Preventive dentistry is the foundation for a healthy smile. With regular cleanings and exams, small dental issues can be caught before they turn into large and costly problems. Preventive dental care along with a diligent at-home brushing and flossing routine can help prevent dental issues all together. Preventive care from our dental office is particularly important for children because once good oral health habits are established, they’re more likely to continue those habits throughout adulthood and have healthier smiles as a result. Whether you’re in Edmonds, Woodway, or Shoreline, make your appointment today.
To begin, your child’s clinical team will perform an oral exam and begin cleaning their teeth. Their teeth will be scaled to remove plaque and tartar, then brushed with a high-powered brush, and flossed to remove any remaining food particles and debris.
X-rays are not required at every dental appointment and are taken to ensure your child’s oral development is on track. X-rays may be required if the dentist suspects cavities or an infection. If your child’s dentist determines that x-rays are needed, our team will take them with your permission.
Dr. Christie will use special dental tools to check for cavities, gum disease, and other signs of potential oral health issues. She will also view your child’s x-rays and health history to aid in diagnosis. Then, she will discuss with you any problems or potential issues they may have found during the examination.
To begin, your child’s clinical team will perform a quick oral exam and begin cleaning their teeth. Their teeth will be scaled to remove plaque and tartar, then brushed with a high-powered brush, and flossed to remove any remaining food particles and debris.
Routine dental cleanings and oral exams are the most important part of preventive care. With regular cleanings, you can minimize the buildup of plaque and tartar on your child’s teeth and reduce their risk of gum disease and cavities. With routine oral exams from your child’s dentist, you can get insights on their oral health, how to care for their teeth properly, and information about preventive treatments like dental sealants and fluoride, which can help protect their teeth from bacteria and decay.
Digital x-rays are the best choice for kids, since they are very fast, provide high-resolution images, and expose children to less radiation. X-rays will typically be recommended only if your child’s dentist thinks that your kid needs them, typically once a year, or more frequently if your child is at high risk for oral disease like tooth decay or gum disease.
Fluoride treatments consist of a fluoride gel or paste that is “painted” onto your child’s teeth after a teeth cleaning. The fluoride helps remineralize and strengthen your child’s teeth, and can even reverse “soft spots” which are the first stage of tooth decay.
Dental sealants are a transparent liquid resin, which is applied directly to the teeth and is hardened using a UV light. This creates an impenetrable seal on your child’s tooth, which stops bacteria, acid, and food particles from causing cavities. This treatment is usually recommended specifically for the cavity-prone rear teeth.
You should brush your child’s teeth twice a day for two minutes until they’re 6-8 years old, or are able to tie their shoes on their own. After this, our Edmonds team recommends making brushing a family activity. You can demonstrate proper technique to your children, and make sure they’re brushing regularly.
You will need to floss your child’s teeth for them until they’re about 10, since it’s a lot harder to learn proper flossing technique than it is to learn proper brushing technique.
Flossing your child’s teeth will not be dissimilar to flossing your own. Depending on their age, you may need to find a toy or distraction to keep them entertained while you floss their teeth. Floss holders may be helpful for toddlers so they don’t bite your fingers. Just make sure you’re flossing between every two teeth that make contact and behind their most rear molar.
We recommend flossing your child’s teeth once per day, and having them rinse with water after flossing to remove any food particles that were dislodged during the process.
Healthy baby teeth are essential for your child to eat and chew properly, and damaged or decayed baby teeth can cause them a lot of pain and discomfort. Though they will fall out naturally as your child ages, your child’s baby teeth ideally should remain in place until they fall out on their own. If they lose one or more teeth prematurely, this can affect their future oral development. This is because baby teeth help form the “paths” that the adult teeth follow when they emerge. If your child loses one or more baby teeth prematurely, this can lead to future oral development problems.
Yes. Almost every dental insurance plan covers preventive care, such as six-month cleanings and exams, for dependents. Fluoride treatments and dental sealants may also be covered, in some cases. However, coverage for each insurer and dental plan varies, so we recommend consulting directly with your insurer to learn about coverage limits for pediatric preventive care, covered treatments, and other such information.