Preventative dentistry is the most important service we can offer your children. Procedures and techniques are offered that aim to reduce one’s risk for dental disease and oral health issues. Oral Disease is the single most prevalent childhood disease children are faced with today. In fact, more children miss school due to dental problems even when compared to asthma. The incidence of cavities in preschool children is on the rise and is mostly preventable by simple in-office and at-home techniques.
Click on a treatment option below for more information on each preventative item.
Dental examinations help to diagnose disease before it becomes hazardous to your health. Regular, periodic examinations can save you money by alleviating problems while they are small and before they become expensive to repair, or in some cases, impossible to repair. Your dental examinations generally include the following:
Oral cancer screening.
Growth and development assessment.
Orthodontic needs assessment.
Gum disease evaluation.
Visual examination of tooth decay.
Examination of diagnostic x-rays to see cysts, tumors, caries, missing or extra teeth and other problems that can't be seen by the naked eye.
Evaluation of status of current restorations (fillings and others).
We cannot express enough how important it is to see your dentist regularly.
Remember, disease prevention is better than disease treatment.
Professional cleanings (dental prophylaxis) form the foundation for preventing gum disease and tooth decay. In a professional cleaning, your child's dental team will:
Remove plaque from the teeth -- plaque is a sticky substance that forms in the mouth from food, saliva and bacteria. This acidic plaque sticks to teeth and causes tooth decay and gum disease.
Remove calculus (tarter) above the gum line -- calculus is plaque that has hardened on the tooth surface and is difficult to remove. (Calculus below the gum line indicates gum disease and requires a different procedure to remove it.)
Polish and remove stains from teeth making a beautifully shiny smile.
Dental radiographs are very important and allow the dentist to see things about your oral health that cannot be seen by the naked eye. These items include cysts (sacks of fluid that form on the roots of teeth), cancerous and non-cancerous tumors, decay that occurs between teeth that otherwise can’t be seen, and help to evaluate the location of teeth that haven't grown in yet.
By using an x-ray to diagnose these problems, we can help save you money in the long run from surgeries or other treatments that might become necessary if we didn't find the problem. In rare cases, dental x-rays detect dangerous growths or tumor that would otherwise go undetected. Many times, dentists are the first medical professionals to diagnose certain cancers and are responsible for saving your life.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
Modern dental x-ray machines are very safe. Our state-of-the-art, digital system, emits low radiation. The amount of radiation exposure your body receives on an airplane flight from Los Angeles to New York exceeds the amount of exposure you will receive from a modern dental x-ray machine. Contrast this minimal exposure with the risk of not finding an illness until it is too late, and you can see why we prescribe regular diagnostic x-rays according to our academy guidelines.
Sealants prevent cavities! Normal pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth trap food that can't be removed by brushing or washed out by water or saliva. Sealant materials are similar in consistency to nail polish and made of a resin based, tough, plastic material designed to bond (stick) to tooth enamel. Our sealants do NOT contain BPA and are safe in the oral environment.
Protect normal pits and grooves on the chewing surface of back teeth.
Stop small amounts of decay from growing larger.
A clear or tooth colored sealants is painted onto the tooth surface to "seal" the pits and grooves and protect against decay. They are generally applied to children's permanent back teeth.
Sealants are an excellent way to protect chewing surfaces of teeth from decay. They are a much better financial investment than treating decay after it has started.
Sealants are not permanent. They generally last about five years with normal wear, but can wear off or chip off earlier in certain instances. Also, sealants do not prevent decay between teeth or the onset of gum disease, so regular home care and dental visits are important.
There are no appropriate alternatives to sealants. If a tooth has decay, it will need a filling or other restoration.
Adequate home care is imperative if you want to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile and prevent costly dental treatment. The goal of home care is to regularly remove the sticky film of bacteria, plaque, from your teeth.
Brush your teeth twice or three times daily using a soft tooth brush. Gently vibrate the brush in a circular fashion at a 45 degree angle to the gum line. Then gently vibrate the brush back and forth on each tooth surface until you have effectively cleaned the entire mouth. You should also brush your tongue to remove the bacteria that causes bad breath.
You can use any soft bristled tooth brush. We also recommend the use of modern electric tooth brushes such as Sonicare and Braun Oral B.
Your child should brush for approximately two minutes to effectively remove plaque that has formed on their teeth. Parents should monitor their child's brushing until the age of six. Your child's hygiene will be evaluated at his/her examination and methods of improvement, if any, will be discussed.
Floss daily to remove plaque between teeth that you can't reach with regular brushing. Use a fresh section of floss for each tooth until you have flossed the entire mouth. Flossing aids are available to assist children with holding the floss. Remember that most dental cavities start between the teeth and may be preventable by regular flossing habits. It is never too early to start.
Always rinse thoroughly with water after brushing (or after meals if you are unable to brush.) You may occasionally use a mouthwash to rinse. Children may benefit from the use of ACT fluoride rinse to help prevent cavities from forming in between the teeth. It is not recommended for children to use alcohol based mouthrinses