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Regular pediatric dental care starting from infancy is the number one strategy to maintain excellent oral health for a lifetime. The NC Tooth Docs Orthodontics and Kids Dentistry team implements early preventive care in young patients to help minimize tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and other dental conditions.
Learn more about our dental services and pediatric dental prevention in Huntersville, NC.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you bring your child on their first visit to the dentist by the time they are 12 months old or as soon as they have their first tooth. After that, you should schedule following regular dental visits every six months.
An early pediatric dental exam can help prevent cavities and other issues like periodontal disease or tooth damage from harmful habits like teeth grinding or clenching.
Low-radiation X-rays will allow our children’s dentist to evaluate the condition of your child’s teeth during your visit to our office. We offer laughing gas as needed to help your child cope with dental anxiety and discomfort.
Our pediatric dentist offers valuable oral health care education to young children and their parents during routine visits to our Huntersville, NC, office. Specifically, our team may suggest proper brushing techniques, regular flossing, and emergency prevention strategies like wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard for children who play sports.
While brushing and flossing are tremendously important for good dental health, plaque and tartar can still accumulate on your child’s teeth. Therefore, we recommend biannual dental cleanings as a part of our young patients’ dental care routine.
A dental hygienist can get rid of any stubborn buildup, especially in hard-to-reach spots. During your visit, after scraping off plaque with special gritty toothpaste, our hygienist will clean each tooth on all sides with an ultrasonic tool, then finish the cleaning by flossing and polishing the teeth.
Permanent molars start to appear in children around age six. When this happens, you may notice that your child’s back teeth have deep grooves. These grooves and furrows tend to accumulate food debris. They may be hard to clean, making molars especially susceptible to tooth decay.
Our pediatric dentist may recommend applying a sealant to your child’s molars to prevent decay and cavities. Dental sealants are thin coatings that can protect a molar’s chewing surfaces.
A sealant procedure includes the following simple steps:
- Cleaning the teeth to remove all germs and food particles
- Prepping the chewing surface with a special gel
- Drying the teeth and applying liquid dental sealant
The sealants will set within a few minutes, after which your child can eat and drink as usual. The clear or white material of the sealants makes them almost invisible. Your child may feel a slight difference in their bite immediately after the procedure, but the bite should adjust within a few days.
Dental sealants can last between five and ten years. If they wear out over time, your dentist will spot it during one of your child’s regular office visits and may recommend a touch-up.
Fluoride varnish is a preventive care treatment that can help prevent cavities or slow down tooth decay by strengthening the tooth enamel.
Keep in mind that fluoride treatments are most effective when combined with:
- Brushing with fluoride-containing toothpaste
- Regular flossing
- A healthy diet for the young patient
- A dental appointment every six months
The dentist can apply fluoride varnish twice a year as a part of your child’s regular dental care routine. This pediatric dentistry procedure is safe, quick, and painless. Your child should avoid eating hard foods, drinking hot liquids, brushing, and flossing at least four to six hours after a fluoride application.
How to Make the First Dental Visit a Great One for Children on The Spectrum (Including Dental Hygiene Tips)
Podcast with Special Guest Dr. Amanda Settle
Our very own Dr. Amanda was a special guest on the Autism Weekly podcast July 1, 2022, to talk about how to make the first dental visit a great experience for kiddos on the spectrum. The podcast also covered dental hygiene tips to take home and implement day to day! Dr. Amanda understands that all pediatric patients have different needs and learn in different ways. She believes that although the child is the patient, the entire family is important to the overall treatment, growth, and success.