Preventive Dentistry: What Is Considered Preventative Care?

Preventive Dentistry: What Is Considered Preventative Care?

Mar 01, 2023

Preventive dental care plays a significant role in keeping your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth healthy. It also helps maintain a beautiful smile and bite function and protects the mouth from oral problems such as cavities, gum disease, enamel erosion, bad breath, oral thrush, tooth loss, and more.

Typically, preventive dental care begins at home. For instance, brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once daily helps keep your child’s mouth free of harmful bacteria, debris, and acids. Besides that, the ADA recommends taking your child for routine preventive dental appointments to maintain optimal oral health.

Benefits of preventive dentistry

Preventive dental care provides a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Lowering risk of oral problems like gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, misalignments, overcrowding, and other oral problems
  • Promoting proper hygiene habits
  • Facilitating early diagnosis and treatment of potential oral problems
  • Maintaining a bright smile
  • Reducing the risk of health conditions like diabetes, certain cancers, eating disorders, and osteoporosis

Types of Preventive Dental Treatments

Below are common procedures to expect when you take your child for preventive dental care:

  • Thorough oral exam

When you visit our pediatric dentist for preventive care, they will examine your child’s mouth for potential problems like a poor bite, cavities, oral cancer, dental damage, and gum disease. Sometimes x-rays may be necessary to detect tumors, decay, or bone loss.

The dentist will look for early signs of oral disease like:

  • Tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Sore, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Chipped, broken, or decayed teeth
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Abnormal tissues or lesions or cysts
  • Bone loss
  • Oral or facial pain
  • Receding gums
  • Ill-fitting or damaged dental works

Early identification of oral issues allows for early treatment, protecting your child’s future dental and oral health. When not diagnosed on time, oral conditions can lead to severe discomfort, long-term oral damage, and an increased risk of health conditions like diabetes. The dentist will also repair or replace any damaged or ill-fitting dental work to ensure maximum service and protection. Visit our dentist near you if your child has any oral problems.

  • Oral cleaning

Preventative dental care also involves routine professional cleanings every six months. The dentist uses special dental tools to remove plaque and tartar on the teeth and along the gum line. If not eliminated, these items gradually release toxic chemicals that erode teeth and inflame the gums causing tooth decay and gum disease. The dentist will also polish and smoothen your child’s teeth to brighten them and make it difficult for debris and plaque to attach.

  • Dental sealants

Children may not be able to brush and floss adequately, especially on the back teeth, which are more prone to decay due to tiny grooves and depressions on their chewing surfaces. Applying dental sealants on the back teeth smoothens them, making it harder for debris and plaque to attach. It also makes brushing much easier. It protects your child’s teeth against decay and cavities.

Applying dental sealants is easy, quick, and painless. The dentist cleans your child’s teeth, etches them, and then applies the sealants. A special light can harden the sealants. The procedure only takes about 30 to 60 minutes.

  • Oral care education

Teaching children about good oral hygiene and care will help maintain optimal oral health now and in the future. The pediatric dentist will teach your child how to brush and floss and why it’s important, what happens when they don’t clean their mouth, bad habits that can affect their dental health, the importance of routine dental checkups, and much more.

  • Fluoride treatments

Fluoride plays a crucial role in remineralizing our teeth and eliminating acids that erode teeth. Taking your child for routine fluoride treatments will keep their teeth healthy. During the treatment, the dentist applies a fluoride varnish on the teeth and leaves it to settle for a specific period. Consult your dentist about using fluoride toothpaste for your child.

Other preventive dental care practices

Below are other additional ways to care for your child’s teeth and mouth: Ensure your child:

  • Brushes their teeth at least twice daily.
  • Flosses daily.
  • Uses mouthwash after meals.
  • Eats a well-balanced diet. Be sure to limit sugary and hard items.
  • Doesn’t use tobacco products.
  • Wears a mouthguard.

Are you interested in preventive dentistry in Del Mar, CA?

Are you ready to take your child for preventive dental care? Contact Sunny Smiles Kids to book an appointment with our dentist in 92014.