Our office is totally and unconditionally committed to a policy of prevention. We can provide you with the means and the knowledge to avert dental disease. Early visits can prevent decay and infections. We recommend that a child be seen for a comprehensive examination by the time the first tooth appears in the mouth.
Parents are very important in our preventive program. Your interest, understanding, and motivation at home will be a factor in controlling dental disease for your child. We believe that, with parental help, dental disease is very preventable. Prevention of dental disease is less traumatic, less costly, and more rewarding for everyone-especially children. Recent advances in dentistry enable us to give your child better care than ever. One of our basic aims is to help you and your child prevent the problems which have been so prevalent in the past.
Tooth Decay Prevention
Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting in the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur on the teeth and sugars in the everyday diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria, causing it to produce acids that break down the mineral in teeth, forming a cavity. Dentists remove the decay and restore the tooth to a healthy state using a variety of fillings. Nerve damage can result from severe decay, and may require a crown (a crown is like a large filling that can cap a tooth, making it stronger or covering it). Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental checkups, diet control and fluoride treatment.
Good hygiene helps prevent unhealthy teeth and costly treatment. For infants, use wet guaze or a clean washcloth to wipe the plaque from teeth and gums. Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle filled with anything other than water.
For older children, brush their teeth at least twice a day. Also, watch the number of snacks containing sugar that you give your children.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends visits to the pediatric dentist every six months, beginning at your child’s first birthday. Routine visits will start your child on a lifetime of good oral health.
It is extremely difficult to remove bacteria and food from the grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.
Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars, and areas prone to cavities. They can last for several years, but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Fluoride is an element that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Drinking water treated with fluoride in conjunction with brushing and flossing regularly ensures significantly lower cavities. Dentists can evaluate the level of fluoride in a primary drinking water source and recommend fluoride supplements (usually in tablets or drops) if necessary.