North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry

Preventive Dental Care in North Royalton, OH

Daily Brushing and Flossing

Daily brushing and flossing are two of the easiest and most effective ways to avoid childhood cavities (caries). We encourage children to brush for at least two minutes, two times a day. Toothbrushes made specifically for children should be used, with smaller heads that fit small mouths, and soft, rounded bristles designed to protect gums and enamel. For more information on brushing and flossing, please see the information outlined below.

Flouride

All of us need a little help with keeping our teeth healthy and strong. When your child comes to North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry for their appointment we can offer a fluoride treatment to keep them smiling and keeping their teeth their whitest. 

Regular Checkups

Keeping your child’s teeth bright and healthy takes daily effort. Establishing a routine of good dental hygiene is vital in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. But good at-home care, while essential, is not the only necessary part of maintaining good dental health. There are things a dentist can do for your child’s teeth that you can’t do at home, such as removing tartar, providing fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and spotting the early signs of cavities. The best way to make sure all of your child’s dental needs are met is to visit our office regularly for routine dental checkups.

Dental Sealants

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth producing acidic conditions while interacting with the food we eat. Brushing and flossing regularly help keep the surfaces of teeth free of bacteria and food buildup and prevent decay. However, even with regular home dental hygiene, it can be difficult to keep teeth entirely clean. The uneven pitted chewing surfaces of the molars can be particularly difficult to keep clean. This is where dental sealants enter the picture.

  • Daily Brushing & Flossing
  • Fluoride
  • Regular Checkups
  • Dental Sealants

Daily brushing and flossing refers to the act of brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste and utilizing a flossing tool (dental floss, water pick, etc.) to keep your teeth clean. By establishing good daily brushing and flossing routines early in your children, you’ll help set them up for good basic dental care throughout their lifetime. These good dental health habits are the best way for your child to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.

Some parents can overlook the basic necessities of brushing and flossing for themselves and their children. North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry believes that all children should have a good foundation of oral hygiene; which means practicing and utilizing the best techniques for daily brushing and flossing. Children will need assistance brushing and flossing their teeth until age six or seven. You should set an example for your children by demonstrating proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Visiting a pediatric dentist is one of the best ways for kids to learn the practices for keeping their mouth clean, healthy, and happy. By coming into our office, we will be able to demonstrate for you and your child the proper techniques for brushing and flossing your teeth. For example, it is important to focus on the back molars as those teeth are often neglected by brushing. Here are some general tips that can help you and your child:

  • Get your child a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. Prior to brushing your child brushing their teeth, soak the brush in warm water to soften the bristles.
  • As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, you should be brushing their teeth. Flossing should be implemented once your child has two or more teeth.
  • It is recommended that your child brushes their teeth at least twice a day; once in the morning and once before bed.
  • Your child should spend at least two minutes brushing their teeth.
  • Make sure each of your children has their own toothbrush and that it is replaced every three to four months, or as needed.
  • To supplement proper brushing and flossing, you can also provide your child with fluoride, either with a prescribed supplement or request it at your next dental checkup.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in most water sources. This mineral has been found to prevent tooth decay, even before it is visible to the naked eye. In fact, research has shown that adequate fluoride intake can prevent tooth decay by as much as 25% when given to adults and children alike. Also, unlike some other dental products, fluoride supplements have been studied for over seventy years, so researchers understand all of the inherent risks and benefits of this mineral.  

When your teeth are exposed to fluoride, your dental enamel absorbs this vital mineral. Fluoride works by helping your teeth replenish calcium and phosphorus, which keeps your teeth strong! Once teeth are re-mineralized, the surface hardens, which helps your teeth to fend off acidic erosion, fractures, and even surface scratches. Fluoride can also stop decay in its tracks and keep new damage from forming. 

Some cities add fluoride to the municipal water supply, while others refrain from this practice. However, just because your city doesn’t fluoridate their water doesn’t mean that you have to watch your child suffer from preventable decay. Here at North Royalton Family Dentistry, we can prescribe you a fluoride supplement based on your child’s needs. These supplements come in several forms, but most children prefer flavored drops. For adults, we typically recommend using a fluoride toothpaste or an alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash. 

Unfortunately, as with anything else, you can have too much of a good thing. If too much fluoride is given to a baby, a child, or even to a teenager who doesn’t have all of their permanent teeth quite yet, the patient can develop a condition called fluorosis. Although this condition is not life-threatening, it can cause the teeth to develop brown stains, surface pitting, or even white markings. 
 
To prevent this complication, we urge all of our patients to consult with us before starting a fluoride regimen. Here at North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry, we can evaluate the fluoride levels in the water of your area, talk about your daily routine, and help you to decide which products would be most beneficial for your children. We can also teach you how to determine whether or not your child is receiving too much fluoride, and how to administer drops to small children. 

Daily brushing disrupts dental plaque and keeps the teeth clean. But if left undisturbed for too long, plaque hardens into deposits of dental calculus, or tartar. Tartar is too hard to be removed by brushing and flossing, and can only be cleaned away by a dentist.

Most people accumulate at least a little tartar between dental visits, but children especially are in danger of tartar buildup, as they may not have developed the skills to care for their teeth yet. Tartar leads to tooth decay and gum disease, so regular tartar removal is an essential step in caring for their dental health. In order to keep your child’s teeth healthy, they need regular cleanings by a dentist.

As plaque hardens into tartar, it leaches essential minerals including fluoride from your child’s teeth. Dental enamel needs fluoride to stay strong, bright, and hard. While a healthy diet can help to replenish the minerals your child’s teeth lose over time, this is often not enough to keep teeth at their best. Regular fluoride treatments at our office provide an extra boost to keep your child’s teeth healthy and fight off decay.

When cavities and other dental problems do emerge, it’s always best to catch them early. Long before they become easily visible or begin to hurt, we can spot any changes in your child’s dental health. The earlier problems are spotted, the easier they are to treat. Regular exams save you time, money, and trouble in the long run.

Many dentists offer these services, but only a pediatric dentist like Dr. Taylor is specially trained to provide them to children. Your child’s teeth are at a different stage of development than an adult’s, and have specialized needs that we can address. At North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry, we are also committed to providing your child with compassionate care and a positive experience that will let them leave our office smiling.

Dental sealants are a great option for preventing decay in your child's permanent molars. Sealants are thin, durable coatings of a plastic material applied to the chewing surfaces of your child's molars, ideally soon after the emergence of the child's permanent molars. By filling in the pits and fissures of the molars, sealants keep these problem areas free of bacteria and food, in turn preventing decay. The sealants do not interfere with chewing or talking, and they aren't visually obtrusive either. Though your child may be able to feel the sealants with his or her tongue, he or she will quickly forget the sealants are there. This is a quick, simple, and unobtrusive way to help protect your child's teeth, and the sealants will stay in place for as long as five to ten years, preventing decay all the while. These sealants, along with good oral hygiene habits and regular checkups will help your child have healthy teeth into adulthood.