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The first tooth is a milestone in your baby’s life. As soon as the first tooth emerges, or by their first birthday, your child should have their first dental checkup. At this visit, we will:
Early and regular dental visits can help your child avoid decay, a problem for 40% of 2- to 5-year olds. Developing good dental hygiene from the first tooth will help your child grow strong teeth so they learn to chew properly and speak clearly, and make space for the permanent teeth to come in properly. We will make your child’s first visit a pleasant experience and help your child start on the road to cavity-free teeth and healthy mouths.
As a new patient, we want to welcome you and your child to our office. Our goal is to make your child feel comfortable in our office by encouraging them to trust us and by helping to alleviate their fears. Our kid-friendly staff is skilled at helping children have a positive experience in our office.
At your child’s first exam, we ask you to stay with the child in the treatment room. During this visit, we will:
We’re happy to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have. We want this first visit to be educational and fun for both you and your child.
An essential part of maintaining your child’s oral health is having regular professional cleanings. During your cleaning appointment, the hygienist will perform a thorough examination of gums and take any necessary radiographs. Following this, she will proceed to clean the child’s teeth, floss, and polish. The dentist will then examine the child’s mouth, the cleaning, and the radiographs.
For most children, we recommend professional cleaning every six months to keep their mouths healthy and avoid the number one chronic childhood infection: tooth decay.
For most children, we recommend a professional cleaning every six months to keep their mouths healthy and avoid the number one chronic childhood infection: tooth decay.
Children’s mouths grow quickly and changes occur that cannot be seen in a visual exam. Your child’s dental exam will include x-rays every 12-18 months to evaluate the teeth and mouth for conditions such as cavities, erupting teeth, extra or missing teeth and bone disease. To protect your child while taking x-rays, our office uses the necessary shield and the latest digital technology, which has greatly improved the safety, comfort and speed of x-rays:
With digital x-rays, we can provide the safest and most pleasant dental experience for you and your child.
Food and bacteria can become packed in the grooves of the back molars, and even the most careful brushing and flossing cannot fully clean these areas. Dental sealants are clear plastic coverings that protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay by providing a barrier to food and bacteria. Application is simple and painless:
Children should get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as the teeth come in — before decay attacks the teeth. Teenagers and young adults who are prone to decay may also need sealants. Sealants are a cost-effective prevention option, and when used along with regular dental check-ups and cleanings, provide the most effective defense for tooth decay. Highlight Dentistry of Hutto can apply them during a regular check-up.
Tooth enamel is dissolved and replaced constantly in the mouth, and fluoride makes that replacement material much stronger. Research indicates fluoride can help prevent cavities by:
Water fluoridation is a common practice in U.S. public water systems. However, bottled water, home treatment systems and private well water may not be fluoridated. The use of fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes and a diet that includes foods with natural fluoride may be sufficient. However, children under 6 with any history of decay and older children with a few cavities and other risk factors are at moderate to high risk for decay and may benefit from professional fluoride applications. We will evaluate your child’s dental health and offer fluoride treatments in our office if needed.
At least 60% of kindergartners suffer from tooth decay, the number one childhood disease. Even with daily brushing and flossing, plaque can still develop, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach. Only professional cleanings can remove the plaque and tartar that cause tooth decay and gum disease. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatrics and Highlight Dentistry of Hutto recommend that your child have regular dental check-ups beginning at age one.
At the check-up, which typically takes 30-60 minutes, we will:
The dentist will advise you about any decay or other problems requiring treatment, and our staff will schedule an appointment for the treatment. Regularly scheduled visits will help your child keep their teeth for a lifetime.
The removal of single teeth may be necessary to maintain the health of your child’s remaining teeth, permanent teeth and mouth. After evaluating all options, extraction may be the best or only choice. Teeth are most commonly extracted due to:
After determining that extraction is necessary, we will discuss the treatment with you. In some cases, we may recommend replacing the extracted tooth with a space maintainer to keep the teeth and jaw from shifting and creating problems with chewing and dental health. Most tooth extractions are very routine procedures. We will make sure your child is comfortable, using local anesthesia to completely numb the area. The mouth should heal and return to normal in just a few days.
When baby (primary) teeth are lost before the permanent teeth erupt, the space may need to be filled with a space maintainer (spacer). Not only are primary teeth used for chewing and speech development, they guide permanent teeth into the spaces where they belong without shifting, and protect the mouth from crowding and future orthodontic problems. Spacers are removed when the new tooth erupts.
Not every space needs to be filled:
Space maintainers are made of stainless steel or plastic, and come in two forms:
Regular brushing and good oral hygiene are especially important. During your child’s regular dental check-ups at Highlight Dentistry of Hutto, we will inspect the spacers and follow the progress of the incoming permanent teeth.