Prevention is better than cure!
That’s how the old saying goes, and it’s certainly true in the case of dentistry for children. The CDC estimates that around 13.2% of children aged 5-19 have untreated dental cavities – but that doesn’t have to be the case for your kids.
Your Nicholasville children’s dentist is here to provide the best preventative dentistry for your child. But what exactly is preventative dentistry? We’re going to explore the answer to that question, why it’s important, and how you can find the best dentist for kids in your area.
What Is Preventative Dentistry?
As the name suggests, preventative dentistry is all about helping your children to avoid dental problems.
It takes three main forms – education, cleaning, and preventative treatments.
Education – Teaching Children to Care for Their Teeth
When you take your children to a Nicholasville pediatric dentist, they’ll get one-on-one attention. The dentist will take the time to talk to them about their teeth cleaning routine. They’ll ask them to show them what they do.
They can then gently train your child in how to care for their own teeth. As they develop, they’ll show your child how to floss correctly. This is the number one form of preventative dentistry – empowering your child to take care of their own teeth for the rest of their lives.
What if your child has special needs? This is one of the benefits of seeing a specialist kids’ dentist. They are trained to care for children with special educational needs and know adaptations that can be made to accommodate them.
For example, some autistic kids struggle with the taste of regular toothpaste. Others may hate the fact that it foams. A Nicholasville children’s dentist will be able to suggest alternatives that you can try.
During the check-up, your kid’s dentist will be on the lookout for signs that they need to improve their cleaning technique. They’ll also be able to spot any emerging issues before they become too serious. If they spot caries, a little restorative dentistry will be needed.
If your child is at increased risk of developing caries, your dentist may suggest more regular check-ups. You may need to bring them in every three months until your dentist is confident that the issue is under control.
Education – The Importance of Diet
Many parents struggle to get their children to avoid sugary snacks outside of meal times. But it’s an essential message and one that they need to adhere to if they’re going to avoid serious dental issues as they get older. Your Nicholasville pediatric dentist is here to help.
They can provide clear dietary advice, including:
- Avoid sugary sodas and fruit juices between meals – stick to plain water
- Stick to three regular meals a day
- Limit snacks to once a day
- Choose savory snacks over sweet ones
It’s also good to get into the habit of making sweet treats part of main meals rather than snacks.
Your dentist may also advise adding one extra cleaning session to your child’s dental hygiene routine. Ask them to wash their mouth out with mouthwash when they come home from school. That can help them to get some additional protection between brushing sessions.
Toothbrushes are great, but they can’t remove everything. After six months have gone by, it’ll likely be time for a little prophylactic cleaning of your child’s teeth. Your kid’s dentist will gently remove any plaque and tartar that have built up on their teeth.
This will help them to keep their teeth and gums in great shape.
Dental sealants are one of the best preventative treatments available.
They’re a simple coating that your dentist can paint onto your children’s teeth. They form an extra barrier that can reduce the risk of them developing caries. They’re mainly used on molars and premolars – teeth that have places where food can get stuck more easily.
Fluoride treatments strengthen the enamel of your children’s teeth. This can help them to be more resistant to caries. This is usually painted onto teeth every six months.
When Should You Take Your Child to the Dentist?
You spend the first year of your child’s life helping them to grow strong and learn to walk. You can add to that by teaching them the importance of going to the dentist. Because right from the moment their first tooth emerges or before their first birthday, you need to make their first appointment.
This gets your child in a habit that will stay with them for life. By taking your child to the dentist after six months after their first birthday, you help them feel relaxed about the whole experience. You can reduce the likelihood of them developing dental anxiety as they get older.
Sadly, it’s estimated that 9% of American children suffer from dental anxiety. It can lead to them missing important check-ups and treatments that they need. Some may develop complex dental issues.
So it’s a good idea to get your child off to a great start in life by taking them to a Nicholasville pediatric dentist every six months.
How to Choose the Best Dentist for Kids
The best dentist for your kids is one who can create a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. If your child is a little anxious, find one that can offer sedation dentistry. This will ensure that your child is fully relaxed during treatment.
Also, look for a practice that gives you access to an emergency pediatric dentist. You want to be able to see your regular dentist if something goes wrong at little league…
Choose Dr. Wheeler as Your Nicholasville Children’s Dentist
If you’re looking for the best Nicholasville children’s dentist, you’re already in the right place.
Dr. Rebecca Wheeler creates a relaxed and compassionate atmosphere. She puts children, teens, and people with special needs at ease. By developing a great rapport, Dr. Wheeler can set them up for a lifetime of good oral health.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.