Indianapolis Office:
(317) 271-6060
West Lafayette Office:
(765) 463-5437

Preventive Care

We want your child to have the best smile around. We’ll do our part by providing them with helpful instruction on brushing and flossing. In addition, information on healthy food choices and treatments like fluoride and dental sealants may be discussed.


Your child's cleaning may include scaling, polishing, and a fluoride application. Scaling helps to remove plaque and calculus that forms in areas missed during daily brushing while the fluoride treatment helps prevent future tooth decay. Whether or not your child may need all three, a cleaning which includes polishing will always be included after every exam.


Sealants may be recommended as an additional preventative measure which 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 future decay.


Resin (white) Crowns If your child had large decay or a fracture on a front tooth, we may recommend a resin crown to cover the entire tooth structure. Resin is a moldable material and is available in many shades allowing us to custom match the natural tooth color. While resin crowns are aesthetically pleasing, they do have the tendency to stain and discolor and can fracture or break over time. For this reason, they are recommended only for front teeth and special care is recommended to prolong the longevity of the filling. Stainless Steel (silver) Crowns A stainless steel crown is a prefabricated SILVER crown that covers the entire visible portion of the tooth. Stainless steel crowns (silver caps) are incredibly durable and the favored choice for restoring back teeth when a large portion of the tooth is lost due to extensive decay or a fracture. These crowns are durable enough to sustain normal biting forces and are usually well hidden as they are located in the back of the mouth.


Resin (white) and Amalgam (silver) Fillings If your child has a cavity, we may recommend either a white or a silver filling. Our decision will largely based on where the tooth is located and/or how large the cavity is. Resin fillings are typically the material of choice unless the decay is too large and a stronger material (such as amalgam) is needed to withstand biting forces. We value your opinion in the selection of filling material and encourage parents to discuss the options with us. Our treatment philosophy is to work together to determine the best option to fit your child’s specific needs.


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.


Surgery may be required to correct oral health issues or to address high levels of decay. Children are evaluated on a case-by-case basis with a surgery and recovery plan discussed upfront and in detail with parents.


During an exam, we will examine the teeth and gums, and review x-rays (if applicable) to check for proper development, help identify tooth decay, and determine if additional treatment is required. We will also assess your child's oral hygiene and provide recommendations aimed at making future visits even better than the last.


If a tooth has an abscess, certain traumatic injuries, or too much decay, an extraction may be recommended. In some cases we may recommend the extraction of a permanent tooth prior to orthodontic treatment. We perform both baby tooth extractions and simple extractions of permanent teeth if needed.


What are healthy snacks!

Eating healthy and nutritious snacks are not only good for your overall health, but a few of of them can actually 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 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 surgary foods have a lot of fat in them, too. Kids who consume sugary snacks eat many different kinds of sugar every day, including table sugar (sucrose) and corn sweeteners (fructose). Starchy snacks can also break down into sugars once they're in your mouth.

How do sugars attack your teeth?

Invisible germs called bacteria live in your mouth all the time. Some of these bacteria form a sticky material called plaque on the surface of the teeth. When you put sugar in your mouth, the bacteria in the plaque gobble up the sweet stuff and turn it into acids. These acids are powerful enough to dissolve the hard enamel that covers your teeth. That's how cavities get started. If you don't eat much sugar, the bacteria can't produce as much of the acid that eats away enamel.


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.



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