Preventative dental care will help children have healthy teeth for life. It’s so important to get started with preventative dentistry when your child is young in order to form good habits and create a solid foundation for their baby teeth, and later their adult teeth, to grow. Here’s what our pediatric dentists want you to know about preventing cavities and tooth decay.
Preventative Dental Care
Our pediatric dentists recommend you bring your child in for their first visit when their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. Our team of doctors and hygienists takes special time to create a comfortable, caring experience, so your child looks forward to going to the dentist in the future.
Around age 6, children begin to lose their first “baby tooth.” In visits to our office during this age, we spend time reviewing these changes with parents and patients. Most children lose 8 teeth between the ages of 5-8 (on average). We will periodically take x-rays during routine check-ups and our pediatric dentists will evaluate the health and development of your child’s teeth. We take time at each visit to review good nutrition and oral health habits so you and your child understand the importance of keeping their teeth clean and healthy.
Our pediatric dentists also look closely at jaw structure and potential orthodontic concerns as your child’s teeth develop. Orthodontic referrals are made based on the structure and function of your child’s jaws, not just straight or crooked teeth. The timing of orthodontic needs is different for every child, and our doctors will be paying close attention to this as your child grows.
Dental sealants consist of a protective coating that we apply to the hard-to-reach places in your child’s mouth, such as rear molars. When children are young, it can be tough to make sure all of the nooks and crannies in their teeth are properly cleaned. Sealants keep bacteria from getting into these spaces in your child’s mouth, which can help prevent cavities when combined with good oral hygiene.
Our pediatric dentists can also make a recommendation or fit your child with an athletic mouth guard for sports. These mouthguards are made specifically to fit your child’s mouth, so they will have a better fit than those that can be bought in stores. Having a mouthguard that fits is crucial in protecting the teeth, jaws, and soft tissue structures while playing sports. As well as increase the likelihood your child will wear it.
Without a mouthguard, accidents such as displaced and broken teeth, lacerations to the soft tissues, and jaw fractures occur more frequently. Our pediatric dentists recommend these mouthguards be used for sports such as soccer, baseball or softball, hockey, football, basketball, lacrosse, cheerleading, and any other sport which could result in accidental injuries to the mouth.