Preventative Dental Care
Creating a Foundation for a Lifetime of Healthy Teeth
As parents, we all want our children to have healthy teeth and gums. One of the best ways to ensure that is through preventative dental care. Starting young and developing good habits can create a solid foundation for our children’s teeth to grow and remain healthy throughout their lives. In this article, our pediatric dentists will discuss the importance of preventative dental care, and what you need to know about preventing cavities and tooth decay.
When to Start Preventative Dental Care
Our pediatric dentists recommend bringing your child in for their first dental visit when their first tooth erupts, or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. Early visits to the dentist can help your child develop a positive relationship with oral healthcare and ensure that any issues are caught early. At these visits, our team of doctors and hygienists will take the time to create a comfortable and caring experience for your child, making future visits something to look forward to.
During routine check-ups, our pediatric dentists will evaluate the health and development of your child’s teeth. Most children lose eight teeth between the ages of five and eight, and we will periodically take X-rays to monitor this process. We will also review good nutrition and oral health habits to ensure that you and your child understand the importance of keeping their teeth clean and healthy.
Our pediatric dentists will also pay close attention to your child’s jaw structure and potential orthodontic concerns as their 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.
Protecting Teeth with Sealants
Dental sealants are a protective coating applied to the hard-to-reach places in your child’s mouth, such as rear molars. These areas can be challenging to clean thoroughly, making them prone to cavities. Sealants keep bacteria from getting into these spaces, which can help prevent cavities when combined with good oral hygiene. Our pediatric dentists recommend sealants for children as a preventative measure against cavities.
Mouthguards for Sports
Participation in sports can be great for a child’s physical and social development, but it also comes with the risk of dental injuries. Our pediatric dentists can make a recommendation or fit your child with an athletic mouthguard for sports. These mouthguards are custom-made to fit your child’s mouth, providing superior protection to store-bought options. Wearing a properly fitting mouthguard can prevent accidents such as displaced and broken teeth, lacerations to the soft tissues, and jaw fractures. Our pediatric dentists recommend mouthguards for any sport that could result in accidental injuries to the mouth, including soccer, baseball or softball, hockey, football, basketball, lacrosse, cheerleading, and others.
Preventative dental care is an essential part of ensuring your child’s teeth remain healthy for life. Starting early with regular check-ups and cleanings, as well as implementing good oral hygiene habits, can create a solid foundation for your child’s dental health. Our pediatric dentists can provide additional recommendations for preventative care, such as sealants and mouthguards for sports, to further protect your child’s teeth and gums. By working together, we can help our children achieve healthy and beautiful smiles for years to come.