Preventative Dental Care
What is Preventative Dental Care for Kids?
Preventive dentistry is dental care that helps maintain good oral health. It’s a combination of regular dental check-ups along with developing good habits like brushing and flossing. Taking care of your teeth starts early in childhood and extends throughout the course of your life.
What is a Children's Dental Cleaning (Prophylaxis)?
A dental cleaning is the removal of plaque, tartar, and staining to prevent gum disease and decay on the teeth. Sometimes your child will need a cleaning more often than every six months, but your family and Dr. Dina can come up with a customized plan to help your child's specific needs.
We always use the best materials for our patients. The prophy pastes we use are nut-free, dye-free, and gluten-free, and they come in fun flavors for our patients to choose from.
Fluoride Varnish Treatment
Fluoride varnish treatment is an important way to prevent decay. A tooth-colored fluoride gel that adheres to the teeth is applied to your child’s teeth, and it helps remineralize tooth structure and prevent tooth decay.
The fluoride varnishes we use at the office come in unique flavors, and they are also nut-free, dye-free, and gluten-free.
Low Radiation Digital X-Rays
In our office, you and your children can feel confident in our latest dental technology and treatment options. Our low-radiation panoramic and digital imaging equipment is the safest and most comprehensive platform on the market.
Digital radiographs are a valuable diagnostic tool to gather more information to ensure the oral health of your child. Beyond visual inspection for decay, dental x-rays can detect pathology, extra or missing teeth, and more. It can help create a comprehensive treatment plan for your child. Your child will be protected by utilizing the latest technology that reduces radiation exposure significantly while providing state-of-the-art quality images instantly.
There is minimal radiation exposure with dental x-rays. In fact, we are exposed to more natural background radiation from air, wind, water, the ground, and other environmental factors every year than the exposure from dental x-rays. For any concerns or questions about x-rays, please speak openly to Dr. Dina and our staff.
Sealants are one of the most effective means of preventing tooth decay from susceptible grooves on the teeth. Dr. Dina explains it as the equivalent to saving a piece of cake–you don’t leave it on your kitchen counter for bugs to crawl into; instead, you cover it with a lid! A sealant is like protecting the grooves of your teeth with a tooth-colored lid.
Our office always utilizes top-quality materials that provide the best protection and are BPA-free. At your child’s check-up, Dr. Dina will always examine the status of your child’s sealants to ensure they are still intact and in good condition in order to help prevent cavities.
Benefits of Preventative Dental Care for Kids
You have heard the saying "prevention is better than cure"; this statement also holds regarding your child's oral health. What does the word prevention mean when it comes to oral care, and why is it so important? Prevention is the action one takes to decrease the chance of getting a disease or condition.
Cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases in children in the United States. Studies show that more than half of children between the ages of 6 and 8 have had a cavity in at least one of their baby teeth which is why we should tackle this problem head-on. The good news is that cavities are preventable.
Importance of Keeping Baby Teeth Cavity Free
Cavities grow faster in baby teeth than in permanent (grown-up teeth). If your child's cavity is left untreated, it reaches the tooth's nerve. Tooth decay in the tooth's nerve leads to pain and infection in the child's teeth. Tooth pain will cause your child to miss school, and have problems eating, sleeping, playing, concentrating, and learning. If your child has poor oral health, they are more likely to miss school and have lower grades. Tooth pain will diminish your child's quality of life, and some tooth infections can be life-threatening.
Baby teeth guide permanent teeth on were to come in. Losing baby teeth early due to tooth decay leads to lost space due to teeth shifting and blocking out permanent teeth. Tooth shifting causes crowding making teeth more difficult to clean. Inadequately cleaning teeth leads to gum disease and more cavities as the child grows into adulthood.
Types of Preventative Treatments for your Child
90% of tooth decay starts on the chewing surfaces of teeth because food particles and bacteria get stuck in the grooves. Even with proper brushing and flossing of teeth, the toothbrush bristle is too big and cannot penetrate deep inside these grooves. A dental sealant is plastic material placed over the grooves of the chewing teeth to fill them up and provides a smooth surface that is easier to keep clean.
Research shows Fluoride treatments reduce over 40% of dental cavities because fluoride binds with the tooth making your child's tooth more resistant to cavities.
Dental cleanings reduce oral bacteria, break down plaque and build-up on the teeth, and reduce the chance of your child getting cavities.
Straight teeth are easier to clean and function together correctly, leading to fewer dental complications such as cavities, wearing teeth, chipping, and breaking teeth. If there is not enough room for teeth, interceptive treatment can begin (e.g., expanding the top jaw). When teeth have enough space, they come in correctly. Instead of waiting for the problem to manifest, we can prevent it from happening.
If your child loses a baby tooth too early, the dentist will make an appliance to prevent the teeth from shifting. This appliance holds the space open until the permanent tooth is ready to come in.
Diet can make your child's teeth more susceptible to cavities. Snacking constantly between meals leads to the constant breakdown of teeth with no rebuilding; this leads to tooth cavities. Remember, it takes 2 hours for tooth pH to return to normal after eating or drinking. If your child has a high risk of developing cavities, your dentist will talk to you about certain foods and drinks, how they affect their teeth and give tips on protecting them.
Benefits of Preventative Treatment
Preventative dental procedures are quick, painless, and more predictable.
Preventative dentistry is cheaper both in the long and short term.
Introducing the child to dentistry early on gets them used to the dentist and helps alleviate dental phobia in the future.
Once kids get healthy tooth habits when they are young, those habits stay on until adulthood.
Preventative dentistry reduces dental emergencies. It is always better to take care of a tooth before it starts to hurt because teeth do not consider whether it is the weekend, you are on vacation or Thanksgiving.