Pediatric dentists in San Diego perform a variety of functions for their patients, many of whom are dependent on these professionals for virtually every aspect of their dental care. Most of the dentists in the area are capable of providing a wide range of specialized services, but some focus specifically on the dental care needs of young patients. This in itself can be a broad and varied field of specialization, and covers basic diagnosis and treatment as well as more intensive procedures.
Visits to pediatric dentists in San Diego often involve a thorough examination during which your child’s teeth will be cleaned and flossed. During the examination, the dentist will also check for cavities. This may or may not involve the use of an X-ray machine. If the dentist opts to take an X-ray, he will first cover your child’s chest with a thick blanket for protection. A piece of plastic containing the X-ray film will then be placed in your child’s mouth. Your child will have to bite down on this plastic as the X-ray is taken. The entire procedure will only take a few seconds, and will reveal problems with the teeth and/or gums.
Part of the role of the pediatric dentist is to clean and floss the teeth. This will help ensure that they–along with the gums–remain strong and healthy. During this procedure, the dentist will shine a bright light down your child’s mouth in order to see more clearly. He will then use a tooth scraper and special toothbrush to remove plaque that has accumulated on your child’s teeth. This is an important part of the process, as it will prevent further plaque buildup that can eventually cause cavities.
When cleaning the teeth, the dentist will use a specialized toothbrush, along with a slightly grittier and more abrasive toothpaste than what your child is accustomed to. This toothpaste contains fine particles that help clean the teeth more thoroughly and get rid of buildups that would be difficult or impossible to remove with commercially available toothpastes. The toothbrush itself is a mechanical one that has a round tip that moves around quickly in order to clean the teeth more efficiently.
The dentist may also floss your child’s teeth and provide detailed instructions as to how the teeth can be flossed at home. This is an important part of dental care as it will help remove particles of food and other debris between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot easily reach.
Fluoride treatments may also be administered to your child. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is applied to the teeth in order to strengthen them and prevent cavities from developing. Fluoride is typically administered in the form of gel or foam. In order to make it more palatable to children, fluoride products typically come in flavors such as grape or bubble gum. Fluoride treatments take anywhere from one to four minutes, and your child will be instructed not to drink or eat anything for at least thirty minutes after the procedure.
To find out more about pediatric dentists in San Diego, call Children’s Dentistry of San Diego at (858) 536-1111.