By Angela V. Litvak, DMD
Summer is a perfect time for family fun and lazy beach days. And school summer break is also a great time for scheduling your children’s visit for a bi-annual dental checkup. Did you realize that from the moment your children’s first pearly white tooth erupts, they are susceptible to decay? It is also important that parents understand that your children’s primary ‘baby’ teeth play an essential foundational role in achieving a lifetime of dental health.
So…at what age should dental checkups begin? The answer is as soon your baby’s teeth erupt!
The dental visit for a young child with primary teeth or baby teeth serves as a guide which will enable us to proactively develop a preventive health plan for your child. Primary teeth assist with chewing food, speech development and space maintenance for the developing adult teeth. Early detection of problems will minimize premature loss of a baby tooth which could result in crowding, overlapping and malposition of adult dentition.
Early and timely dental checkups allow for discussions about cavity prevention, gum tissue health and early prevention and correction of dental related problems and possible developmental concerns. At your children’s checkup a thorough teeth cleaning, exam, fluoride treatment along with diagnostic radiographs (Panoramic and Bitewing Xrays) will be preformed.
As a family dental practice we provide the first line evaluation and determine subsequent phases of treatment.
So…where do we begin? How do you prevent tooth decay? Home Care, Prevention and Nutrition! Home Care: Most of us know that brushing twice a day will help prevent cavities. Did you know that establishing an early habit of using dental floss is vital! Using dental floss not only cleans between the teeth to help prevent cavities but more importantly flossing helps to remove the microscopic bacteria under the gum and will help to prevent periodontal disease in the future.
Prevention: During your children’s visit, your dentist will carefully complete an evaluation of all developing teeth and determine if the child will benefit from fluoride treatments and tooth sealants. Studies show this combined preventive measure have decreased the risk of tooth decay in the presence of good oral hygiene home care.
Nutrition: Causes of decay and tooth problems are not limited to improper brushing. A major component are the kinds of foods and drink choices made. We often think of candy and soda as unhealthy choices but foods such as dried fruit, pasta and pretzels are also capable of causing tooth decay. Diet soda and energy drinks have phosphoric and citric acid which can change the neutral PH of saliva to an unhealthy acidic level. When the saliva is unable to buffer the tooth, demineralization of enamel occurs, the enamel begins to break down and then becomes susceptible to developing decay.
We would love the opportunity to care for you and your family and help your children enjoy a lifetime of Healthy Smiles that Sparkle! Please call our office to take advantage of our Back to School Special!
Call 239-262-6000 Today!!