Preventive dentistry refers to the measures taken by a dentist to diagnose and maintain a patient’s dental health such as digital x-rays, cleanings, fluoride, sealants, and oral cancer screenings. At Explorer Kids Dental, we’re a family-focused practice that emphasizes prevention, because it’s a lot easier to learn, play, speak, and enjoy food and beverages when your teeth and gums are pain-free. Regular checkups and cleanings are the best way to prevent problems.
Floss & brush the teeth you want to keep.
You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating. Flossing and brushing are habits you’ll want to model at home with your children. Often until the age of 8, children still need parental help to properly clean their teeth.
The reason flossing and brushing are so important is because they remove plaque, which is the accumulation of bacteria and food debris. Plaque irritates the gums, causing gingivitis, and can erode enamel, causing cavities. To prevent these consequences, we floss and brush twice a day!
- Always use soft-bristled toothbrushes—hard bristles damage enamel & gum tissue.
- Only a “rice grain” size of fluoride toothpaste is needed for kids 3 and under, which is also a safe amount to swallow.
- You can simply use a wet toothbrush or fluoride-free toothpaste until your infant has molars.
- As soon as they have touching teeth, you need to floss for them daily. We are happy to give technique pointers.
A tool in the tooth decay prevention belt.
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that helps protect tooth enamel from acid erosion, the also naturally-occurring process that starts when the sugars in your child’s foods and beverages meet the bacteria in their mouths. Drinking water and eating more alkaline foods can lower the acidity in your mouth and body.
For additional protection, we can apply fluoride varnishes to your child’s teeth. This is a quick, painless, and effective way to boost the strength of their enamel. We “paint on” fluoride varnish which allows the best control and is very effective.
- Enamel, which is harder than bone, is made of calcium and phosphate crystals.
- When fluoride bonds to the calcium and phosphate crystals, enamel becomes stronger.
- We brush the varnish on the top & sides of each tooth.
Add another layer of protection.
At Explorer Kids Dental, we’re serious about prevention and providing the same quality of care for your children that we do for our own. Proper prevention can significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Think about it: nobody wants to feel the pain of enamel erosion, which can prevent your child from eating healthily, result in missed days of school, and keep them from playing with friends. It can also result in the premature loss of their baby teeth.
- Placing sealants are quick and painless.
- They’re tooth-colored & usually applied to back molars, where children may struggle to reach.
- As much as 90 percent of all cavities in school-aged children occurs in chewing surfaces.
We err on the side of caution.
Oral cancer isn’t as common in children as it is in adults, but because the risk exists, we conduct oral cancer screenings during every examination.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes there is a link between human papilloma virus (HPV) and development of oral pharyngeal cancers. There are also several oral pathologies that are linked to other systemic issues.
Signs & symptoms you should notify us of include:
- Persistent sores, swelling, lumps, rough spots, or white, red, or speckled patches.
- These can be found on lips, cheeks, the tongue, gums, or throat.
- Also be on the lookout for difficulty swallowing, chronic cough, & sore throat.
Exerting their energy with fewer risks.
Kids seem to have boundless energy—and without caffeine! Whatever they’re doing, whether it’s playing on a sports team, riding bikes, scooters, or skateboards, we know you want to see them have a good time without risking their safety; it’s why we have them wear helmets.
There are many more types of protective gear to wear, though, and mouthguards should definitely be on your list! They’re usually a requirement for any type of contact sport, but even in sports with less contact, they can prevent teeth from being knocked out or cutting tongues and cheeks.
- Stock mouthguards are available at most sporting goods stores, however…
- For more durability & comfort, we recommend a custom-fit mouthguard.
- We’ll take impressions of your child’s mouth for the perfect fit.
- Professional mouthguards can also be worn with orthodontic braces.
You’ve found the trail to optimal oral health!
Contact your Roseville children’s dentists, Dr. Jeff McComb and Dr. Candy McComb at Explorer Kids Dental to help your child grow with a healthy, happy smile!