When you find your child’s dental home, you and the dental team will work to help your kiddo achieve optimal oral health. Part of this goal is striving toward preventive dentistry. There are many procedures, products, and techniques that are in place to help your child have good dental experiences and a healthy mouth.
The most important part of preventive dentistry is what you and your kiddo do at home. Generally speaking, your child sees the dental team every six months. We stress the importance of proper brushing and flossing each time we see your child to remind them how decay occurs and how it can be prevented. We will also generally tell parents to brush and floss for their child until they are old enough to just have mom and dad “check”. You may need to remind your child that flossing every day is just as important as brushing when it comes to preventing cavities and gingivitis (you can see other blog articles for more information).
Another aspect of preventive dentistry we emphasize in our office is fluoride. Fluoride is very important for preventing decay or from stopping the progression of cavities that are forming. With your permission, we use a fluoride varnish on your child every six months, which is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. We also encourage you to have your child drink tap water if it has fluoride in it or talk to your dentist about a fluoride supplement if you live in a non-fluoridated area.
Another important part of preventive dentistry is dental x-rays. We take them once a year to ensure early diagnosis of decay or to monitor other concerns. If we are “watching teeth”, that means your child has started forming cavities in some areas but the decay isn’t big enough to justify restoring those teeth. We will take x-rays every six months to monitor the teeth we are “watching”. The x-rays in our office are digital and have an extremely safe dose of radiation approved by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.