Gainesville Pediatric Dentist Shares Preventive Care For Developing Teeth
We all know the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When it comes to teeth and oral health, this is especially true, and even more so for children. While it’s easy to assume that primary, or “baby” teeth don’t matter because they will eventually be lost, nothing could be further from the truth. Primary teeth play a vitally important role in the development of the jaw and the eruption sequence of the adult teeth. Thus, caring for them is every bit as important as caring for permanent teeth. When it comes to children, you don’t want to put your little one in a position to need fillings or crowns. That is why preventive pediatric dental services are so important. Here are few preventive measures that can go a long way in preserving your child’s smile.
Fluoride is well known as the compound that helps to strengthen teeth by interfering with the breakdown of enamel and helping to remineralize affected enamel. Children can benefit from topical applications of high strength fluoride, as it is proven to help prevent dental decay. This is usually accomplished by filling Styrofoam trays with fluoride material, then placing the trays in the mouth for a few minutes, bathing the teeth in beneficial nutrients. The fluoride itself has no foul taste and this procedure is well tolerated by most children.
Dental sealants are well known in name but not so much in practice. Dental sealants are thin coatings of white filling material that are placed in the tiny pits and grooves of back teeth. The purpose of this is simple: to reduce the surface area on which cavities can develop, by shutting off the hardest-to-reach portion of a tooth. When the pits and fissures of teeth are sealed, they are much easier to keep clean. Sealants are placed without any needles or drilling and require no alteration of the tooth itself.
Eliminating Bad Habits
By coaxing your child into dropping bad habits, and by instituting some good oral health rules, your child’s teeth will be far better off in the long run. Parafunctional habits, such as thumb sucking or nail biting, can have detrimental effects on the teeth, whether they are primary or permanent. Diet, of course, plays a huge role in dental health. Making sure your child has a well-balanced diet with minimal sugars or acidic drinks will keep them smiling for years to come.
Oral Health Instructions
As with adults, a child’s at home dental regimen is the most important part of maintaining a healthy smile. Your Gainesville pediatric dentist can help teach you ways to make sure that your child’s teeth are kept clean and healthy as possible. Most parents stop brushing their children’s teeth, or stop supervising their brushing far too early. Make sure your children are brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time. Once they have this routine down pat, you can be more confident in their tooth brushing technique. It is also never too early to begin flossing—even if your child’s teeth have spaces between them.
By taking advantage of preventive pediatric dentistry, you are making a sound investment in the future of your child’s oral health.