Preventing Early Dental
Healthy baby teeth play an important role in your child’s nutrition and in the development of self-esteem and social skills. They must serve the child until their permanent teeth come in at around age 10. That’s longer than some people drive their cars.
Dental prevention in its purest form protects teeth that are immaculate, unspoiled, and without blemish or repair . Once teeth are “fixed”, a cycle of dental repair and re-repair begins and continues for the life of the tooth. the best dentistry is no dentistry at all.
In other words, prevention and early detection not only ensure a healthy dental future, they keep the child out of harm’s way and give parents peace of mind while saving time and money on costly dental procedures.
Ideally, the first dental visit should take place when the baby is between the age of six months and one year, which is around the time babies typically get their first tooth. Getting a dental exam at this age helps a child build a comfort level with the sounds and smells of a dental office.
Children, like adults, need to be checked twice per year. One visit each year should include the small decay-disclosing X-rays (bitewings) . Regular checkups including cleaning, polish, fluoride, home care check and an examination by the dentist and hygienist.
In addition to regular checkups, we also recommend specific treatments be completed at critical times of development. Due to the advanced high tech instruments, we can now restore and prevent microscopic decay. This stops the decay from growing to filling size. Using minimum invasive dentistry, these micro-composites are placed quickly, gently, without anesthesia, and are almost invisible.
The following are preventive measures over and above cleanings and X-rays:
- Age 4-6: Dentist/hygienist place sealant on the chewing surfaces of all (baby) molars.
- Age 6-8: Panoramic x-rays are taken to see developing teeth buds. Dentist/hygienist place sealants on the chewing surfaces of the permanent first molars and premolars with large grooves.
- Age 8-10: Dentist/hygienist replace worn sealant with micro-composite on the chewing surfaces of the permanent first molars and premolars as needed.
- Age 10-12: Dentist/hygienist place micro-composites on chewing surfaces of all permanent second molars.
- Age 16-18: Panoramic x-rays are taken to check for developing third molars.
It’s never too late to start going to the dentist. Preventive care is the best kind of dentistry. If you’ve not taken your young children for their fist check-up or it’s been a number of years since their (or your) last visit, pick up the phone today and make that appointment. I promise you’ll be glad you did.