Good Oral Health Starts With Preventive Care

What are you looking forward to in the near future?

It could be a personal event, like a wedding or a graduation. It could be spring training if you are a baseball fan.

It could be your next appointment at Plano Smile Studio.

OK, we realize going to the dentist may not be on your list of things that you are looking forward to doing. However, we believe our approach to dental care may change your mind about coming to see the dentist, especially if you live in or near Plano, TX.

We pride ourselves in having a comprehensive general dentistry practice with a range of dental services. You can get anything from cosmetic to restorative care in our office.

But our practice is centered around preventive care, and that’s what we want to discuss today.

Oral Care Starts Early

As important as it is for you to visit our office at least twice a year, a daily oral hygiene routine is essential to maintaining your oral health.

The American Dental Association celebrates National Children’s Dental Health Month in February to encourage good oral care, starting in childhood. Here is a short overview of what you and your family should be doing.

If you have a newborn, you can start his or her oral care before his or her first tooth erupts. After feedings, just wipe your little one’s mouth with a moist cloth or piece of gauze.

As parents, you will be happy when your son or daughter’s first tooth does emerge. This is a big moment in your lives. It also means that he or she can now develop tooth decay.

To fight this, you can use a small soft-bristled toothbrush with a dab of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. Gently scrub your baby’s tooth twice a day.

When he or she has two teeth that touch one another, you can begin flossing gently, too.

Around the age of 3, your child may be ready to start brushing by him- or herself. You should still supervise this for a couple reasons.

First, your child should use a toothbrush that is comfortable for him or her. At this stage, children should use a squeeze of toothpaste about the size of a pea.

You want to make sure your children brush twice a day for at least two minutes, scrubbing their teeth on all sides. You can use a kitchen timer, a stopwatch, or even a smartphone app to make sure your little darling brushes for the right amount of time.

Second, you want to be sure that your child spits out the toothpaste when he or she finishes brushing.

Your child should be flossing daily at this point, too.

Growing Up

By age 7, your children should be able to brush and floss without supervision. (You may want to check on them occasionally just to make sure they are doing what they should.)

Hopefully you have been coming to our office for regular cleanings and examinations, but that becomes especially important at this age. This is the time when your child will begin losing his or her baby teeth.

We will watch for any problems, and if needed, we may take corrective actions to reduce your child’s need for orthodontic care when he or she gets a little older.

Most of your son or daughter’s baby teeth will have fallen out before they become a teenager, and their permanent or adult teeth will have started coming in if they aren’t in already.

Again, they should be brushing and flossing every day, and they should be making regular dental visits for cleanings and examinations.

If your child does need orthodontic treatment, we may be able to help with Invisalign, which is sometimes known as clear braces. Our office is an Invisalign Preferred Provider.

Invisalign works on a number of alignment issues, and this treatment generally takes about half the time of traditional braces.

A Quick Word On Wisdom Teeth

When your teen gets a little older, his or her wisdom teeth will come in.

Unfortunately, many patients do not have enough room in their mouths to allow these teeth to erupt correctly. Many times, wisdom teeth become impacted, which can cause them to push into your existing teeth. This can create new alignment problems, and it can increase your child’s risk of gum disease.

In our office, we can extract those teeth when there is a problem. This is often the best decision for your child’s long-term oral health.

Keeping You Smiling

We hope that the relationships we build with you and your children will continue well into their adulthood. It’s worth repeating: preventive care is the center of our general dentistry practice here in Plano, TX.

We encourage all our patients to visit Plano Smile Studio at least twice a year for routine cleanings and examinations.

Call us at (972) 398-2550 or use our online form to make your next appointment.