Our practice can provide a wide range of dental services for your children. Our flexibility in our services saves you time and keeps your total dental care within one practice. Our emphasis is on total preventive care for our patients. Total care involves regular hygiene visits, regular check-ups, continued home oral health routines, sealants and fluoride treatments. We also educate the parents in early detection of some common problems children may face, including thumb sucking, bruxism and baby bottle tooth decay.
Our primary goal for your children’s dental development is to achieve and maintain optimum oral health through advances in techniques, technologies and by maintaining their scheduled dental exams.
Routine Teeth Cleanings
Twice annually you should schedule a routine dental cleaning for your child. During this visit, one of our dental hygienists will remove plaque from your child's teeth, especially from places where their brush can’t, such as underneath the gum line and in-between teeth. We will then clean their teeth and apply fluoride to help protect their teeth once you leave the office.
Fluoride is a relatively recent but important advancement in dental and oral health. Studies consistently show that a moderate but consistent exposure of teeth to fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild tooth structure, and helps prevent future decay.
Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride and 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.
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. 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. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Sucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Children usually cease thumb sucking when the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Typically, children stop between the ages of 2 and 4 years. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of primary teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth. If you notice prolonged and/or vigorous thumb sucking behavior in your child, talk to your dentist.
Here are some ways to help your child outgrow thumb sucking:
- Don’t scold a child when they exhibit thumb sucking behavior; instead, praise them when they don’t thumb suck.
- Focus on eliminating the cause of anxiety—thumb sucking is a comfort device that helps children cope with stress or discomfort.
- Praise them when they refrain from the habit during difficult periods.
- Place a bandage on the thumb or a sock on their hand at night.