Pediatric Dentistry Irvine, CA
Dr. Ursula Levine, DDS | Levine Dentistry, Inc.
Pediatric dentistry involves teaching and reinforcing oral health from a young age, creating good habits that can last a lifetime. Working with children requires a sensitive and gentle touch, as well as compassion and patience. It also requires educating parents and caregivers to ensure the best possible oral health for their children.
Dr. Ursula Levine understands the significance of her responsibilities in working with young patients. She is committed to making pediatric dental care fun and rewarding, so that her patients will learn to enjoy rather than fear dental visits.
A Child’s First Dental Visit
The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry encourages parents to schedule their child’s first dental exam when their first tooth appears, or no later than their first birthday. The primary goal of the first visit is to establish a good relationship, helping the patient feel comfortable with the dentist. An exam and cleaning will take place as tolerated by the child, along with education of parents regarding nutrition and oral hygiene to help their child develop positive oral health habits.
After the first dental visit, routine check-ups are recommended every six months. These will include examinations, cleaning and polishing of the teeth, along with fluoride treatments, sealants, and X-rays as needed. Each of these visits reinforces oral health and teaches the child, in an age-appropriate manner, how to take care of their teeth and gums.
Sealants are clear plastic coatings that are used to fill the deep grooves in chewing surfaces of the teeth. They protect the teeth from food particles that can otherwise become trapped and lead to cavities. The placement of sealants is quick and painless. The material is painted into the grooves of the teeth and cured with a special light to harden it. Sealants can protect the teeth for an extended period of time, though they do need to be replaced periodically.
Another important way to prevent tooth decay in children is through fluoride applications. This mineral is naturally occurring in some water sources and added to others, and is also added to certain foods and dental products (such as toothpaste). Fluoride strengthens enamel, which helps to avoid cavities. Many studies have shown that children’s dental health benefits from fluoride.
Children who are active in sports (especially contact sports like football, hockey or martial arts) should be fitted for a protective mouth guard. These appliances protect the teeth from sudden impact, which can fracture or knock out a tooth. Custom mouth guards offer an enhanced fit and comfort level that is greater than that of “boil and bite” guards found at sporting goods stores.
Nitrous oxide can be used to relax anxious or nervous children while they are undergoing necessary dental treatment, such as a filling. The mild gas is inhaled through a small mask placed over the child’s nose. It relaxes them without putting them to sleep, and they are able to answer all verbal cues. This is a safe and effective technique that wears off quickly.
Learn More about Pediatric Dentistry in Irvine, CA
Your child’s current and future oral health depends on proper care and habit formation in childhood. If you would like to discuss your child’s dentistry needs with Dr. Levine, please call 949-727-9600 or email our practice and request an appointment.