Benefits of Preventative Dentistry for Kids

Benefits of Preventative Dentistry for Kids

Preventive dental care is important for everyone, no matter how old they are or how old they are getting. We want to help people have good smiles, and a big part of that is giving children in our community preventive care. The best smiles start at home, but we know it can be hard to make sure your child’s mouth stays healthy. We’re here to make that process as easy as possible for you. Read on to find out more about what preventive dentistry is and how it can help keep your child’s smile healthy and bright as they grow.

Expert Advice

Helping your child form good mouth habits will make it less likely that they will get tooth decay or cavities. Start the process early by showing them how to take care of their teeth, which includes:

  • Brushing at least two minutes each time, twice a day
  • Flossing every night before bed
  • Going to the dentist twice a year
  • Eating well with little sugar
  • Getting fluoride treatments

If your child is younger than three, they will need a little help to properly clean their teeth. You can do this with water, toothpaste that is safe for toddlers, and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Older kids can brush on their own as long as a parent is there to watch. We like this because it helps kids feel better about their health habits. Give your child a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, and then watch them while they brush to make sure they do it right. You should also make sure that they don’t take any extra toothpaste. Instead, they should spit it out.

Don’t forget flossing! Help your child clean their teeth before bedtime. If they have trouble using normal tooth floss, tools like floss picks can help. Most of these also come in different flavors and bright colors to make flossing more fun for smaller kids. Mouthwash is another way to get rid of bad breath and kill germs in your child’s mouth. Bacteria that cause cavities like to hang out in the places where brushing bristles can’t reach. Flossing and mouthwash can help get rid of these bacteria.

Regular Dental Visits

We suggest taking your child to the dentist for the first time when they get their first tooth or by their first birthday. Not only can our doctors watch how their teeth change as they grow, but these visits also give kids a chance to get used to our team and our office. This means that we can find and fix possible problems before they get worse in a place where they are comfortable.

Your child’s first visit to Drs. Keaton and Tomlin for dental care will likely be short and require little or no treatment. They’ll check your child’s teeth and bite in a gentle but thorough way for cavities and other problems. They will also look for problems with the gums, jaw, or organs in the mouth. After examining your child, the dentist will talk to you about a number of things. Most of the time, these include things like:

  • How to take care of your teeth and gums
  • The benefits of fluoride 
  • Oral habits to avoid, like sucking your thumb or sticking out your tongue
  • The stages of growth and possible problems you should know 
  • Some facts about teething
  • Tips on how to eat well
  • When to get your teeth checked again

Before this first visit is over, we’ll also quickly clean your child’s teeth and put on a fluoride coat. Checkups like these are very important for your child’s oral health! As they grow, you should plan to have our team check their teeth every six months or so. As we’ve already said, at each visit, we’ll check their mouth, clean their teeth, and put fluoride on them. These visits also help us get to know the families we serve better and give us the chance to give expert advice on how to keep a healthy smile at home.

Professional Cleanings

During your child’s checkup with us, their teeth are usually cleaned and polished by a professional. During polishing, we use a special paste to get rid of any plaque and stains that are obvious. We then use scaling to get rid of tartar and any buildup that has happened between visits. At these cleanings, the teeth will also be flossed well and fluoride will be put on them to help prevent cavities.

Fluoride Application

Fluoride is a great way to help a child’s teeth grow strong as they come in. It can also keep adult kids’ teeth from getting cavities. Frequent use hardens the tooth enamel, making it harder for acid to get inside. Studies have shown that frequent fluoride treatments greatly reduce the number of cavities!

Fluoride-based toothpaste and mouthwashes will not fully protect a child’s teeth. Fluoride is easy to get by drinking water, but not all places have to add fluoride to their tap water. If your water supply isn’t fluoridated or if your child likes to drink bottled water, you may need to talk to their primary care doctor about supplements. But you should talk to us before giving your child fluoride tablets because too much of it can change the color of their teeth. During checkups, our doctors will be able to look at the amount of fluoride in your main source of water to figure out what your child needs.


Sealants are made of a composite material that is put on the chewing areas of the back teeth, which is where most cavities in kids form. The sealants protect the parts of the teeth that are most likely to get cavities from food, bacteria, and acid. Sealants are a great preventive care tool, and we often suggest them to keep permanent teeth from getting cavities. The spaces between the teeth won’t be protected by sealants, so cavities can still form there. Even after sealants have been put on, you still need to brush and floss your teeth every day.

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