Dental care is important for children as well as adults. As children grow up, they form habits that can be hard to break. One habit they should develop is proper dental care, and a big piece of that puzzle is participating in preventive dentistry.
But what is the goal of preventive dentistry? In the following sections, you’ll learn more about this essential dental practice for your children and why it is so important. Now is the best time to start practicing preventive dental care with your children. Preventive dentistry can help you get started the right way.
What Is Preventive Dental Care?
As the name suggests, preventive dental care helps people prevent bad things from happening to their teeth and gums. Preventive care includes dental activities that help you maintain good oral health.
Preventive dental care involves a combination of practices, habits and activities like brushing your teeth, flossing, eating healthy food and visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. It’s also essential for people of all ages. Children and adults alike can benefit from preventive dental care, but many people overlook its importance for children. In truth, taking care of one’s teeth should start in early childhood and last for the rest of the person’s life.
What Are the Benefits of Preventive Dental Care for Children?
Preventive dental checkups have many benefits for children. Here are a few of them:
- Minimize the risk of tooth decay: Cavities are small holes in teeth caused by tooth decay. As the bacteria in plaque accumulate on your child’s teeth, the bacteria secrete an acid that degrades the tooth enamel, which can lead to cavities. Preventive dental care helps remove this harmful bacteria to lower your child’s chance of getting cavities.
- Preserve tooth enamel: Healthy enamel is important for protecting your teeth. Enamel is a thin layer that surrounds one’s teeth, and it is the hardest tissue produced by the human body. Preventive dental care will ensure your enamel stays clean and strong, protecting your teeth from bacteria, plaque and cavities. Healthy enamel can also help reduce teeth sensitivity.
- Fight gum disease: Plaque is a root cause of many dental issues, including gingivitis, which is an early form of gum disease. Gum disease can occur when plaque gets under the gumline, leading to several adverse side effects like gum inflammation, bleeding, and receding gums. Pediatric dentists have the skills and tools necessary to clean below your child’s gum line, which can help prevent gum disease from occurring.
- Have better breath: Preventive dental care will also help your child have better breath. Removing plaque, bacteria and food particles will make the mouth a cleaner, healthier environment. This can boost their self-confidence and help them feel fresher throughout the day.
Preventive Dental Care Habits at Home
As a parent, you have the responsibility to set an example of good oral hygiene at home. Your children will see that preventive oral care is important to you, and that will make it feel more important to them. As a result, your children will put an emphasis on taking care of their teeth from a young age, which can form habits that last a lifetime.
The following preventive practices are beneficial in promoting children’s oral health at home:
- Brush your teeth with your kids: Make teeth brushing time something your kids will look forward to by brushing with them. Children may view it as a time to bond with their parents, and they’ll like sharing the same experience with the person they look up to most. You can also talk to your kids about proper tooth brushing techniques to help them understand why certain patterns are important for dental health.
- Help younger children brush their teeth: Very young children may have difficulty brushing their teeth on their own. You may have to wield the toothbrush for them during the time it takes them to learn to do it on their own. You can also use this time for education, so your children can look forward to the day when they can brush their teeth themselves.
- Instruct children on the importance of flossing: Flossing is often overlooked, especially for young children. Make sure your child knows the importance of flossing, especially that they should strive to floss once per day for the most preventive benefits. If they see you flossing, that will help them want to floss even more. Note that you may have to help your children floss the first several times.
- Consume a healthy diet: Sugary foods contribute to cavities. Unhealthy foods that lack proper nutrients can leave your teeth deficient in certain vitamins and minerals. Opt for a healthier diet full of leafy greens and foods high in vitamin C to help promote healthier teeth and gums for your child.
What Are Considered Preventive Dental Services?
Here are some of the various types of preventive treatment procedures performed in a pediatric practice:
- Dental sealants: Dental sealants are a translucent resin material that the dentist spreads on your child’s teeth. The sealant fills in deep grooves in your child’s teeth where bacteria would normally build up. After the sealant hardens in place, your child can eat food without the food actually touching and sticking to their enamel. This process can reduce the risk of cavities in your child’s teeth.
- Teeth cleanings: Routine professional teeth cleanings are essential for your child’s dental health. During these visits, the dentist will clean the child’s teeth with special techniques and tools to achieve the cleanest teeth possible. This is also a great opportunity for the dentist to discover dental issues as early as possible to reduce problems later.
- Fluoride: Fluoride can help strengthen and protect your child’s enamel. This solution will prevent cavities and keep your child’s enamel strong as they get older. Our fluoride treatments ensure your child gets all the benefits fluoride provides, helping their teeth stay healthy over time. Fluoride treatment is effective for both baby and adult teeth.
Schedule a Dental Exam With Fox Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics
If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist in Portland, Oregon, Fox Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics is the dental office you’ve been looking for. Our mission is to provide the best pediatric dental services for your child. With our preventive care services, your child can enjoy a healthier mouth and learn valuable dental skills that can help them into their teenage and adult years.