It might be a cliché, but prevention truly is the best cure. Preventative dentistry is a key part of keeping children’s teeth healthy. It extends beyond that. Good oral health can also have an impact on general health. There are several benefits to pediatric preventative dental care. At Weideman Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics we believe that taking care of teeth begins early in childhood.
Understanding Preventative Dentistry
Pediatric preventative dentistry involves a combination of routine checkups and good habit development, with the goal of maintaining oral wellness. This should include regular oral checkups, typically every six months.
Routine x-rays and professional teeth cleaning can also be a part of preventative dental care. The x-rays can evaluate the development of both baby teeth and adult teeth. They can also help our dentist to determine whether your child will benefit from orthodontic options. Learning how to brush and floss correctly should be a part of a healthy preventative dental routine.
These pediatric preventative treatments are quite similar to preventative dental treatments that adults should consider. The key difference is that extractions, fillings, and some minor oral surgeries can also be considered preventative in children, whereas they are typically restorative treatments for adults.
Starting Preventative Dentistry for Children
Preventative dental care can start in children as soon as their first tooth erupts. Staying on top of your child’s dental care can help to identify any potential concerns in their earliest stages. This can keep a minor concern from becoming a major concern, and a costlier consideration.
In younger patients, thumb sucking guidance may be needed. Suggestions for improvements on eating habits that may boost dental health may also be offered.
Sealants for the molars may be recommended, as well as applications of fluoride. Other preventative dentistry treatments could also include mouthguards for athletes, and orthodontic treatment for those children who may need it.
Benefits of Preventative Dentistry
Maintaining a routine that places an emphasis on preventative dentistry offers a great number of benefits for both children and parents. Perhaps the best benefit is that it helps to promote healthy oral hygiene habits that include twice a day brushing and flossing. The early identification of potential dental concerns can help to minimize the treatment needed, and of course minimize costs.
The Role of the Parent and Child in Preventative Care
Our dentist will play an integral role in your child’s preventative dentistry. However, it is you and your child who will have the primary role to play. Most preventative dental care will begin at home. The early development of healthy dental habits can help patients to see fewer cavities, while preventing gingivitis.
Children should be brushing their teeth at least twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Teaching children to floss can establish a good routine that will last a lifetime. Take care with acidic foods and drinks that can damage tooth enamel, and try to limit candies and other hard foods that may chip your child’s teeth.
Make your child’s next appointment for a checkup or cleaning with us at Weideman Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics by calling or texting (916) 962-0577. It is never too soon to establish a healthy oral health routine.