Preventive care is important because a child with a healthy mouth has a better chance of overall general good health. A healthy mouth is attractive and gives children confidence in their appearance. Oral problems can interfere with eating and adequate nutritional intake, speaking, self-esteem, and daily activities. Children with dental pain may be unable to concentrate in school. Preventive dentistry can result in less extensive and less expensive dental treatment.
Preventive dentistry consists of several components to help keep your child’s smile clean and healthy:
Proper nutrition and dietary habits
Brushing and flossing
Regular dental check-ups
Assessing risk for developing cavities
Evaluating oral growth and development
Oral health education
Management of oral habits
Guidance of erupting teeth
Radiographs / X-rays
Zionsville Pediatric Dentistry uses digital radiography (x-rays), the newest and fastest technology available. Digital x-rays are faster, more comfortable and safer for the patient due to a lower radiation exposure than traditional x-rays. Patients are also protected with lead aprons to reduce exposure. Radiographs are used to detect dental decay, survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate injuries and plan orthodontic treatment. We evaluate every child individually, but X-rays may be taken annually. Bitewings (cavity detecting X-rays) are the best way to determine if there is decay between the teeth.
The surfaces of some teeth are more prone to problems. Even if your child brushes and flosses carefully, it is difficult – sometimes impossible – to adequately clean the small grooves and pits on certain teeth. Pits and grooves are like dental fingerprints, each unique to every person. Food and bacteria can build up in these pits and grooves and cause decay. Sealants can be used to protect decay-prone areas, particularly back teeth that are harder to reach and where most cavities occur. The sealants are made of clear or shaded resin and applied to the teeth to help prevent cavities. The sealant application is quick and comfortable and requires only one visit. Studies have shown that sealants can help reduce cavities by 70% and can be effective for several years, particularly if your child practices good oral hygiene.
Mouth Guards, Protection Against Injuries
Taking care of your teeth means more than brushing and flossing – it means protecting them at all times, particularly when playing sports. The American Dental Association recommends that anyone who participates in a sport that carries a significant risk of injury, such as football, hockey or basketball, should wear a mouth protector. Mouth protectors, also known as mouth guards, cover the upper teeth. A mouth guard can help cushion a blow to the face and minimize the risk of broken teeth and injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth.
Mouth guards are also used for patients who grind their teeth in their sleep. Wearing a mouth guard at night can be very effective in helping to prevent and treat jaw problems. Dr. Melissa can make a custom mouth guard for your child. This will fit more securely and offer the best protection for your child’s teeth and face.
Please let us know if you would like to talk to us about fitting your child for a custom mouth guard.
Orthodontic treatment in young children is known as interceptive orthodontics. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that all children receive an orthodontic screening by age seven. It is ideal to evaluate a child while the bones are growing to determine whether orthodontic treatment may be appropriate.
At your child's routine cleaning appointment, Dr. Melissa will evaluate your child to determine if they would benefit from early orthodontic treatment and discuss options from there.
It is recommended that children with braces be diligent about brushing and flossing their teeth. Zionsville Pediatric Dentistry can work with your child to improve his or her brushing and flossing habits. We are also happy to schedule your child for cleanings more often than the usual 6 months, although insurance coverage for additional cleanings may vary.
Zionsville Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Melissa McHenry DDS, MSD
55 Brendon Way, Suite 500 - Zionsville, IN 46077