St. Helens, OR
As the name suggests, preventive dentistry involves prevention to reduce your child's chances of developing severe oral conditions. As a part of preventative dentistry, it is recommended to establish a dental home (the relationship between patient and dentist).
Preventative dentistry in pediatrics aims to make children adopt better oral habits that will shape their future dental routines. At St. Helens Pediatric Dentistry we believe prevention is better than cure. This is why we recommend an early checkup and regular follow-ups to prevent serious problems from arising.
Good nutrition is one of the things we aim at improving. When children visit us for their checkups, we evaluate their diet habits, the nutrition they are receiving, and what they lack. Most commonly, children are fluoride and calcium deficient, which results in poor health of their teeth and gums.
We recommend consuming milk daily, fluoride-rich water, and using fluoride-rich toothpaste. In servere cases where the fluoride deficiency is severe and has caused damage, we use fluoride treatment to prevent further harm. Moreover, it will be advised to reduce the consumption of sugary and starchy foods. This is because they may result in plaque buildup, leading to bleeding gums and cause tooth decay, which is the most common cause of pediatric visits to the dentist. A healthy and balanced diet will also help boost your child's immune system. Better immunity will result in fewer risks of developing oral/gum diseases.
Besides educating parents on the importance of a healthy balanced diet, our dentist also counsels on hygiene habits and dental health habits that your child should adopt or avoid. The most basic yet most vital recommendation when it comes to hygiene is the importance of brushing teeth regularly.
Teeth need to be cleaned twice every day, once in the morning and once at night, if not after every meal. It is also crucial to clean every nook and cranny of the mouth, including the tongue. We recommend using a toothbrush that has soft bristles and also suggest flossing regularly. If your child is too young to brush their teeth, we recommend using teeth wipes to clean off any residue from their teeth.
Additionally, most children give up the habit of thumb sucking as they grow older. Thumb sucking is an innate instinct that infants adopt when they are in pain, need soothing, or are hungry. But as children age, it can have detrimental effects on their teeth alignment and bite.
Tooth decay or caries are caused by bacteria eating away the teeth, and the most common cause of tooth decay is going to bed with bottles. This means toddlers do not brush their teeth as they should. The bottle's content remains in the toddler's mouth and creates an environment where bacteria flourishes.
We recommend not using bottles before bed. However, if it is what makes them sleep, we suggest replacing the content of the bottle to water instead of milk. Other ways of preventing tooth decay are regularly brushing their teeth, flossing, and preventing overconsumption of sugary foods as much as possible.
If you require guidance and help regarding your child's oral health and how to prevent any complications, after every six months, visit us at St. Helens Pediatric Dentistry or book an appointment by calling (503) 396-4750.