The key to achieving healthy teeth and gums in kids is early intervention. That means taking steps to prevent adverse dental conditions before they start. Dr. Jajung Yoon, and Dr. Kartik Antani of Rio Rancho Smiles Family Dental in Rio Rancho, NM, can help guide kids toward smart oral health decisions that will help prevent bad dental care habits before they develop.
1. What is preventive dental care?
Preventive dentistry helps to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Strong oral health is achieved through a combination of good habits like daily flossing and brushing and regular checkups with your dental professional.
Developing strong oral health habits begins early and (hopefully) extends throughout a person’s life.
2. What are common preventive dentistry procedures?
Preventive dentistry procedures for kids can include:
- Regular exams and checkups – usually every 6 months
- Professional cleanings
- Regular X-rays to help monitor tooth and jaw development
- Orthodontic care for crooked teeth or misaligned bites (under or overbites).
- Fluoride treatments
- Dental sealants
3. Can a parent play a role in their child’s preventive dental care?
Yes. Parents play the most vital role in their child’s preventive dental care regimen. Parents should encourage their kids to:
- Brush. Brushing teeth at least twice daily – usually in the morning after waking up (or 30 minutes after breakfast) and at night before going to bed – with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste is one of the most important habits a child can develop. (Important! Don’t forget to teach your child to brush his tongue. This helps to remove bacteria and also to help freshen his breath.)
- Floss. Flossing daily helps to remove food that has gotten stuck between teeth before it has a chance to turn into harmful plaque. If a child has been fitted with braces, floss threaders can be used to get in between the metal brackets.
Asking a dentist for a quick demonstration at your child’s next appointment can ensure he is getting the full benefit of this important habit.
- Rinse with mouthwash. Rinsing with mouthwash after brushing and flossing can be an effective way to flush food particles out of the mouth that has been dislodged after brushing and flossing.
- Wear a mouthguard. If a child participates in a contact sport such as wrestling, hockey, or football, using a properly fitted mouthguard is an essential part of keeping teeth and mouths safe from trauma and damage.
- Avoid tobacco products. Using tobacco products, such as cigarettes, can lead to harmful diseases such as cancer, as well as other dental conditions such as tooth discoloration.
- Be careful when eating certain foods. Hard candy, and foods with pits or bones, can lead to chipped teeth. Teaching your child to chew these types of foods with caution can help them avoid accidents.
4. Do dental plans cover preventive dental services?
Yes, many do. Preventive dental care for kids is important to children’s health, so many dental plans cover it. Cleanings (1 every 6 months), X-rays, and fluoride treatments are a few examples of treatments covered by many dental plans.
Preventive Dental Care for Children in Rio Rancho, NM
Whatever your child’s preventive care needs, Dr. Yoon, Dr. Antani, and the team at Rio Rancho Smiles Family Dental stand ready to answer all of your questions and guide you toward the best preventive care solutions for the entire family. Call (505) 994-9693 to schedule a free consultation or book an appointment online through our contact page today.