Preventative Care

Regular Dental Check-ups

Regular dental check-up with your pediatric dentist is the first line in preventative measures. Your bi-annual visit to the dentist allows your child’s dentist to detect any decay in the early stages so that the minimal treatment can be performed. This often prevents costly and painful procedures for your child in the future. Your dentist will also review preventative home care instructions tailored to your child’s needs that can aid in preventing any tooth decay. Because baby teeth are very thin in comparison to adult teeth, cavities in the primary dentition can progress very quickly so it important to schedule’s your child’s exam on a timely and consistent manner.

Fluoride

Fluoride, a natural element, when used in small amounts on a routine basis helps to prevent tooth decay. In places where fluoride doesn’t naturally occur, it may be added to the local water supply. Studies have shown that tooth decay rates have reduced over 50 percent as a result of community water fluoridation. This means fewer children will have cavities. Fluoride can also be found in many dental products including mouth wash, toothpaste, gels and varnishes. Fluoride helps to strengthen weak areas of the teeth that are prone to developing cavities. Fluoride also helps to break down bacteria build up on the teeth reducing the chance of decay. The risk of tooth decay is also lowered when the use of fluoride is coupled with a good oral hygiene regimen and healthy diet.

Fluoride is also available in a number of different topical forms such as gels or foams that are placed in trays or a varnish that is applied to the teeth. For children who are at a higher risk of tooth decay because of certain medical conditions or exposure to high-sugar or high-carbohydrate foods, it may be recommended that he/she take a fluoride supplement to help lessen his/her risk for developing decay.

Sealants

Sealants are designed to protect the pitted and grooved surfaces of the teeth, especially the back teeth where more than 80% of cavities are found in children. Sealants are made of clear, tooth colored resin material, and applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth. While it is not guaranteed that sealants will prevent all cavities, they do help to reduce the chance of developing cavities on the biting surface of the tooth by 60-70%.

Even maintaining the best possible brushing and flossing routine, it can sometimes be impossible to completely clean the pits and tiny grooves on certain teeth. This puts your child at risk of developing tooth decay. Sealants are the ideal solution. The procedure is quick, comfortable and simple – taking only one visit. Your child can return to his/her normal daily activities immediately following the procedure.

Sealants are just one simple step to protecting your child from tooth decay. Maintaining proper oral hygiene habits, a balanced diet and regular dental visits are essentials to preserving a bright and healthy smile for a lifetime.