When children are learning how to clean their teeth, there are often areas that get missed such as the back teeth (molars). The molars have natural grooves where food and bacteria can get stuck into and can, overtime, cause tooth decay. One of our preventive strategies is Fissure Sealant.
Children’s teeth are more susceptible to decay than adult teeth as the enamel is softer. Fissure sealants are recommended to be placed on the child’s permanent molars as soon as they have erupted. The sealant is a precaution to make the surface of the teeth easier to clean and prevent decay from arising.
How is the sealant applied?
The first step that your dentist will do is remove all the food and plaque from the grooves. This process is quick and rarely, if ever, causes any discomfort. Then, the tooth is conditioned, washed and dried before the sealant is applied. A blue light will be used to set the material.
How long will a Fissure Sealant last for?
Sealants are durable and can stand up to daily chewing forces for months or even years. Of course, everyone is different, and the protective coating may wear down at different rates in different people. Having regular dental check ups is the best way to ensure that your sealants are in good condition.
If you suffer from mild to moderate anxiety when visiting the dentist then one way that we can help is by administering nitrous oxide. Also known as happy gas, this type of sedation gives the patient a certain feeling of euphoria – hence the ‘happy gas’ title. It’s designed to suppress the senses like hearing, touch, and more importantly… pain, so any feelings will be greatly minimised.
The technique involves breathing in small amounts of nitrous oxide along with oxygen. As such, nausea or other side effects rarely occur. Therefore, it’s ideal for nearly all dental patients both young and old.
- Involves breathing in Oxygen and Nitrous Oxide
- Lowers pain sensitivity and gives you a pleasant level of sedation
- Patients remain conscious and able to co-operate during procedures
- The effects wear off very quickly after treatment
- There are normally zero after effects
Effects of Nitrous Oxide
When used for conscious sedation, nitrous oxide might have one or more of the following effects:
- Relaxed feeling in your body
- Warm feeling throughout your body
- Pleasant feeling
- Laughing or extreme happiness
You might also feel:
- Tingling in your mouth, hands and feet
- Numbness in your mouth, hands and feet
- Heaviness or lightness in your body
- Changes in the way you hear sounds
Can everyone use Nitrous Oxide for Sleep Dentistry?
Nitrous Oxide can be used by most people, however there are certain medical conditions and other factors that may need to be taken into consideration.
Breathing Problems – People with breathing problems or a blocked nose cannot receive Nitrous oxide. Because the gas goes into your lungs through your nose, these must both be clear.
Lung Conditions – Nitrous oxide isn’t recommended for anyone who has bronchitis, emphysema or a severe case of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Pregnancy – Use of any drug, including nitrous oxide, when pregnant should happen only after your dentist speaks with your obstetrician.
Children – Nitrous oxide is safe for children, however they must be able to cope with a mask being placed over their face, or the nose piece being inserted. They must also be able to breathe through their nose and follow the dentist’s instructions.
Medications – It is important to tell your dentist about any other medications you may be taking, including over the counter medications and supplements. If you take medicine for psychiatric conditions, talk to your doctor and dentist before receiving sedatives.
Early Orthodontic Treatment
To have a healthy and practical smile, your child needs teeth and jaws that are properly aligned. It is recommended to get your child’s first orthodontic assessment no later than 7 years old. By then, your child has enough permanent teeth for the dentist to determine whether an orthodontic problem exists or is developing.
Orthodontic treatment might seem extreme to some parents, especially since their children may still have their baby teeth. However, despite this, there are some dental problems which can be avoided (or improved on) through early orthodontic treatment.
How do I know if my child needs early orthodontic treatment?
There are several ways you can determine whether your kid may need early orthodontic treatment. If you observe any of these characteristics or behaviours, you should see an assessment from your dentist:
- Early loss of baby teeth (before age five)
- If your child’s teeth do not meet properly at all when biting
- Mouth breathing and/or snoring
- If your child’s front teeth are crowded (you generally won’t see this until the child is about seven or eight years old)
- Protruding front teeth
- Biting or chewing difficulties
- A speech impediment
- If your child’s jaw shifts when he or she opens or closes the mouth
- If your child is older than five years and still sucks a thumb or finger
What are the benefits of early orthodontic treatment?
Early orthodontic treatment begins while a kid’s jaw bones are still soft. They do not harden until children reach their late teens. As the bones are still pliable, corrective procedures work faster and more effectively than they do for teens and adults. Appropriate early treatment is an effective interceptive measure that lays the foundation for a healthy and well-functioning mouth in adulthood.
While your child’s teeth may appear aligned and straight, there could be underlying issues that need to be addressed to prevent more serious problems developing. Early intervention usually means that later orthodontic treatment will be more straightforward and completed in a shorter amount of time which can also be financially beneficial in the long run.