There is an old saying that goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That definitely applies to dental care. Preventive dental care saves you time and money and protects your child from discomfort and pain. A healthy mouth means fewer trips to the dental office, saving you the time and expense involved in undergoing dental procedures.
Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to keep cavities and gum disease from becoming an issue for your child. Brushing and flossing properly at least twice a day are key factors in maintaining oral health. As necessary as they are, they are only part of the puzzle. Regular visits to the office are important as well, especially for children.
The Pediatric Dental Team provides all the preventive care your child requires to keep teeth healthy and minimize the risk of tooth decay. It all begins with regular dental checkups.
Checkups & Cleanings
Regular dental checkups allow the dentist to catch problems before they have a chance to develop into bigger, more expensive issues. They also provide a baseline for development so your child’s dentist can monitor possible dentition issues that may need correction later.
Even though your child may brush and floss adequately, a professional cleaning once or twice a year is important for ensuring that harmful plaque is removed from all the teeth. Younger children often have difficulty reaching all areas in the mouth. Plaque buildup can lead to tartar, and this hard, yellow-brown substance can only be removed with professional cleaning. Regular visits to the dentist can prevent or at least minimize tartar buildup.
Cavity Prevention with Fluoride Treatments
As part of the cleaning procedure, children are given fluoride treatments. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral which when used on the teeth can help prevent cavities. It does this by helping to protect the teeth against the sugars that can cause tooth enamel to break down. It also helps replenish calcium and phosphate ions. This process helps protect teeth by making the enamel harder.
Dental x-rays are only taken when necessary as a diagnostic tool to find out what is happening below the surface of the teeth and gums. X-rays show the condition of the inner parts of teeth as well as the condition of the bone. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, children under the age of 5 or 6 do not need to have dental x-rays. If a child younger than this is at a high risk for cavities, x-rays may be needed to diagnose the degree of decay. Your dentist will advise you of this.
State-of-the-Art Dental Imaging for Children
Unlike the x-rays of previous decades, there is now digital imaging, which provides images on a computer screen without the time or chemicals used in traditional x-rays. Digital imaging can reveal smaller areas of decay between teeth and underneath fillings. This procedure can also reveal anomalies such as bone infections, gum disease, cysts, tumors and developmental abnormalities that cannot be seen visually.
Digital imaging is faster than traditional x-rays, allowing for immediate visuals of the targeted area. It also makes it easier for your dentist to transfer images to other dentists when necessary. These images are easy to store with patient records and can be sent electronically to your insurance company, making the insurance reimbursement process faster.
Radiation exposure has been a concern of many, and even though traditional x-rays are very low in radiation, digital imaging is even less. In fact, the process requires from 50-80% less radiation than traditional film radiographs, making digital imaging very safe.
Preventive care allows your dentist to minimize your child’s risk of dental problems, and it provides an early look into budding oral issues. The Pediatric Dental Team provides your child with comfortable and enjoyable dental care. Our dedication to excellence and patient comfort sets us apart and ensures the highest quality dental care for your children from infancy up to adulthood. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.