The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child has their first dental check up by their first birthday. Routine check-ups are recommended twice a year to ensure a healthy smile for your child. These exams allow Dr. Mehta to provide individualized care plans to ensure your child remains cavity free.
Wellspring Pediatric Dentistry recommends dental cleanings every six months. Professional cleanings remove harmful plaque, bacteria, build-up, and stains that naturally accumulate on teeth over time. If left on the teeth, this plaque and bacteria can cause cavities and gingivitis.
Fluoride is recommended to help strengthen tooth enamel (the outermost layer of a tooth). The fluoride applied is a topical varnish that coats the teeth and returns healthy minerals back into the tooth surface to protect against cavities.
Dental x-rays (“pictures” as we call them) may be requested by Dr. Mehta based on your child’s needs. Every child is different and radiographs will be taken on an individualized basis. Our office follows the guidelines and recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry for requesting radiographs on children. We minimize the exposure by using low dose digital imaging technology. Dental radiographs aid to diagnose early cavities and other dental issues that may be undetectable with an exam.
We recommend sealants to help prevent cavities on molars with deep pits and grooves. Sealants are a tooth-colored material that flows into the deep pits and grooves of a tooth, making them easier to clean and better at preventing cavities.
Fillings may be recommended if cavities are detected on your child’s teeth. We use white-tooth colored filling materials that are mercury-free. Addressing cavities early is essential in providing the most conservative treatment plan and ensuring the disease does not spread to other teeth.
Pediatric crowns may be recommended when a cavity is too large to support a white filling or a nerve treatment has been completed. Wellspring Pediatric Dentistry offers stainless steel (silver) crowns or all white (zirconia or resin) crowns.
When cavities become very large and the decay gets close to or into the nerves of the tooth, a nerve treatment may be recommended. A nerve treatment (pulpotomy or pulpectomy) is when a portion or all of the nerves are cleaned out and a medicine is placed to allow for proper healing. Following nerve treatments baby teeth often require either a stainless steel crown or a white zirconia crown. Nerve treatments may also be needed if your child has trauma to their teeth that involves the nerves.
A tooth extraction may be indicated if a cavity becomes too large and causes an infection, if a child develops an infection from trauma to the tooth, or if a baby tooth will not fall out on its own at an appropriate time.
Tongue and lip ties may be required for children and adolescents of any age. Infants that have challenges breastfeeding can benefit from a safe frenectomy procedure. Children may require a frenectomy for various reasons including speech issues, mouth breathing, sleep apnea, and much more. Adolescents undergoing orthodontic treatment often require frenectomies to prevent gum recession and aid with the movement of teeth into an ideal cosmetic position.
A space maintainer appliance may be required when a tooth is lost or removed prematurely. Space maintainers hold spaces open between teeth to allow for the permanent tooth to eventually grow into the correct position. If a space maintainer is not done, adjacent teeth may move into the gaps causing the permanent tooth to be blocked out of its natural position. This can lead to crowding, malpositioned teeth, and complex orthodontic needs.
When habits such as thumb or finger sucking, pacifier, or tongue thrusting continue as a child gets older, Dr. Mehta provides patient and parent focused methods and recommendations to stop the habit at home. Prolonged habits can cause irreversible changes to the teeth and jaw structures that can lead to crowding, malpositioned teeth, and complex orthodontic needs. Stopping habits early can help avoid these issues. If home methods are unsuccessful to stop a habit, a specialized appliance may be made to provide extra assistance.
NITROUS OXIDE (LAUGHING GAS)
Nitrous oxide is often used during dental treatment for children. It allows children to be more relaxed during their appointment and can often help suppress strong gag reflexes. Nitrous oxide is recommended by Dr. Mehta depending on your child’s behavior and anxiety level. The gas quickly exits your child’s body following the appointment and minimal lasting effects are noted.
Oral sedation is a moderate state of sedation that is often used during dental treatment for children. Oral sedation helps children better tolerate dental treatment and be relaxed during the procedure. During this type of sedation, your child remains awake and can easily communicate with you and our office staff. The medicine is typically a liquid that your child drinks at the office and is dosed based on your child’s weight. We carefully monitor your child’s vital signs throughout the procedure as safety is our utmost priority.
If your child is experiencing a dental emergency please call our office immediately. Emergency calls after hours will be transferred to Dr. Mehta. Emergencies may include dental or facial trauma, tooth pain, or facial swelling.