Hillside Dental is staffed with caring professionals capable of handling the dental needs of every member of your family. Dr. Lim and our dental assistants know how to work with children in a way that makes dental visits fun and productive.
As soon as teeth begin erupting, they need to be adequately cared for. Even babies are susceptible to cavities, with bottle caries being a problem dentists regularly treat. The damage to teeth from bottle caries can be mild to extensive, even affecting the underlying bone structure and permanent teeth. We work quickly to address decay in primary teeth and educate parents on how to care for their baby's teeth.
Bottle caries develops from prolonged exposure to liquids containing sugar. This includes milk, formula, fruit juice, and pop. The best practice for avoiding damage to a baby's teeth is to give a bottle before bed, rather than leaving the baby with a bottle to fall asleep. After feeding, teeth can be gently cleaned with a soft cloth, washing away sugar residue.
Our young patients are carefully examined for the dental issues that may affect them, including cavities, bottle caries, calcium deposits, overcrowding of teeth, and TMJ. We conduct thorough evaluations that may include x-rays when needed and provide fluoride treatments along with gentle, fun cleanings. Children are also shown how to care for their teeth at home so that instances of cavities can be decreased.
Dental sealants are also a service we provide for patients of all ages. Sealants are especially beneficial to those who seem prone to the development of cavities. The application of this liquid will result in a strong barrier that prevents bacteria from collecting in the crevices on the chewing surface of teeth, thereby protecting teeth from cavity development.
We monitor the stages of tooth development in our young patients, as well. Between the ages of six to twelve, primary teeth are falling out, and permanent teeth growing in. By early adulthood, all permanent teeth should be in place. During this time of tooth loss and growth, we work with patients to find suitable forms of orthodontic treatment, if necessary.
In some instances, spacers may be used to maintain an open spot when a tooth has been lost prematurely. The use of a spacer is important, as it preserves the existing positioning of primary teeth. Without this form of treatment, surrounding teeth may begin to shift, creating misalignment.
Palatal expanders may also be used as an early dental treatment. Children who develop a narrow upper palate may be prone to misalignment and overcrowding. A palatal expander is strategically placed and worn at all times. This appliance works to widen a narrow upper arch gently and painlessly, so permanent teeth have the room they need to grow properly. Many young patients who are fitted with a palatal expander find they are able to avoid orthodontic treatment later in life.
Teeth that have been cracked or chipped can be quickly repaired with dental bonding. This composite material is placed directly onto a damaged tooth, and expertly colored and shaped by Dr. Lim for a natural look.