Preventive dentistry involves a variety of services and treatments designed to ensure long-term oral health. This is especially important for children who are still learning how to maintain their own oral hygiene. Preventive dentistry helps children keep their teeth clean and allows a dental professional to monitor dental development. At Sierra Kids Dentistry, we have a great understanding of preventive dentistry and can provide all of the services your child needs.
The Importance of Preventive Dentistry
The purpose of preventive dentistry is to maintain good oral health so that no further treatment is ever needed. Oral health issues, such as cavities, can be painful to deal with, but they can also lead to several other health problems as well. For instance, infection in the teeth and mouth can spread to other parts of the body causing disease and complications with various organs. Preventive dentistry works to keep your child’s mouth free of bacteria, injury, and disease so that these other health issues do not occur.
During your first appointment, our doctors can show you the proper brushing technique for your infant or toddler. As the child grows older, we will show them the proper technique as well. Our goal is to make education fun and enjoyable, which helps your child establish better oral hygiene habits.
Flossing is equally as important as brushing, yet many children still struggle to do it every day. Flossing is an effective way to remove food debris and bacteria from in between the teeth. It is also the best way to prevent gum disease.
Preventive dentistry may also include other services as well, depending on the specific needs of your child. Some common preventive dentistry services include dental sealants, fluoride treatment, and mouthguards. Mouthguards can be used for a variety of reasons, such as to prevent overnight teeth grinding or as protective gear while playing sports.
Fluoride treatment is a routine part of pediatric dentistry. Despite popular misconceptions, fluoride can be immensely beneficial to your child's oral health. This naturally-occurring mineral can strengthen enamel and even reverse minor instances of decay. Our doctors will assess the need for fluoride treatment during your child's initial appointment.
There are several types of fluoride treatment including gel, foam, in-office rinse, varnish, and supplements. There is fluoride in drinking water, but this may not always be enough to protect your child’s teeth. Fluoride helps to remineralize the teeth and make them stronger.
The main part of preventive dentistry is routine cleanings and exams. These appointments are recommended every six months. During these appointments, our dentist will examine your child’s mouth for signs of disease or injury as well as to monitor their dental development. These exams will include dental x-rays in older children, which allow our dentist to determine if there are any issues in development. Our dentist will also check your child’s bite to ensure that their teeth are aligned properly.
Cleanings during these appointments typically include scaling, which is where our dental professionals will scrape plaque and other debris from the teeth. After this, they will also brush and floss the teeth to ensure that all of the debris has been removed.
In addition to professional dental care, preventive dentistry also includes at-home tasks as well. Your child should brush their teeth twice daily with a fluoride-based toothpaste for two minutes each time. They should also floss at least once daily.
Though children love sweets, it is also a great idea to limit the amount of sugars they consume. Sugar causes a lot of tooth decay among children, leading to the need for dental extraction, fillings, and other more invasive treatments. Some informal nutritional counseling may also be included in your routine dental appointments. To schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentist, contact Sierra Kids Dentistry at (775) 473-1247 today.