Pearl Dental Care provides pediatric dental care in our Hamden office to children as young as one year old. Our general dentists are educated, trained, and experienced at treating both children and adults. Just as all children should have a medical home, parents should ensure their children have a dental home. Pearl Dental Care should be your child's dental home because we provide cavity risk assessment, education for you and your child, and guidance on prevention of dental disease. It is important to monitor the eruption pattern of baby teeth to ensure adult teeth grow, develop, and erupt properly.
Young children should have a dentist examine their mouth starting six months after the first tooth erupts or by 12 months of age. Our goal is to maintain a cavity-free mouth and prevent other oral diseases. Cavities in the first set of teeth is a strong predictor of cavities in the permanent teeth, so we want to create good habits early on. Also, a cavity in a baby tooth can affect the health of the adult tooth it is replaced by.
Your child's dentist may recommend fluoride varnish for added tooth strength to prevent cavities. In addition, xylitol gum is often recommended for parents to limit the transmission of oral bacteria to your child. Xylitol spray and drinks are great for children.
One of the primary concerns in babies and young children is baby bottle tooth decay. Before the teeth are even erupted, a clean piece of gauze should be used to wipe the gums and tongue. Once the teeth have started to come in, brush them lightly with a child toothbrush and water. Make sure bottles are finished and teeth are brushed before going to bed.
Parents should also monitor their child's thumbsucking. Problems with tooth alingment and bite can result from thumbsucking after the permament teeth have erupted. Talk to your dentist about any concerns you may have about your child's thumbsucking.
Sealants are a pain-free and easy way to protect teeth from decay. Your dentist may recommend sealants to protect teeth from cavities or to cover deep pits and grooves. Sealants can be applied to both the pirmary and adult teeth, but are generally only applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. Dr. Pearl offers several orthodontic treatments for the correction of malocclusion. Dr. Pearl can correct teeth that are crowded, crooked, or out of alignment, which is important because teeth that are not aligned properly can result in an increase in cavities and gum disease. In addition, bad bites can lead to tooth fractures, alter chewing and speech, and lead to teeth that wear faster than normal.
Pearl Dental Care highly recommends the custom fabrication of mouthguards for children who participate in sports or other physical activities. Mouthguards help prevent broken teeth and injuries to the lips, face, and jaws. Mouthguards are a resilient device or appliance placed inside the mouth. Mouthguards protect the soft tissue, teeth, mandible, and TMJ from injury. Patients with braces should wear mouthguards.
There are 3 types of mouthguards- stock, mouth-formed, and custom fitted. We make custom fitted mouthguards, which are the best because they are the most comfortable, stay in place when playing sports, and are the proper thickness. Custom colors are available as well.