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Customized dental care for your child in Redlands

If there is one word that defines child dental care, it is prevention. Dentists treating young patients are primarily screening for potential future problems; making them comfortable with the dental office, staff, and procedures; and ingraining good dental habits that will see them through the rest of their lives and lay the groundwork for adhering to professional dental exams.

Facts show that more than 50 percent of American children do not receive the recommended biannual dental exams. The U.S. Surgeon General report on oral care gave a glaring reference to this fact, noting that dental caries is the most common chronic childhood condition. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children begin their first dental visits in their early toddler years.

Sheila Harris, D.D.S, M.S., specializes in customized children’s dentistry at Pure Gold Professionals in Dentistry. She fully understands the unique dental needs of children and knows the physiology of how teeth should be positioned and erupt. She can foresee problems and treat them faster than a dentist who does not specialize in pediatric dentistry. Moreover, she has a calming way with children to effectively resolve their fears and deal with their behavior.

During an exam, here are the items Dr. Harris is assessing that directly relate to child dental care:

  • Tooth decay - Cavities can be tricky to diagnose in children due to the small size of their primary teeth and mouths. It takes a trained eye and a dentist with genial manner to put their young patients at ease during the invasive oral exam.
  • Thumb sucking – Thumb sucking is a common habit for many children, starting as infants and often continuing through age four. While providing security and relaxation, it can also create the potential for tooth and gum damage when children continue thumb sucking beyond ages six or seven, which includes up to ten percent of American children.
  • Retained primary teeth – When a primary tooth does not fall out and the permanent tooth erupts in front of or behind it, this is known as an over-retained primary tooth. This can lead to future tooth alignment problems and can suggest potential problems with impacted teeth.
  • Wisdom teeth – Many teens have issues with emerging wisdom teeth. The teeth can be crowded and not erupt evenly and can be impacted, causing intense pain and infection. Pediatric dentists can often predict how wisdom teeth will emerge and can often take steps to prevent problems before they develop.
  • Gum disease - Children as young as toddlers can begin exhibiting the symptoms of gingivitis (gum disease). This is usually attributed to poor dental habits, including lack of regular brushing and flossing, falling asleep with bottles, drinking sugary juices, or by inadequately cleaning all teeth. Identifying gum disease early can help ensure it is treated and the patients’ gum health is maintained. It has been found that girls have a higher incidence of gum disease when they near puberty, due to hormones, which contribute to inflammation.

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