How can we help you?
Most parents have plenty of questions about their children’s healthcare, and we invite your questions and concerns.
We’ve compiled a selection of questions that parents often ask us about our practice, our services, and pediatric dentistry in general. Take a look through and see if your questions are answered here.
If your question isn’t answered here or if you’d like additional information, you’re always welcome to give us a call at 309-827-KIDS(5437) or email us using our convenient online form.
Preventive Care for Children
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps remineralize the outside layer of our teeth. Use of fluoride for prevention and control of cavities has been shown to be both SAFE and HIGHLY EFFECTIVE. As part of your child's examination, we'll discuss your child's fluoride exposure. Studies have proven that topical fluoride varnishes professionally applied two times per year can significantly decrease your child's chances of getting cavities.
By following these recommendations, you can reduce the risk of your child developing cavities and tooth decay:
- Before your baby's teeth come in, gently wipe the gums with a damp cloth
- After your baby's teeth come in, use a soft toothbrush and non-fluoride toothpaste to clean their teeth. As your child grows, encourage self-care until your child can brush independently.
- Never allow your child to sleep with a bottle or food.
- Graduate your child to regular cups (not sippy cups) as soon as possible, preferably by 18 months of age.
- Avoid sweets and sticky foods.
- Limit fruit juice to about 4 ounces per day and only serve it in a regular cup, not a bottle.
- Visit the Children's Center for Dentistry for regular checkups and professional cleanings.
Sealants are thin plastic coverings that are "painted" on to your child's teeth and then cured. Once this easy, painless procedure is performed, the sealants can be expected to last for about five to six years.
The chewing surfaces of your child's teeth are full of indentations and grooves. While these grooves make it easier for your child to effectively chew food, they do have a tendency to trap food. Since kids aren't quite as coordinated as adults, it can be difficult for them to remove all the traces of food, plaque, and bacteria from these surfaces, making them a prime location for cavities.
The sealants create a barrier between the surface of your child's teeth and the food they are eating, preventing cavities from developing. They are colored to blend in with your child's teeth, and it is highly unlikely that anyone else will be able to see them.