Pediatric Preventative Care

It is very important for children to start with preventative care early on, even before they start getting their permanent teeth. 

Sealants

As soon as permanent teeth start to arrive in the mouth, sealants will prove very beneficial for helping to keep their teeth healthy and strong. Sealants are a preventive service that provides a protective slippery coating to molar chewing surfaces, making it harder for plaque to stick in the pits and grooves and easier to brush away. Dental sealants are an economical way to help prevent more than 80 percent of tooth decay. Sealants reduce the need for fillings and other more expensive treatments and help keep to keep teeth healthier and longer than brushing alone.

Fluoride

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by slowing the breakdown of enamel and speeding up the remineralization process. The new enamel crystals that form are harder, larger and more resistant to acid.  Common sources of fluoride are fluoridated drinking water, toothpaste and mouth rinse.  Inform your dentist if your drinking water is not fluoridated. High concentration fluoride gels, mouth rinses, drops and tablets are available by prescription.    

Frenectomy

A frenum is a muscular attachment between two tissues. The maxillary labial frenum connects the inside of the upper lip to the gums just above the upper two front teeth. If you move your tongue up between your upper lip and your teeth, you can feel this this band of muscle.  

A prominent maxillary labial frenum can cause a large gap to occur between the upper two front teeth. This can be a concern for parents. However, unless the frenum is causing a lot of pain on the upper lips and gums, immediate treatment is not necessary. Treatment should be delayed until the upper permanent teeth have come in. Many times the replacement of the baby teeth with permanent teeth will naturally close the gap between the two front teeth. If the gap doesn’t close, then it can be treated using braces.  If the teeth begin to drift apart again after braces have moved them to together, then a frenectomy may be necessary. A frenectomy is not done before the gap is closed, because scar tissue can form making it impossible to get rid of the space between the upper two front teeth.  

 

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