Preventive dental care for children plays a major role in creating good oral habits and a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. Both children and parents can benefit from the education and services provided by the family dentist. This list is meant to be a simple guide that discusses the various aspects of preventive dental care for children.
All preventive dental care starts with a dental checkup. It is recommended that a child is scheduled for their first dental appointment within 6 months of their first tooth erupting. Typically, the lower anterior incisors appear around the age of 6-12 months. At that time, the caretakers are encouraged to bring the children in to get familiar with the dentist and staff.
A typical preventive care appointment consists of a dental cleaning, dental exam for abnormalities and some educational
Sometimes, tartar and plaque buildup cannot be removed by simple brushing or flossing which is where Prophylaxis comes in. Prophylaxis is a cleaning procedure used to thoroughly clean the teeth including supra-gingival cleaning (above the gum line), sub-gingival cleaning (below the gum line), root planning (smoothing the tooth root) and more. The teeth are typically cleaned using a specialized ultrasonic toothbrush & scaler, after which a thorough dental exam is conducted.
Dental Exam & X-Rays
A thorough dental exam is necessary during each dental checkup in order to evaluate the growth & development of a child’s mouth as well as discover any abnormalities or issues with their oral health. If necessary, the dentist will take some X-rays of the child’s mouth as well. The dentist will be looking for any issues or concerns which relate to the oral health of the child including:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Oral developmental issues
- Premature tooth loss
- Eruption anomalies such as impacted teeth
- Thumb and finger sucking
- Baby caries
- Hard and soft tissue abnormalities
- Improper development of upper or lower arches
- Painful teething
If any issues are discovered, your dentist will suggest methods in which they can be fixed.
Part of preventive dental care is educating parents and children about how to properly take care of their mouths and bodies. Most importantly a child need to develop a routine habit of brushing and flossing.
- Tooth Brushing
Perhaps the simplest way to maintain proper oral health is the daily tooth brushing regimen. Good oral habits should be cultivated from an early age and implemented by parents and caregivers. The spread of any bacterial deposits can be curbed by daily brushing & flossing.
This simple method of tooth maintenance prevents any interproximal decay and periodontal disease formation. Flossing helps in removal of bacterial deposits and helps with the prevention of gum diseases which may ultimately lead to gum anomalies and premature tooth loss.
Proper preventive dental care consists of many methods of protecting your mouth. Proper education on healthy eating habits, a daily brushing and flossing routine along with regular dental cleanings and checkups will lay the groundwork to preventing complicated, and often costly, dental repairs and treatments. Preventive dental care is the foundation for a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile.