Parents want their children to have good health. Dental health is a part of ensuring good overall health. This is why it is important to get routine pediatric dental exams. The exams can help with the early detection of issues. They are preventative and can help children avoid getting cavities. Some parents mistakenly assume that they do not have to be concerned about cavities when their children have baby teeth. This misconception can lead to issues in early childhood that can affect permanent teeth later in life. The following points are suggestions that can be used to promote healthy teeth in children.
Dental sealants are an effective option for cavity prevention. They are clear coatings and are applied to teeth to protect against decay. The sealants create a barrier between foods and beverages. The back teeth might not get brushed as well as teeth that are closer to the front of the mouth. If food particles are not removed, it can lead to cavities. Sealants placed on back teeth can give parents peace of mind that their children's teeth are protected when they do not brush correctly. Good oral hygiene habits should still be practiced, and sealants offer additional support in the event that toothbrushing and flossing are not always done right. The back teeth are referred to as permanent and premolars. Protecting them against decay is important because children will not erupt new ones later in life.
Pediatric dentists can advise about when children can use fluoridated toothpaste. Younger children who cannot spit or rinse may not be ready to use this type of toothpaste because of swallowing concerns. If they swallow too much of it, the fluoride could cause white spots on their permanent teeth. This condition is referred to as dental fluorosis. Their baby teeth may appear fine, but when their permanent teeth erupt, the signs of too much fluoride might be evident.
At some point, a dentist might recommend fluoride treatments. This would be based on a few things such as the type of water that a child consumes. Fluoride is effective in cavity prevention. Most municipal water supplies have it added, but some children may not get enough if they drink bottled or well water. Dentists can administer fluoride treatments during office visits or prescribe it for home use.
A pediatric dentist is a good resource to use for more tips to protect children's teeth. They can explain the importance of dental exams and answer questions about concerning habits such as thumbsucking.