At Westpark Pediatric Dentistry, we place an emphasis on prevention because we know kiddos would prefer not to spend more time at the dentist’s office—even if it is fun and comfortable! There may be times your child’s smile needs help, though, and we’re here in those times.
For a lot of us, reaching adulthood was a journey in which many lessons were learned the hard way, like not to chew ice, popcorn kernels, or fingernails. These seem like small, inconsequential details when we think of the myriad other lessons learned, but most children have less experience.
Those little no-nos are a couple examples of what can damage tooth enamel and cause chipping—playing sports without wearing a mouthguard is an even riskier one. Should your child use their teeth in place of scissors or anything else that can cause rough edges, bonding can smooth them!
While amalgam (or silver) fillings are still a fixture in dental offices around the world, your Westpark Pediatric Dentistry team prefers to place safe and aesthetic BPA-free composite fillings. The same strong and discreet material we use for bonding can fill cavities and restore a tooth’s form and function.
We aim for cavity prevention, of course, but we know the process of enamel erosion can happen quickly and despite your child’s best efforts. To keep enamel strong, we suggest water as a main beverage and minimizing sugar in snacks and meals, and diligent oral hygiene routines.
The visible portions of your teeth are called crowns, whether we’re talking about incisors, canines, or molars. They allow you to chew food, along with your jawbones, which require healthy tooth roots, and those are protected by your gums—mouths are an intricate part of your digestive system!
In an ideal world, your child’s crowns function without issue, allowing your child to keep their baby teeth until they’re naturally pushed out by their adult set, and maintaining that adult set for their lifetime. However, reality is far from ideal, and decay can sometimes cause damage fillings can’t repair.
Being advocates for prevention means extractions aren’t a treatment plan we like to recommend, but we do advise them when it’s the best way to improve your child’s oral health. Circumstances such as physical injury to the tooth, infection that a root canal can’t remove, or impaction may require extraction.
The good news is that if extraction is in their best interests, the procedure will be customized according to their needs. It can take place from the comfort of our familiar practice or Texas Children’s Hospital. We can also provide safe sedation to keep them calm and free from sensation.
Root canals, like extractions, are a procedure with an undeserved negative reputation. It’s true that people would like to avoid both, and we’re here to help your child do just that, but if these treatments are called for, they’re to remove pain and infection and restore oral health.
Many pediatric and general dentists refer patients to specialists called endodontists when a root canal is advised, but Dr. Mali has undergone the training necessary to perform pulp therapy from the comfort of either Westpark Pediatric Dentistry or Texas Children’s Hospital. Sedation options are available as well.