Why Would a Child Need Pediatric Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry isn’t just for adults.
Did you know that cosmetic dentistry is an option for your child or teen?
Cosmetic dentistry is a category of dental care that focuses mostly on improving the look of a patient’s smile. It is is very popular for adults, but many parents aren’t aware of how it can also benefit their children.
Pediatric cosmetic dentistry can not only help your child or teen feel more confident in their smile but also help them improve or maintain their oral health.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry for Kids and How They Can Help
Most forms of cosmetic dentistry can apply to older kids and teens, but certain procedures may still be possible for children who still have their baby teeth.
Here are five of the more common types of pediatric cosmetic dentistry:
Tooth-colored fillings are a popular form of damage repair that hovers on the line between restorative and cosmetic care. These fillings look very natural and are even color-matched to your child’s surrounding teeth.
Better yet, tooth-colored fillings are just as strong as traditional silver (amalgam) fillings without the negative side-effects. Amalgam fillings can potentially expand and contract over time, leading to a fractured tooth, or cause sensitivity.
Tooth-colored fillings can be done in your child’s baby teeth or adult teeth.
Crowns are a step up from fillings and are a common choice for badly damaged teeth. Basically, when a tooth has severe damage that is too large for a filling, a dentist may be able to save the tooth by placing a crown.
Like tooth-colored fillings, tooth-colored crowns are a combination of restorative and cosmetic care. When it comes to saving a tooth from extraction, a crown would be considered restorative. However, a tooth-colored crown can also be considered cosmetic if used to cover a permanently discolored tooth your teen may have.
Teeth whitening is one of the most common forms of cosmetic dental care and an easy way to help your teen feel more confident.
Professional teeth whitening under the supervision of a pediatric dentist is much safer than allowing your teen to test out at-home whitening options. It’s important to note that teeth whitening can only be done on fully calcified adult teeth. The enamel layer on baby teeth or adult teeth that are less than two years old is too thin and sensitive for whitening to be a safe option.
If your teen has an important event coming up, such as a prom or their birthday, whitening their smile is a wonderful gift to help them look their best for photos.
Dental bonding is one way you can help give your older child or teen a smile makeover that isn’t permanent.
Bonding is a process in which a pediatric cosmetic dentist sculpts a special composite resin material over the front surface of your child’s teeth. The dentist can cover staining and fill in small gaps between teeth.
Dental bonding will wear off with time but is generally only recommended for teens with all of their adult teeth.
Dental veneers are the ultimate permanent smile makeover and a high-demand form of cosmetic dentistry for adults. Veneers for pediatric patients are fairly rare, but still a possibility for older teens.
Dental veneers are a permanent form of cosmetic dentistry. If you get veneers for your older teen they will have veneers for life. This is because the process of getting veneers involves the removal of a thin layer of enamel. For this reason, it’s important to carefully consider this option and ask the opinion of your teen’s dentist.
Veneers can help address a number of issues with smiles, from staining to crooked alignment or misshapen teeth. Due to their permanence, veneers are typically only an option for teens who are older than 14 years of age.
Are you interested in a different type of cosmetic dentistry for your child?
Cosmetic dentistry is very much done on an individual basis. If you or your older child or teen has a problem with their smile that doesn’t seem like it can be fixed with the above procedures, feel free to call Pediatric Dental Specialists for guidance.
Common Myths About Cosmetic Dentistry for Kids
There are just as many myths out there about pediatric cosmetic dentistry as standard cosmetic dentistry for adults.
Here are a few common misconceptions about cosmetic dentistry for kids:
Myth: Cosmetic dentistry for kids is purely a luxury expense.
Pediatric cosmetic dentistry is somewhat of a luxury, but it actually is quite functional as well. For example, tooth-colored fillings are far from a luxury when it means bringing strength and beauty back to your child’s teeth. Even something like teeth whitening can be viewed as functional if it means your teen feels a renewed interest in caring for their teeth.
Myth: Braces are the only way to straighten crooked teeth.
Braces are a rite of passage for many kids, but they aren’t the only option for straightening the appearance of crooked teeth. Teens, with support from their parents, may opt for veneers instead of braces to recreate a straighter smile without going through the process of braces.
Myth: Cosmetic care doesn’t matter for baby teeth.
Baby teeth may not be permanent, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. In fact, the healthier your child’s baby teeth are, the healthier their adult teeth will be. Certain cosmetic procedures, like tooth-colored fillings, can repair the decay damage in your child’s baby teeth. Pulling a decayed baby tooth can lead to adult teeth erupting crooked or tilted so opting for a filling to save a baby tooth is a great idea.
Myth: It’s better to wait until adulthood for cosmetic dentistry.
If you think back to when you were a teen in high school you can recall how appearance really plays a big role in your confidence during those years. Older teens who are in high school will soon be looking for part-time jobs and thinking about college. Having a brighter smile with the help of professional whitening, bonding, or veneers can give them a boost in confidence and improve their chances of success in life.
Help your child’s smile shine bright with pediatric dental specialists.
If pediatric cosmetic dentistry sounds like something that would benefit your child or teen, the next step is to set up a consultation appointment at Pediatric Dental Specialists.
During your consultation appointment, one of our dentists will examine your child’s current level of oral health. We will discuss with both of you what cosmetic changes you’re considering. From there you can work together to figure out what cosmetic options are a possibility and whether or not your child might need preventive or restorative care first.
When you’re ready to schedule your child’s appointment you can either give your nearest Pediatric Dental Specialists’ office a call or use our online appointment request form.