits can cause serious malocclusions if they are not corrected early.
The following appliances can help break these habits - palatal crib, blue grass appliance, quad helix, Hayrake, and the lip bumper.
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