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What’s more precious than a child’s smile? Especially when that smile is healthy. Oral hygiene is one of the most important factors regarding a young child’s overall health, because a clean and clear oral cavity prevents several germs from entering the body. Because children’s teeth are more sensitive than adults, they require more frequent visits to a pediatric dentist. Not only can a pediatric dentist help with plaque and tartar control, but they can also treat complex oral health problems such as:

1. Tooth Rot

Tooth rot refers to a permanently damaged area on the surface of your child’s tooth, and occurs when a cavity goes untreated. Signs of a rotten tooth include toothache, sensitivity, discolored spots on the tooth, bad breath, and more. The only way to treat severe tooth decay is by completely removing the tooth from your child’s mouth. Prior to the treatment, the dental team will desensitize the part of the mouth that is going to be worked on, and give your child a sedative drug so they do not feel any pain. The decayed parts of the tooth are removed using a dental drill or bore, and a dental filling or crown is used to fill in the holes. If the rot continues to advance than a root canal is required.

2. Extractions

Another option for treating a contaminated or infected tooth is by removing it completely. This option is completely dependent on how severe the tooth has rotted and the soundness of the roots. Often, a pediatric dentist will only recommend this option for three reasons: if the tooth is decayed so badly that a root canal cannot save it, if the tooth is crowding the mouth, or if it is fractured beyond repair. The procedure can be a simple as numbing the area with local anesthetic and gently extracting the tooth; however, if the tooth is impacted it requires a more-complex operation in which the surrounding gum tissue must be removed as well.

3. Dental Holdings

If your child has split, broken, or chipped their tooth, rinse your child’s mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. If possible, locate and save the tooth fragment as it can be reapplied. Then, take your child to their pediatric dentist as quickly as possible to prevent infection and further injury from occurring. If the tooth has a jagged edge, it can cause a great deal of irritation and even cut your child’s mouth or tongue. The dentist will smooth the edge and fill in the part that chipped off. Dental holdings can be applied and solidified decently fast within in one visit. If your child’s tooth is completely knocked out, it can be re-implanted if done very quickly. To ensure the broken tooth stays together, the dentist may need to put a crown over it, which is also a cost-effective method.

Regular visits to the pediatric dentist can help your child avoid dental emergencies, but there are also a few ways you can prevent them from happening on a daily basis. Child-proofing your house prevents children from falling as well as making them wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports. We also recommend not allowing your child to chew on hard foods, like ice, popcorn kernels, or objects.

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