A Preventive care first dental appointment should happen when the first tooth erupts and no later than one year of Age. This recommendation by all dental organizations gives your child a chance to be orally healthy from childhood right up to old age. The cornerstone of our office is prevention. We will make every effort to prevent future cavities, gum disease and orthodontic problems. The preventive services we provide are:
Tooth decay and gum disease is a bacterial infection and it can be prevented. Prevention of future tooth and gum disease is accomplished through brushing, flossing and use of a fluoride rinse program. Taking care of your child's teeth is not an easy task.
Every time we see your child the oral hygiene is assessed and we review and reinforce our oral hygiene lessons. Prevention is the best way to prevent oral diseases. I require that every one of my active patients participate in our oral prevention program.
Where applicable, we will provide nutrition counselling for oral hygiene.
Professional Cleaning removes stain and germ build upon the teeth and gives that sparkly clean smooth feeling. Professional cleanings in our office is usually provided by our Level 2 Preventive Dental Assistants. Hardened Plaque, known as calculus or tartar, must be removed by scaling (scraping). Dr. Schwartz, Dr Thaci and our hygienist provide this service to our patients.
Fluoride is a natural element that is documented to be safe and highly effective in the fight against tooth decay. It is added to tooth pastes, mouth rinses and research has shown that municipal water fluoridation is the most cost effective method of preventing cavities. Teeth readily absorb fluoride after cleaning and it is highly recommended by organized dentistry to have a fluoride treatment done after cleanings. We use Fluoride Varnishes in our office. Research has shown that fluoride varnish gives the highest uptake of fluoride by the teeth and so prevents future cavities fluoride varnish can also help reverse small cavities that are in the enamel of the teeth. Children also tolerate fluoride varnish treatments better than any other fluoride delivery system. All of our staff are able to pant the fluoride varnish onto your child's teeth.
Sealants are a plastic coating that is flowed into the cracks and fissures that are naturally found in teeth. The plastic is hardened with a curing light and prevents food and bacteria from being wedged into these spaces. Sealants are a very effective preventive services that I provide to my patients. Almost 99% of my patients receive sealants on their adult teeth.
Baby teeth are the best space maintainers for adult teeth. The baby teeth guide and hold the space for the adult teeth to come into their proper position. Unfortunately, sometimes baby teeth are extracted or lost too early and space maintenance is required. I only place fixed appliances such as a band loop or a lingual arch space maintainer when they are required.
Some young children have teeth come in the wrong place. This can produce shifting of the jaws forward or off to the side. Left untreated, these functional shifts can cause abnormal growth of the jaws. Sometimes only major jaw surgery can correct the problem.
At 3 years of age, when all of the baby molars are in, I am able to place orthodontic appliances to correct these bite problems. Active treatment usually takes only a few months.
The early loss of a baby tooth may make it necessary to place a regaining appliance to move the adult teeth back to their proper position.
Organized contact sports, particularly in football, soccer, boxing, ice hockey, lacrosse and field hockey require children to wear mouth guards. Mouth guards should be considered for all children playing any active sport including baseball, tennis, skate boarding, skiing, and racquet sports. Mouth guards help cushion blows that might cause broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face and jaw. It's believed that they also may reduce the severity and incidence of concussions.
When children still have baby teeth present, the boilable mouth guards available at sport shops provide affordable protection. They can be reheated and remolded when teeth are lost to fit your child's mouth. Once the adult teeth have come in I recommend making a more comfortable and thinner custom mouth guard. The custom mouth guards should last for several years.