Preventive Dental Care

The answers to these questions were adapted from the website of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. For more information, visit the site at www.aapd.org. Click on a question to link to the answer.

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Q: Why is preventive dentistry important?

A: Preventive dentistry means a healthier future for your child. Children with healthy mouths chew more easily and gain more nutrients from the foods they eat. They learn to speak more quickly and clearly. Their general health will be better because disease in the mouth endangers the whole body. Finally, preventive dentistry means less extensive and less expensive treatment for your child

Q: When should preventive dentistry start?

A: Preventive dentistry begins with the first tooth. Visit your pediatric dentist when the first tooth comes in. You will learn how to protect your infant's dental health. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental disease and helping your child belong to the cavity-free generation.

Q: What role do parents play in prevention?

A: After evaluating your child's dental health, your pediatric dentist will design a personalized program of home care for your child. This program will include brushing and flossing instructions, diet counseling, and if necessary, fluoride recommendations. By following these directions, you can help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.

Q: How do pediatric dentists help prevent dental problems?

A: Tooth cleaning, polishing and fluoride treatments are all part of your child's prevention program. But there's much more. For example, your pediatric dentist can apply sealants to protect your child from tooth decay, help you select a mouth guard to prevent sports injuries to the face and teeth, and provide early diagnosis and care of orthodontic problems. Your pediatric dentist is uniquely trained to develop a combination of office and home preventive care to insure your child a happy smile.

Q: How can I help my child enjoy good dental health?

A: The following steps will help your child be part of the cavity-free generation:

  • Beware of frequent snacking.
  • Brush effectively twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss once a day.
  • Have sealants applied when appropriate.
  • Seek regular dental check-ups.