Children's Preventive Dental Care
Since every child is unique, it is important to have a custom preventative pediatric dental care plan in place to help protect your child from developing tooth problems in the future. This type of care can be especially important for children who are likely to experience more common dental problems such as cavities or tooth decay,to address other potential dental issues and reduce dental phobias. This approach in pediatric dentistry highlights preventative dental care for children emphasizing the importance of establishing good oral care habits early, even before the child transitions to solid food.
Oral surgery may be required to correct oral health issues, including severe decay or oral injury. Children are evaluated on a case-by-case basis with a surgery and recovery plan discussed with parents to ensure comprehensive oral care. This approach in pediatric dentistry is critical for addressing complex dental health needs.
In pediatric dentistry, dental checkups are crucial. During an exam, we will examine the teeth and gums, and review x-rays (if applicable) for optimal dental health. This process helps in identifying tooth decay and assessing the need for further oral care or treatment. We will also assess your child’s oral hygiene and provide recommendations aimed at making future dental checkups even better than the last.
We want your child to have the best smile around. We’ll do our part by providing them with helpful instructions on brushing and flossing during their dental visit, but the rest will come down to you helping them form healthy oral hygiene habits. In addition, information on healthy food choices and treatments like fluoride and dental sealants may be discussed.
Dental sealants may be recommended as an additional preventative measure that helps to protect the biting surfaces of the teeth. The tooth-colored material is applied into the grooves of the teeth acting as a barrier, protecting their teeth from plaque and acid. The earlier sealants are applied to erupted permanent molars, the better protection they can provide. A single application can last for a number of years and helps prevent later tooth decay.
A fluoride varnish application is an important element of tooth care for your child and something we include in dental checkups. It helps to protect teeth from decay and other damage, and can also help to prevent periodontal disease. Fluoride varnish is available in a variety of tasty flavors and is usually something every child looks forward to!
We will thoroughly examine your child’s gums and teeth to locate any areas of concern. Both a clinical exam and x-ray findings will be used to customize treatment recommendations according to your child’s needs. X-rays are an important tool in the early discovery of tooth decay, impacted teeth, and other sometimes hidden oral concerns. We use Panoramic X-rays to monitor and ensure the proper development of a child’s teeth which are perfectly safe and harmless to your child.
DIET AND SNACKS
Eating healthy and nutritious snacks is not only good for your overall health, but a few of them can help your teeth while you are eating them! Eating raw fruits like apples, pears, pineapple, and oranges are great examples of healthy fruits that are good for your teeth. Raw vegetables like broccoli, celery, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes are also really good for you and your teeth!
What’s wrong with sugary snacks, anyway?
Sugary snacks taste so good — but they aren’t so good for your teeth or your body. The candies, cakes, cookies, and other sugary foods that kids love to eat between meals can cause tooth decay. Some sugary foods have a lot of fat in them, too. Kids who consume sugary snacks eat many different kinds of sugar daily, including table sugar (sucrose) and corn sweeteners (fructose). Starchy snacks can also break down into sugars once they’re in your mouth.
In children, teeth should be cleaned as soon as they emerge. By starting early, your baby gets used to the daily routine. A soft washcloth wrapped around your finger can substitute for a brush when teeth first appear.
Here are some tips for taking care of your child’s teeth:
- Choose a small, child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush. Soaking the brush in warm water for a few minutes before brushing can soften the bristles even more.
- Both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend using an amount of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice as soon as your baby’s first tooth appears. You can graduate to a pea-sized amount when your child turns 3 years old.
- Brush your child’s teeth twice a day – in the morning and just before bed. Spend 2 minutes brushing, concentrating a good portion of this time on the back molars. This is an area where cavities often first develop. Take turns brushing with your child, as she may want to help.
- Replace the toothbrush every 3 or 4 months, or sooner if it shows signs of wear. Never share a toothbrush with others.
- Start flossing your child’s teeth once a day as soon as two teeth emerge that touch. The use of floss sticks or picks instead of regular string floss may be easier for both you and your child.