Preventive DentistryCarlsbad, CA
Preventive dentistry encompasses a wide range of services and treatments designed to maintain good oral health. Preventive dentistry is especially important for young children as their teeth are still developing. Through preventive care, patients can avoid many dental complications and conditions that commonly occur as a result of negligence. Preventive dentistry consists of routine dental checkups, guidance on proper hygiene practices, and various treatments that help prevent tooth decay and other dental concerns.
At CarlsbaDDS Pediatric Smiles, we offer preventive treatments for our young patients to help reduce or eliminate dental problems as their teeth and mouths grow. Our team can help parents and kids better understand oral health and how to properly care for their teeth. To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, call 760-857-1102 today.
What is Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive dentistry, often a subset of pediatric dentistry, is the practice of good oral health care and maintenance for the protection and longevity of the oral cavity. Preventive treatments help patients avoid tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and other serious complications. For young children and adolescence, preventive care is essential in guiding proper development of the teeth, gums, and jaw.
Preventive dentistry consists of both home and office care. While a general dentist can complete some treatments and services, children will benefit from seeing a pediatric dentist. As each dentist differs in the types of services they offer, it is important to ask questions and ensure they provide preventive treatments before booking an appointment.
Preventive Care For Children
As the majority of preventive care is designed for children, most of the treatments are geared towards maintenance. The most common preventive services are regular oral exams (usually every 6 months), teeth cleanings, and routine X-rays. This allows the primary care dentist to detect, diagnose, and treat concerning symptoms early on, helping prevent the spread of harmful bacteria, often the cause of more severe conditions.
Preventive care is important at home, too, and we take the time to educate parents and children about their role in maintaining good oral health. We recommend brushing and flossing at least twice daily, using mouthwash after each meal, limiting candy and sugary foods, avoiding high-sugar and high-acid drinks, and using a mouthguard when playing sports and when sleeping. Individual recommendations are given during consultation and follow-up appointments depending on the patient’s case.
Children should visit the dentist as soon as their first tooth comes out. During their first dental visit, we check their gums and jaw to assess growth and ensure teeth develop properly. Typically, a pediatric dentist will follow a patient through their development, guiding their teeth and regularly treating them as concerns arise. Preventive treatments include:
- Promoting good dental habits, including brushing and flossing, guidance on thumb sucking, as well as advice on eating habits that help improve dental health.
- Regular teeth cleanings and oral exams, usually every six months
- Routine X-rays to help track jaw and teeth development
- Fluoride application, usually up to a certain age
- Dental sealants
- Fitting athletic mouth guards
- Referrals to orthodontists if teeth are crooked
- Referrals to other dental specialists as needed
- Helping identify related health issues that may impact a child’s dental health
Benefits of Preventive Dentistry
Preventive dentistry has many health benefits, both oral and systemic. As its name suggests, preventive care helps prevent the development and progression of tooth decay, gum disease, and more serious dental problems, such as mouth cancer. It also promotes excellent oral hygiene habits and keeps the oral cavity clean. Lastly, it allows dentists to regularly examine the entire mouth, head, neck, and throat to identify related problems.
The mouth is the leading gateway to the rest of the body, and greatly affects the other body systems. Oral health has been connected to a variety of general health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, cancer, premature birth, and low birth weight. It is crucial that pregnant women visit their dentist regularly to ensure their oral cavity is healthy to prevent complications in their baby’s development. Preventive care is beneficial for patients of all ages as it helps reduce the likelihood of both oral and systemic health conditions from arising.
Schedule a Visit Today
Preventive care and treatments are available at our office. The CarlsbaDDS Pediatric Smiles team looks forward to treating your child and guiding their teeth to grow into beautiful, healthy smiles. Call our office at 760-857-1102 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Preventive Dentistry
Who can benefit from preventive dentistry?
Preventive care is primarily targeted towards children to help prevent complications as their mouths grow and develop. However, prevention is used in dentistry for all age groups since we can spot signs of mouth cancer, denture stomatitis, and other serious conditions during regular visits. Routine checkups and good oral health care practices are important for everyone to help maintain healthy, clean teeth.
What happens during a preventive care visit?
The dentist starts by examining the teeth, gums, and jaw for any concerning issues. They will also take X-rays to assess any interior complications. The patient’s teeth are professionally cleaned, removing tartar and plaque from tooth surfaces. At the end of the visit, the dentist will educate the patient (and parent) on healthy home care tips and individualized instructions.
What questions should I ask a preventive dentist?
It is important to understand oral health in order to properly guide your children as they begin to care for themselves. We recommend asking questions about home care and maintenance, frequency of dental visits, types of treatments, and costs. This will give you and your child a better understanding of their current oral health and ongoing treatments.
How can I prevent oral cancer?
Oral cancer can be scary and devastating. To prevent the likelihood of acquiring the disease, it is crucial that patients exercise good hygiene habits, regularly visit their dentist, and routinely check for sores and cancerous symptoms, such as pain, lumps, and red or white patches. As part of preventive dentistry, we check for oral cancer during each visit.
Which dental care products should I use to prevent tooth decay?
We recommend using fluoride toothpaste when brushing as fluoride provides the teeth with enamel protection to fight bacteria. Using floss or interdental cleaners is important for cleaning between the teeth, often the cause of trapped bacteria. Alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash is good for cleaning out the mouth without burning the gums or causing irritation.
What are preventive dental materials?
Preventive dental materials are tools and products used to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Common dental materials include fluorides, toothpaste, mouthwash, dental sealants, and mouthguards. We may use other materials depending on the patient’s case.
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