The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, as well as Sparkle Pediatric Dentistry, recommends children visit the dentist by their first birthday. At each pediatric dental care visit, we will focus on keeping primary and permanent teeth healthy and teaching children and parents ways to avoid decay and other dental diseases. Good brushing and flossing habits at home, in addition to regular dental visits twice a year, can reduce and even eliminate the need for more invasive treatments such as fillings.
Regular Dental Visits
Keeping teeth and gums healthy through regular pediatric dental care visits are an essential part of preventive care for infants, children and teens. Visits are recommended twice a year, or every six months, as an opportunity to provide a thorough cleaning and an examination of your child’s teeth and oral health.
Depending on the age of your child, the regular 6 month check up will typically consist of:
- A thorough cleaning to remove plaque and tartar
- A gum measurement to make sure the gums are healthy
- Apply fluoride treatment as necessary
- Digital X-rays
- Dental sealants
- Discuss proper techniques for good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing
- Oral health education
Visiting the dentist regularly for pediatric dental care is the best way to catch any dental health problems early before they become bigger problems, and will keep your child on track for excellent oral health for their entire lives.
At Sparkle Pediatric Dentistry, we will take digital x-rays at least once a year to keep track of your child’s oral growth and development. This is an essential part of pediatric dental care, for children of all ages. Henrico pediatric dentist, Dr. Holly Lewis, will be able to examine the permanent teeth as well as the health of the tooth root and surrounding bone. When it comes to your child’s health, we want you to know that digital x-ray technology emits up to 90% less radiation than traditional x-ray technology. There are several advantages to digital x-rays including:
- Comfortable and quick
- Instantly viewable images
- Electronically stored for quick retrieval
- Less exposure to radiation
Effective Brushing and Flossing Routines
The best way to keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy is with a consistent brushing and flossing routine at home. Implementing good oral hygiene habits early will help set the course for a healthy smile in the future.
At each routine dental visit, we will model the proper brushing and flossing techniques for your child. You can practice this at home with a dry toothbrush first. At Sparkle Pediatric Dentistry, we recommend parents perform the oral health care routines for children once in the morning and then again at night up to age 7. You can make brushing your child’s teeth fun! Check out these tips you can incorporate into the brushing routine:
- Playing music while brushing teeth
- Reward good brushing behavior
- Shop with your child to pick out his favorite toothbrush and toothpaste
- Watch videos about brushing teeth
- Download integrative apps and games about brushing and flossing
- Read stories about brushing and flossing
- Brush together – so you can help model the proper brushing techniques
If you are having any issues helping your child brush his teeth consistently, give us a call at (804) 746-7382. We are always happy to help!
Helping Your Child Prevent Cavities
Cavities are no fun and they are also preventable, that’s why Sparkle Pediatric Dentistry goes above and beyond to help your child avoid decay and the treatment (a filling). Our tools to help prevent decay include:
- Regular dental visits for routine cleanings and exams
- Good oral hygiene education
- Dental sealants
The “home” part of preventative care means brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly. Making healthy snack choices such as fresh fruit and vegetables as well as limiting sugary drinks will also help reduce the risk of decay.
If your child does happen to get a cavity, our specialized team of dental professionals will guide your child through every step of the treatment. If you are new to the Mechanicsville, VA area and are looking for a pediatric dentist, please don’t hesitate to call us at (804) 746-7382.
Pre-Cavities or Demineralization
At Sparkle Pediatric Dentistry we do our best to prevent cavities and strengthen primary teeth through education and preventative care. We use intraoral x-rays to check for demineralization between teeth, which is a sign of soft or weakened enamel. It is important to monitor any demineralization as it can progress into decay.
Demineralization is usually the first sign that the enamel has softened and with an accurate diagnosis and the proper care, it can be managed and even reversed. Demineralization occurs when food particles, milk or fructose from juice are left on and in between teeth for extended periods of time. Being diligent and proactive with daily brushing and flossing will help reduce the risk of developing cavities from demineralization.