Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 14-08-2019
Teeth are intended to last for life. When you have children, you can help increase their odds of enjoying healthy dental health by introducing them to good oral hygiene in hand with regular preventive dentistry. Preventive dentistry uses a combination of education, treatment, and ongoing practice of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. This includes the art of proper brushing, annual dental cleanings, treatments, and even the use of appliances to protect teeth during activity. With good preventive pediatric dentistry, your children will avoid gum disease, cavities, and enamel wear. Here’s everything you need to know about preventive pediatric dentistry.
What are the benefits of preventive pediatric dentistry?
Patients of all ages will benefit greatly from preventive dentistry, including:
- Reduced risk for gum disease.
- Reduced risk for sensitivity.
- Reduced risk for decay and cavities.
- Reduced risk for dental injury.
- Excellent oral hygiene habits for life.
- Healthier, happier smiles.
Pediatric Dentistry Office Care
At Milltown Dental, we use a variety of procedures as part of your child’s dental care regime, including:
- Dental exams to detect issues and signs of decay.
- Dental images (x-rays) for less obvious issues.
- Thorough cleaning to remove plaque not reached by brushing and flossing.
- Advice on improved oral care habits and proper brushing and flossing.
- Treatment plans when issues are discovered.
- Fluoride treatment.
By addressing issues early on, your child can avoid pain and costly procedures in the future.
Preventative Treatment for Children
We will look for signs that your child is at risk for decay to recommend additional treatments. This might include fluoride varnish prescriptions such as Colgate® PreviDent® Varnish to provide children with higher risk for decay with additional protection. Sealants are another common preventive measure for children. This can be discussed once your child’s molars erupt between the ages of 6 and 12. We might decide it is best to apply dental sealants to the grooves on your child’s molar surface to prevent decay most commonly found on the back teeth.
The need for braces (orthodontic treatments) might pop up as your child gets older as well. We will look for misalignments as the jaw matures and make recommendations based on the potential for issues with gaps, overlaps, etc.
We might recommend using a home fluoride rinse product for kids with braces. This will help get in and around the brackets to help prevent decay.
For active kids (and most of them are!), we recommend using a sports guard. This will help avoid injury during sports and outside play. They have also been shown to reduce the risk for concussions.
There are three types of sports guards available:
- Pre-formed: These are found at your local sporting goods stores and are “ready to wear.” Although they are readily available and affordable, they do not provide a proper fit due to their one-size-fits-all approach. They really do not provide much protection, but they are better than nothing.
- Boil and Bite: These guards come in two options. The first is found in drug stores. This allows for a more customized fit than the pre-formed options, but still is not ideal. The second can be fitted at our office. Both use a boil and bite method to get the custom fit. They are placed in boiling water to soften the guard and your child bites it to form to their teeth.
- Custom-fit: Of course, these sports guards are the safest and most effective. We customize them at our office using a high-end product proven to provide the best comfort and protection. Although they are more expensive, they are worth the investment compared to the cost of treatments to repair or replace lost or damaged teeth!
If your child has bruxism, we might also recommend a night guard. Bruxism is teeth grinding. Many children grind their teeth at night, which can speed up wear and tear as well as lead to jaw pain issues.
All in all, preventative care helps keep your children’s teeth and gums healthy. More importantly, it helps them avoid serious dental issues that can not only be painful, but also costly.
If you would like your child to begin their preventive pediatric dentistry plan, click here to set up an appointment with Milltown Dental today.