Last month Dr. Wesley Powell, top pediatric dentist in Atlanta, shared his advice for infant and toddler dental care. Now we’re moving on to the complex oral health needs for school age children, pre-teens, and teenagers. Dr. Powell is an expert with years of experience helping babies, children, and teens with their dental needs. Read on to learn more about the common dental issues that occur as kids grow up.
Children experience rapid dental progress throughout their school years. The first and most obvious change is that the baby teeth fall out and are replaced with permanent teeth. By the time your child reaches kindergarten or first grade, they should be able to brush and floss their own teeth. They usually still require assistance or supervision, but this is a good age to urge them towards a bit more independence in terms of oral health care. It’s very important to establish twice daily routines of brushing and flossing before the permanent teeth come in.
Children usually receive their first dental X-rays between the ages of five and eight, which allows Dr. Powell, Atlanta pediatric dentist, to evaluate their dental progression. X-rays will reveal cavities and tooth decay. If tooth decay is a concern, the dentist may opt to apply dental sealants over the baby or permanent teeth. Cavities are a big concern at this age, and some children may need to come in frequently to have cavities removed and fillings applied. Even the best brushing and flossing can’t always prevent every cavity, but Dr. Powell will be able to advise on the cause and treatments to stop more cavities from forming.
X-rays will also allow your childrens’ dentist in Atlanta to see if permanent teeth are emerging straight or crooked. Dr. Powell encourages parents to schedule their child’s first orthodontic evaluation at age seven, in accordance with the recommendations of the American Association of Orthodontists. Early evaluation can lead to early detection of any misaligned teeth, and early treatment can prevent or lessen the need for additional, more intensive treatments later on in life. Some pediatric dentists require that you see a separate orthodontist for braces, but Dr. Powell offers both services. Having one dentist monitor your child’s progression and handle all treatments ensures a comprehensive, informed plan for optimal oral and dental health.
The teenage years have their own unique set of dental needs. This is largely because appearance becomes more important in adolescence, making pre-teens and teens more aware of their teeth. Braces may be a necessary burden that they hate, or a requested procedure by a teen looking to improve their smile.
Athletic mouthguards may be needed at this stage, as well as repair or replacement of teeth damaged while playing sports. Some teens may wish to have teeth whitening treatments, but it is usually recommended that they stick to gentle at-home treatments. The last big dental care issue of the teenage years tends to be the emergence and removal of wisdom teeth. This tends to happen in the late teens or early twenties. Depending on how the teeth are coming in, how much room there is in the mouth, and the level of pain, Dr. Powell may recommend having some or all of the wisdom teeth removed. His office offers sedation dentistry to make the procedure as easy and painless as possible.
Dr. Powell, your pediatric dentist in Atlanta, is available to help with cavities, braces, or wisdom teeth removal. Contact the Northlake Mall location by calling 770-934-5900, or reach the Buckhead location at 404-252-5900.