We make it a priority to get our young patients on the path to excellent oral hygiene. We ensure our patients know the best brushing and flossing techniques and the importance of regular check-ups. We believe that early education sets up children and adolescents for a lifetime of great dental health!
The First Visit
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who are risk of early cavities should have their first dental visit by their first birthday. According to national studies, early childhood cavities are becoming more and more common. To prevent these cavities, it is important to learn how to manage a young child’s diet, hygiene and fluoride. In addition, many dental issues can be prevented or treated easily when addressed in the early stages.
At your child’s first visit, we will review your child’s history, talk about their oral health and factors that will affect their risk for cavities or other dental issues, and gently examine your child’s mouth. We will also talk about what to expect as your child grows and discuss future care and appointments. The dentist or hygienist may clean your child's teeth or apply fluoride if necessary.
Kids’ Complete Checkups
As with adults, we recommend children visit the dentist every six months. These exams are all about prevention. Regular exams allow us to keep your child’s mouth as healthy as possible and to identify and treat any issues before they become too serious.
At your child’s exam, we will visually examine their mouth for plaque, tartar and decay/cavities. We will look for any puffiness or irritation of the gums. We may also take X-rays if necessary. The exam will end with a dental cleaning so we can remove any stains or buildup of plaque and tartar.
We do our best to keep our young patients’ teeth strong and healthy. As a part of this dedication, in addition to educating children on great oral care at home, we recommend fluoride treatments and dental sealants.
Fluoride is a mineral that helps to prevent cavities and can even repair teeth in the very early stages of disease. Some fluoride, known as systemic, can be found in food and drinking water. Topical fluorides are applied directly to the tooth such as toothpastes, mouthwashes and treatments at the dentist’s office. The fluoride we use in our dental office is much stronger than what you will find in toothpaste or mouthwash that you can buy over-the-counter. Our treatments take just a few minutes. We apply the fluoride as a gel, foam or varnish with a swab or brush, or place it in a tray that is held on the teeth.
Another important preventive treatment we recommend for young patients is Dental Sealants. Sealants are plastic coatings used on the surface of permanent molars. These back teeth have grooves and fissures where food and bacteria tend to get stuck. Sealants smooth out the surface and protect the teeth from decay. We recommend that sealants are placed as soon as permanent molars erupt. The process is simple and painless. The tooth is cleaned and dried. An acidic solution is used on the chewing surface to create a rougher surface. Finally, the sealant is painted on the tooth and hardened with a light.
Sometimes children need restorations such as fillings, crowns or space maintainers. When this occurs, we will do everything necessary to make sure your child is comfortable. Our goal is a healthy smile without anxiety.
Fillings are necessary if a tooth has decayed. We will remove all decayed material, clean the area and then place a filling material to shape the tooth back to its original form. Occasionally, a crown is necessary if a tooth has excessive decay or a deep cavity and therefore cannot support a filling. Space maintainers are often used to hold open a space for a permanent tooth if a primary tooth is lost too early.
Ensuring the dental health of children is so important. To learn more or make an appointment, call us today at (770) 824-8904.