Prevention is the foundation of comprehensive care, especially for children. Routine checkups and cleanings starting at your child’s first birthday enable Dr. Murphy to catch problems like tooth decay or improper eruption in the very early stages. The earlier issues are diagnosed, the more conservatively they can be treated, which saves you money and saves your child from future dental treatment.
Routine Dental Cleanings & Exams
Kids’ dental visits are a family affair, so we welcome parents back into the treatment area if he or she feels nervous. After the visit is over, Dr. Murphy will thoroughly discuss his findings with you, along with his recommendations for treatment and long-term maintenance.
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that strengthens enamel and protects teeth from decay. It’s even been proven to reverse the early stages of decay! Dr. Murphy provides a safe, kid-friendly fluoride treatment after each cleaning.
Protective Dental Sealants
Dental sealants fill in the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back molars, an area where food particles commonly get caught and cause cavities. Sealants can be applied quickly with no shots or drilling, effectively protecting your child’s teeth for years.
Q: What is preventative dentistry?
A: Preventative dentistry means maintaining your oral health to prevent disease. For children this includes:
- Establishing a “dental home” by a child’s first birthday
- Brushing and flossing
- A balanced, healthy diet
- Fluoride treatments
- Routine dental visits
- Monitoring oral growth and development
- Oral health education
- Assessing risk for developing cavities
- Protection against injuries
- Managing oral habits
- Guiding the erupting teeth
- Dr. Murphy practices preventative dentistry, which in addition to routine dental check-ups, requires parental assistance with home oral health routines.
Q: Why is preventative dentistry important?
A: Oral health affects general health. Oral problems can interfere with eating, speaking, self-esteem and daily activities. Extensive decay can affect development and growth. Children experiencing tooth pain may not be able to focus on their studies at school. A healthy smile is more attractive, which positively impacts confidence. Most importantly, preventative dentistry results in less extensive and less expensive dental care.
Q: When should preventative dentistry begin?
A: Preventative dental care begins when the first tooth erupts. Your child’s first visit to the pediatric dentist should occur when the first tooth erupts or no later than 12 months of age. Early dental visits and the establishment of the “dental home” is the foundation for maintaining good oral health for a lifetime.
Q: What role do parents play in prevention?
A: Following a thorough clinical exam, and an assessment of your child’s risk for developing cavities, Dr. Murphy will customize a prevention plan for home care. Parents act as partners with our office to help their child develop a lifetime of healthy habits.
Q: How do pediatric dentists help prevent dental problems?
A: Dr. Murphy and his staff have the training and expertise to develop a prevention plan to ensure your child maintains a healthy smile. Your child’s prevention plan includes routine dental visits for cleanings, polishing, and fluoride treatments. If needed, Dr. Murphy can also apply sealants to cavity prone areas, and recommend a mouthguard to prevent sports injuries to the teeth and face. In addition, he can provide an early evaluation of orthodontic problems and refer to an orthodontic specialist at the appropriate time.