Preventive Care for Children
Preventive dentistry is the most important part of any child’s dental care program. Without appropriate preventive examinations, cleanings, and treatments, cavities and decay can quickly become a problem, marring a beautiful smile and setting up your child for a lifetime of dental challenges.
Your child’s preventive care program doesn’t have to be complicated. Good home care with a regular brushing and flossing routine and twice yearly visits at the Children's Center for Dentistry in Normal will prevent most problems. If we are concerned about your child’s dental development, our doctors will discuss additional preventive treatments like topical fluoride varnish and dental sealants with you.
Your Child’s Preventive Examinations
Just like when you take your child to a pediatrician every year for a well-child check-up, it’s important to also bring your child to a dentist who is trained in children’s dentistry for regular visits to make sure that everything is going well, look for any potential problems, and discuss your concerns with you.
At your child’s examination, we will take x-rays to check the development of both the baby and the permanent teeth to make sure everything is progressing as it should, look for any signs of cavities, and check for signs of gum disease (yes, kids can get gum disease too!), and any other dental problems.
We’ll discuss the way your child’s teeth are coming in and also work with you to determine whether orthodontic treatment is right for your child.
Children’s Dental Cleanings
Professional dental cleanings are important for protecting your child’s teeth and preventing cavities, decay, and gum disease. Kids are awesome, but brushing their teeth is often challenging, and it can be difficult to reach every bit of plaque. Over time, the plaque that is left on the teeth hardens into tartar, which can only be removed with professional dental instruments.
Our dental team members are skilled at working with children and delivering cleanings that are both thorough and gentle. Kids who come to our office love to visit with our staff and learn a lot about how to take care of their teeth.
Preventive Dental Treatments
Studies have shown that kids who drink fluoridated water get fewer cavities than children who drink unfluoridated or filtered water. The water in our area is fluoridated, but if your family drinks bottled or filtered water, your child might not be getting a sufficient amount of fluoride. At your appointment, our doctors will discuss your family’s water habits with you and why topical fluoride varnish is beneficial for kids.
Another preventive treatment we recommend for some of our patients is dental sealants. A sealant is a thin layer of plastic that is painted onto the surface of the teeth and then cured to create a protective barrier between the surface of the tooth and bacteria and acid.
When sealants are deemed helpful, they are often placed on the back teeth, which are full of nooks and crannies where food can get stuck. Also, most kids (and a lot of adults!) have difficulties getting these areas on the teeth completely clean. While not every child needs sealants, most children will benefit from them.
If our doctors feel that sealants are a good option for your child, he will discuss this with you at your child’s appointment.
Ready to schedule a preventive exam and cleaning for your child? Call the Children's Center for Dentistry at 309-827-KIDS(5437) today!