Preventative dentistry starts with your child’s very first tooth. In fact, the AAPD recommends visiting your local pediatric dentist when the first tooth erupts or by age one to prevent dental disease. In doing so, your pediatric dentist is able to help establish an oral health plan to achieve and maintain a cavity-free smile. The AAPD encourages regular dental visits 2 times a year to keep your children’s teeth clean and their gums healthy and strong. Remember: your child’s oral health contributes to their overall well-being, which is why teaching them good oral health habits and skills at an early age is so important. We understand every child is different which makes every visit different too.
The pediatric dentist, Dr. Lisa, will look inside your child’s oral cavity and assess the presence or absence of teeth, the development of the teeth and soft tissue, the presence or absence of plaque, decay, and anomalies (abnormalities) of hard (bone, teeth, etc) and soft tissues and the overall growth and development of the oral cavity. Typically, Dr. Lisa engages in song, game-like activity, and/ or in general conversation with the patient to establish a comfortable and safe environment.
A prophylaxis or dental cleaning is a more involved cleansing of the tooth surface than the manual toothbrush. It involves dental “friends” such as a motorized toothbrush, a smooth rounded scaler, and / or a “car wash” toothbrush to remove plaque, calculus, and any staining that cannot be removed with a regular toothbrush.
While some cavities and abnormalities can be visible from just looking inside a patient’s mouth, many dental concerns are not as apparent to the naked eye. Therefore, we recommend and depend on radiographic images such as bitewings, pa’s, and a panorex, to identify the non-visible areas of concern.
The frequency of X-rays is determined by the individual needs of your child. In general, children need more x-rays than adults because their oral cavity is growing and changing rapidly. The AAPD, recommends x-rays every six months to assess decay in between the teeth especially if patient is at high risk.
Fluoride Varnish Treatment
** Most of the children enjoy this part of the visit because they know their lollipop follows shortly after (with parent/guardian approval)! **
Fluoride treatment has been proven to help prevent decay, re-mineralize the tooth surface, and assist in treatment sensitivity.
At Cherry Orchard Pediatric Dentistry, we recommend the use of fluoride varnish to achieve the benefits of fluoride treatment.
Fluoride Varnish is applied directly onto the teeth to adhere to the surface and to reduce the amount that is ingested. This application recommends no brushing or mechanical removal (finger scraping) for 12 hours to allow the Fluoride to perform its job.
While we recommend fluoride treatment every 6 months, we understand some of our patient’s may be fluoride free. For these patient’s, we simply remove this treatment and provide the lollipop if permitted.
Sealants are a preventative treatment that protect the grooves and pitted surfaces of the teeth. It is a thin resin material that easily flows into these pits and grooves to seal the tooth surface thereby preventing decay from developing.
Sealants are recommended for permanent molars, posterior teeth with deep grooves, and children at high-risk for decay.
During this procedure, Dr. Lisa will cleanse the pits and grooves using either the laser or handpiece, condition the surface, apply the sealant material and then cure or harden the sealant material with our special UV light. The patient’s bite is evaluated and either adjusted chairside or the patient naturally adjusts to normal.
Oral Health Care Instructions
Cherry Orchard Pediatric Dentistry believes in TEAMWORK for oral health to be successful. Many of us are parents too so we understand the struggles that can come with kids that don’t want to brush and floss their teeth or children that simply desire independency.
Our oral health care instructions focus on educating about brushing, flossing, proper diet, and oral habits as well as providing you with ideas or “tips and tricks” that can make implementing change at home easier on you as a parent.
During these visits, we also discuss growth and development and address any concerns parents may have.