Preventative Care from a Pediatric Dentist

January 31, 2017
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When you bring your children to our pediatric dentist office, we will examine their teeth and focus on preventing oral health problems. We understand the importance of children having clean teeth and have several methods for preventing oral health problems.

#1. Cleaning a child's teeth

Even when parents help a child to brush twice a day and floss once a day, there is a good chance plaque will still be on the child's teeth. While the amount of plaque will be greatly reduced, it is difficult to reach all areas of a child's mouth. For example, the back molars may have some plaque that needs removal. Regardless of where we find the plaque, we need to remove it right away to greatly reduce the chance of developing cavities. We recommend bringing the child in for professional teeth cleanings at least twice per year.

#2. Looking for soft spots

Soft spots are the initial sign of decay forming in the teeth. If we are cleaning and examining a child twice per year, then we can identify soft spots before major cavities form. Early detection is in your child's best interest since it allows us to prevent a toothache or discomfort. Plus, by treating the area immediately, we can do so quickly and without the need for invasive procedures.

#3. Applying fluoride

As a pediatric dentist, we recommend using fluoride as a way to strengthen child's teeth. There is a limited amount of enamel on the outside of the teeth. By eating, drinking and brushing teeth, the enamel will begin to wear away. This weakens the teeth and makes them more susceptible to decay. By applying fluoride, a mineral, we can strengthen the teeth so that they are better prepared to fight acid attacks. Applying fluoride reduces the likelihood that cavities will form.

#4. Recommending a mouth guard

If your child plays sports of any kind, we will recommend that he os she wears a mouth guard. A mouth guard surrounds the teeth so that if a flying elbow or runaway ball collides with the face, the teeth will not be knocked out or broken. Wearing one can prevent an unnecessary injury and the high cost of restoring damaged teeth.

#5. Letting you know if your child needs braces

When we examine a child's teeth, we will check for signs of overcrowding or excessive wear on certain teeth. These signs can be indicators that a child will need orthodontics treatments in the future. Even as young as seven, a child can visit an orthodontist for early intervention and treatments. An early treatment option before braces is known as spacers, which can help create more room in the mouth. If it appears that a child needs to visit the orthodontist, we will help make the necessary referral.

#6. Applying dental sealant

If a child has deep ridges on the chewing surfaces of his or her teeth, it can be difficult to clean those areas at home. The deep ridges can trap food and plaque, which will likely develop cavities. If we identify the deep ridges early, we can brush dental sealant on the surfaces of the teeth to create a barrier. This way, when a child eats food, it will touch the sealant but not the actual tooth, further reducing the risk of cavities.

To arrange for preventative care for your child, call our pediatric dentist office and schedule an appointment.