In pediatric dentistry, prevention is the key to providing your child with a good baseline of oral health. A healthy mouth sets your child up for success for years to come.
Many people believe that because baby teeth fall out, taking care of them is not important. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Baby teeth are responsible for ensuring the adult teeth that come in are spaced appropriately. They also help children develop their speech patterns and ensure their bite forms properly.
But just what are we trying to prevent for our youngest patients? As dentists, our goal is to prevent the development of cavities, prevent the development of poor bites or malaligned jaws, and prevent any trauma.
Prevention begins with regular visits to the dentist. This allows the dentist to establish a baseline of oral health for your child and understand how they’re progressing in subsequent visits.
During your visit, the doctor will simply take a look in your child’s mouth and make sure everything is up to speed. If they notice anything that needs to be addressed, they’ll bring it up to you and create an action plan.
Fluoride treatment is a routine part of every cleaning your child will get. Fluoride helps keep their teeth strong by making it more resistant to acid that builds up from plaque and sugar in the mouth. Fluoride can also help reverse early decay.
Dental sealant is a thin layer of plastic painted onto a tooth’s chewing surface. It’s most commonly applied to the premolars and molars. Although it can be used on adult teeth, baby teeth with deep grooves are often treated with sealants. This is because those deep grooves are harder to get food out of and can increase the rate of decay.
The dental sealant creates a barrier between the tooth and food, thus eliminating the occurrence of cavities.
Ensuring your child is getting healthy meals that don’t include many simple carbs and sugar is crucial to keeping their mouth healthy. Many parents give their children juices, not realizing they’re loaded with sugars that cause tooth decay.
Additionally, many of the snacks marketed to kids have tons of sugar and carbs. Try sticking to fresh vegetables and fruits, avoiding soft drinks, and limiting juices.
Proper Brushing and Flossing Instructions
Your child should be taught how to properly brush and floss from an early age. Many parents find that setting a 2 minute timer morning and night helps their child get into the habit of brushing for as long as they need to. Flossing is also very important and something many parents neglect. Teach your child to floss regularly so that the plaque that builds up between their teeth is removed, cavities are prevented, and their breath stays fresh.
Dr. Keller is an experienced pediatric dentist who’s committed to making oral health care fun and exciting for children. Learn how you can start your child on the path toward a healthy mouth by contacting our office and scheduling an appointment. Our team will happily answer any questions you have.