Infected Baby Teeth
If your child has an infected baby tooth, scheduling a root canal treatment with a dentist can be scary and overwhelming. You may wonder what the best course of action is, and you probably have a million questions about the procedure.
We are here to answer all of your questions. We understand how challenging it can be to have to bring your loved ones in for care, particularly when you already have a busy schedule. That is why we take pride in offering high-quality care effectively and efficiently. Your child is safe with us.
While this process can often produce dental anxiety in parents, we want to remind you that it’s best for your child if you stay calm before, during, and after the procedure. Although we understand that this is not easy for you or your child, we want to remind you that we take the utmost care when administering every step of the procedure. Furthermore, your child will likely feel much more relaxed if they observe you in a calm, centred state. Unfortunately, your little one may become increasingly anxious if you appear to be highly concerned. Read this article on how to reduce dental anxiety in children.
You may want to do a short meditation before you arrive or practice breathing deeply if you are pressed for time. Appearing confident is half the battle, and your child will certainly appreciate this.
What is a Root Canal?
Tooth decay is a significant issue, whether you’re an adult or a child. It needs to be treated immediately to prevent serious health complications.
Unfortunately, a root canal is required if the infection has affected the pulp of the tooth. During this procedure, the affected area is removed, and the tooth is then treated to prevent further damage.
Many dental issues are temporary, coming and going based on the food the child consumes. Unfortunately, the truth is that pain from an infection often persists for long periods and may worsen. For this reason, it is essential to see a dentist immediately.
Why is Root Canal Treatment Needed?
We perform root canals to preserve the remaining structure of the primary tooth and keep the gum tissue and bones supporting it safe for a long time to come. This procedure simultaneously prevents infections and ensures that the developing permanent teeth remain healthy.
Would it be Preferable to Extract the Baby Tooth?
Many parents believe that simply removing the infected tooth is a much easier solution. Unfortunately, this is not the case: Most dentists will remain adamant about preserving baby teeth at all costs because they protect your child’s permanent denticles. In case you were curious, removing a baby tooth early could result in the following issues:
- Poor alignment of permanent teeth
- Negatively impacted speech development
- Chewing problems
At first, glance, removing the baby tooth may appear to be a simple solution. In reality, it is anything but that. Your child will be much better off if you opt for a root canal instead. Impaired speech development is a significant issue, and your child would likely be quite uncomfortable having to cope with poorly aligned teeth and experiencing trouble chewing. In the long run, a root canal is the best option in this scenario.
What Happens During a Child's Root Canal?
You may be wondering what exactly occurs during this paediatric procedure. Here’s how it works:
- The tooth is isolated using a rubber dam.
- We may use sedatives or happy gas so that your child feels less pain.
- The dentist uses a drill to make a tiny hole in the tooth and access the infected pulp. The entire affected area is removed, and the dental chambers are then disinfected. (This prevents debris from falling into the mouth and getting swallowed during the treatment).
- Once the area is immaculate, cement is used to fill the now-empty canals due to the procedure.
- The tooth is sealed with a crown, usually reinforced with stainless steel. (This addresses decay and protects the remaining healthy area of the tooth).
If you have any further questions, please ask your Brisbane kids dentist. We recommend doing a bit of research to familiarize yourself with the procedure before the appointment takes place.
When dental treatment for very young children is not possible in a dental chair, your dentist may recommend dental treatment under general anaesthesia in a hospital to avoid traumatising the child.
Is Follow-up Care or Treatment Needed?
You will be happy to know that your child will likely experience less pain after completing the procedure. Infection is highly uncomfortable, while a root canal prevents the pain in the long run. Nonetheless, your child may experience some discomfort after their appointment. If they do, you’ll want to give them over-the-counter medications for kids for one or two days after the appointment.
Your dentist will know more specifics about which medications are appropriate, so please ask them about this if you are concerned about the intensity of your child’s discomfort. In some instances, they may want to schedule a follow-up appointment with you and your child.
Preventative Measures to Take
Going to the dentist can sometimes be a child’s most dreaded activity, mainly if their oral hygiene is less than ideal. As a parent, there are a few actions you can take to ensure that your child’s teeth are healthy and pearly white. The following habits will serve your kids well for years to come:
- Please encourage them to floss at least once per day
- Remind them to brush their teeth at least twice per day
- Invest in an electric toothbrush, preferably with a timer on it
Constantly reminding your children to perform the above actions will do wonders for their oral health, preventing many issues. Of course, some dental problems are often unavoidable: They may accidentally get their teeth knocked out on the football field, for instance, but it’s essential to control what they can when it comes to self-care.
If you want to invest in anything else, we recommend a high-quality mouthwash, particularly if your kids are suffering from the early stages of gum disease.
A Note About Fluoride
Many toothpaste brands do not contain any fluoride. There is a heated debate about whether fluoride is good or bad because some claim that we are already exposed to it in our food and water, and they don’t want to use too much of it in their self-care products. While this conclusion is understandable, particularly with all the marketing surrounding natural, fluoride-free toothpaste brands, the reality is that fluoride toothpaste is far less effective. The truth is that we aren’t usually overexposed to this substance, and it’s far more helpful to use products containing fluoride.
Dentists will remind you that fluoride prevents cavities, and the amount of it contained in toothpaste is 100% safe and effective for you and your family to use. There are plenty of natural, organic tubes of toothpaste containing fluoride if that is your preference, but it’s in your best interest not to opt for fluoride-free products.
What Type of Floss is Ideal?
Lately, quite a few people have opted for floss picks. While these are slightly better than nothing, they’re not ideal to use: These picks don’t get around each tooth as thoroughly and are not nearly as effective as string floss. You will want to opt for that in the future, especially if your child has gum disease.
Is Mouthwash Actually Necessary?
The short answer is that mouthwash is not 100% necessary. If a person brushes their teeth twice and flosses once daily, they should be just fine. However, adding a mouthwash to your child’s self-care routine depending on their age will helpful. Doing so may reduce the amount of dental plaque that forms on your denticles. It’s ideal to use mouthwash once per day.
Why is it Ideal to Use an Electric Toothbrush?
You may be wondering why it’s best to opt for an electric toothbrush. Studies indicate that they are far more effective than their manual counterparts: Most people have trouble mastering the circular motion needed to brush their teeth and gums effectively. Electric toothbrushes lead to healthier gums, less tooth decay, and longer-lasting teeth. Encouraging your children to practice preventative self-care is an excellent way to improve their oral hygiene habits. There may be unavoidable occurrences that take place, but the vast majority of the time, your kids will be happy and healthy, proudly exhibiting their pearly whites for all to see.
Taking your child to the dentist can certainly be terrifying. Your kid may have heard one too many horror stories about our profession, but we assure you that we take pride in our job and dedicate ourselves to providing you and your loved ones with the very best care.
If your child is suffering from an infected baby tooth, it’s best not to wait. You don’t want the infection to worsen and cause your loved one even more pain in the future.
We are here to help you in every way possible.