Dentists have been repairing decayed teeth for generations. Although the ADA confirms that both silver-colored (amalgam) and white fillings (composite resins) are safe and affordable, more patients opt for the latter to improve their smile. At Little Smiles of Port Washington – A Dental365 Company, white fillings are used. With a good color match, it is nearly impossible to see that the tooth has been restored. These fillings bond directly to the tooth. They are strong, resistant to wear and hold up for several years or longer.
If your child is faced with chipped, cracked, misshapen, stained or large gaps between teeth, our doctors may recommend a cosmetic dental bonding procedure. Dental bonding is a special bonded, esthetic filling that helps restore and reshape your child’s tooth to improve both the appearance and function of your child’s smile. Dental bonding material made of a composite resin that is bonded to an existing tooth and the procedure is quick, making it a quick and ideal way to enhance a child’s smile.
Pulp Therapy for Baby Teeth
In some cases, a child may have a cavity that involves the nerves within their tooth. We are experienced in Indirect Pulp Therapy (root canal prevention) and Pulpotomies (ie. baby root canal) that will help restore your child’s tooth until the permanent tooth comes in.
Primary or baby teeth are very important, as they act as a space holder for Secondary or Adult teeth. If a baby tooth needs to be extracted earlier than it is supposed to fall out on its own, there may be future issues with lost space. This is why it is important to have an experienced pediatric dentist evaluate your child for Space Maintainers. Depending on the location of the lost tooth and a variety of other factors, our dentists can recommend treatment plans that are right for your child.
Crowns for Baby Teeth
If your child’s tooth has been severely decayed, damaged or cracked, a crown may be necessary. The decay will be removed from the affected tooth and your child’s tooth will be fitted for the appropriate sized and shaped crown. Depending on the location of the crown, the dentist will discuss whether or not your child should opt for a stainless steel or tooth-colored, porcelain crown. Crowns for baby molars are typically made of stainless steel, as they are the most durable option and protects your child’s tooth until it is ready to fall out.
Sealants are thin, protective coatings applied to grooves and pitted surfaces in the back teeth (molars and premolars), where 80% of cavities in children are found. Even when your child is a diligent brusher and flosser, these areas are difficult to clean on certain teeth. When bacteria builds up in these areas, they become more prone to tooth decay. Dental sealants act as a barrier to food, plaque and acid, which protect the areas of the teeth that are most prone to decay. Sealants can last for many years when properly cared for. Our team will discuss if sealants are recommended for your child and check them during routine visits to determine if re-application or repair are necessary.
For older children (once patients have all adult teeth), we offer both in-office whitening and professional take-home whitening trays. Discuss your goals with our doctors and together, you can determine the right option for your child.
Our staff at Little Smiles of Port Washington – A Dental365 Company will do everything possible during their patient’s visit to make them as comfortable as possible. In some cases, however, children may have more severe dental anxiety or a strong gag-reflex. Our office provides nitrous oxide (laughing gas) that can be administered during any appointment in our office to help ease your child during their visit. With nitrous oxide, your child will remain conscious throughout the entire treatment. After any dental procedures, oxygen will be administered to flush out any remaining gas. Effects of nitrous oxide wear off almost immediately and children can return to normal activities following treatment.
Stay rest-assured that in the event of a dental emergency, even after hours, our team is available for you and your child. If your child or teen has a permanent (adult) tooth that falls out, hold the tooth by the crown and if possible, put it back in the socket. If this is not possible, keep the tooth in milk and NOT water. Dr. Lynda is experienced in treating tooth fractures, teeth that have been knocked out, or misplaced. Your child is in the best hands!
According to the American Dental Association, athletes who do not wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth. Yet, in a survey commissioned by the American Academy of Orthodontics, 67% of parents admitted that their children do not wear a mouthguard during organized sports. Should your child ever have a sports-related injury to the mouth, a properly fitted mouthguard can prevent many accidents and trauma. Little Smiles of Port Washington – A Dental365 Company is happy to discuss the benefits and fabricate a custom-fitted mouthguard for your child.
Dental abscesses can occur when the nerve (dental pulp) becomes infected. These infections typically occur when a cavity is untreated and bacteria spreads deep into the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess can progress to a serious, life-threatening bacterial infection throughout the body. If your child has pain at night, including facial swelling or a pimple on their gums, contact the office immediately.
What is a tongue-tie?
Tongue-ties are an unusual band of tissue that tethers the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth that restricts the tongue’s range of motion. Some problems that may occur with uncorrected tongue-tie:
- Inability to open mouth widely, leading to speech or eating habit issues
- Clicking or pain in jaw joints
- Protrusion (sticking forward) of lower jaws
- Effects on social situations
- Dental health issues such as inflamed gums, increased need for periodontal surgery
What is a lip-tie?
Lip-ties occur when the upper lip remains attached to the upper gum. Uncorrected lip-ties may lead to:
- Issues with spacing between maxillary central incisors (large gap called diastema can form)
- Difficulties brushing and flossing
- Increased risk of dental decay
- Repeated trauma to the maxillary frenum
- Inability to adequately protrude lip forward and upward properly
Newborns and infants with tongue and/or lip ties may have significant problems breastfeeding—and as a result, your child may experience a failure to thrive. These infants may lose weight, get sleepy during feedings, become gassy and irritable, and experience blisters on the lips. Infants with tongue/lip ties tend to feed more frequently due to inefficient feedings, which results in less intake of milk.
Mothers who try to breastfeed their infant with these issues may suffer tremendously while attempting to feed their child. In addition to severe discomfort while breastfeeding, risks of breast infection can increase and milk supply can be greatly reduced due to an inefficient latch.
Toddlers and older children with tongue or lip-tie may have speech and social issues.
At Little Smiles of Port Washington – Dr. Alec Ganci is experienced in releasing tongue-ties and lip-ties using Laser Frenectomy. During this procedure, your child will wear protective eye gear and tongue-tie or lip-tie will be released using a soft-tissue laser with minimal discomfort. There is almost no bleeding and the laser sterilizes at touch, leaving less risk for an infection. If your child receiving the frenectomy is an infant and nursing, almost immediately following the procedure, mothers are welcome – and encouraged - to breastfeed their infant. Some mothers may experience immediate relief during the first feeding after a laser frenectomy; however, do not be alarmed if latching is difficult at first.
After the procedure, Dr. Ganci will send parents home with resources for post-operative care, including wound-management and stretching exercises to help ensure the tongue-tie or lip-tie does not reattach.
Note: Prior to any tongue/lip tie release, thorough evaluations and consults will be completed by other medical providers, such as a pediatrician, lactation consultant, speech pathologist, or an ENT.