We explain to the child what is going to happen and generally provide a fun interesting experience for the child. We carefully examine the development of their mouth including crowding, appearance of calcium deposits, abnormality in the number of teeth, baby bottle tooth decay, gum disease, TMJ, and signs of prolonged problems such as thumb-sucking and teething. We take x-rays when needed. We clean and polish teeth and apply fluoride when needed. We explain how a healthy diet relates to healthy teeth and we demonstrate the correct way to brush the teeth.
From the age 6 to 12 a child will be losing baby teeth and getting their permanent adult teeth. There are times when permanent teeth are "stuck" in the bone and gum. However, it is possible to lift back the gum and remove a small amount of bone, allowing these teeth to erupt into the mouth. By the time a child reaches age 21 years all 32 permanent teeth will usually have erupted.
Baby bottle tooth decay or syndrome is a form of tooth decay that can destroy the teeth of an infant. This decay may even enter the underlying bone structure, which can hamper development of the permanent teeth. The teeth most likely to be damaged are the upper teeth. Baby bottle decay is caused by frequent and long exposure of a child's teeth to liquids containing sugar such as milk, formula, fruit juices, pop and other sweetened liquids. These liquids fuel the bacteria in a child's mouth, which produces acids that attack enamel.
A palatal expander is an appliance placed in the roof of the mouth to widen the upper dental arch, which allows the arch to be painlessly separated and spread. A treatment used for younger patients. Many times a palatal expander can be used to create a proper alignment of the arches so permanent teeth have room to erupt in a natural position. Often, the use of an arch expander early may eliminate the need for braces later.