Preventive Dentistry for Children
Did you know preventative dentistry for your child can help avoid many of the problems they may develop as a young adult? Taking care of your child’s baby teeth is a smart way to give your child the extra hedge against cavities and gum disease later in life. You may think just because baby teeth fall out there is no need for care, but remember your child’s permanent teeth are developing under their baby teeth. Caring for your child’s baby teeth has a direct positive effect on their permanent teeth.
At Home Preventive Care
At home preventive care is the first step to ensuring your child has healthy teeth and gums. You can begin by gently wiping your baby’s gums with a soft wet washcloth. As soon as their first teeth emerge use a soft toothbrush to gently clean them. As more teeth come in use a soft toothbrush and a very small amount of toothpaste to clean their teeth. Flossing is an important habit for your child to develop and you can begin to floss their teeth at a very early age so they get used to the procedure. Your dentist may recommend rinses to help protect and strengthen your child’s teeth. If you start early your child will learn how important keeping up with an at home dental hygiene habit is.
Regular Dental Checkups
Regular dental checkups go hand in hand with at home care. You should bring your child in to see the doctor twice a year. During the checkups, the doctor will check the development of your child’s teeth and examine the gums and soft tissue of the mouth. He will also help educate you and your child about proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Pediatric dental cleanings help prevent cavities and tooth decay not only in your child’s baby teeth, but also in their permanent teeth. This is because professional cleaning removes the sticky substance known as plaque, which contributes, to cavities and gum disease.
Dental sealants are another easy way to strengthen and protect your child’s teeth. The doctor applies the clear sealant to the teeth and cures it with a special light. The sealant protects the teeth from bacteria and acid. Sealants are especially beneficial for back teeth which may not get proper brushing.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral and studies have shown people who drink fluoridated water are less likely to develop cavities and tooth decay. Fluoride is present in most water systems. Many municipalities add fluoride to their water systems. If your area does not have enough fluoride in the water, the doctor may suggest a fluoride varnish to protect your child’s teeth.
These are just a few ways you and your doctor can help you child have healthy teeth and gums not only in their childhood years, but for many years to come. If you have questions about pediatric preventative dentistry, call or contact Buckingham Dental today.