Preventive Dentistryin Fort Worth, TX
Preventive dentistry is the foundation for good oral health. From six-month cleanings and exams to fluoride treatments and dental sealants, preventive services can safeguard your child’s smile to help them grow up healthy and strong. As the name suggests, preventive care is all about preventing serious dental issues from forming, such as cavities and gum disease.
At Clearfork Pediatric Dentistry, we offer a full suite of preventive treatments to keep your little one’s smile in tip-top shape. Our mission is to help them get started on the right path towards a lifetime of healthy smiles. We recommend bringing your child in twice a year for a routine cleaning and exam!
Our Preventive Services
- Cleanings, Exams & X-Rays
We take X-rays of your child’s teeth and perform a gentle, yet thorough, cleaning on their teeth. Then, Dr. Laborde examines their smiles and goes over their X-ray imaging. Six-month cleanings and exams are a great way to ensure that your child’s smile is healthy!
- Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is used in toothpaste and drinking water. Fluoride helps strengthen enamel. We provide quick and easy fluoride treatments to give your child’s enamel a boost.
- Dental Sealants
Teeth have natural grooves in their chewing surface that can be danger zones for food debris and bacteria to collect in. If we see any of these during your child’s exam, we can place dental sealants over the grooves which are long-lasting, clear coatings that protect the area.
Each child receives a tailored preventive plan to enhance overall health and wellness, whether or not cavities are found. Prevention in our office centers around oral hygiene, nutrition, and nasal breathing.
Oral hygiene traditionally has meant brushing and flossing and the use of fluoride toothpaste. While we do encourage traditional brushing and flossing, we believe it is also important to consider if our patients have a good, effective swallow pattern and if their lips are closed at rest.
Brushing our teeth is important for the mechanical removal of plaque. For our younger patients, this can be a challenge. The mouth is extremely sensitive, and some of our little ones breathe through their mouths. When we attempt to use a toothbrush to brush their teeth, we can irritate them and activate their fight or flight response, especially if they feel like they can’t breathe. To increase efficient removal of plaque and provide the least overstimulating experience, Dr. Laborde recommends that the parent sit cross legged on the floor with the child’s head resting in the parent’s lap. It may be necessary to extend the child’s arms under the parents’ legs to limit untoward movement, like reaching and grabbing the toothbrush. Using an SLS-free or sulfate-free toothpaste can make this easier, as this type of toothpaste does not foam. Brush the teeth at the gumline on the cheek and tongue side of the teeth, as well as the top/chewing surfaces of the teeth. Counting to 10 and then giving two second breaks before counting again can help the child tolerate the stimulation.
A good effective swallow is the best oral hygiene. If a child directs their saliva up and back with their tongue, they constantly coat the teeth with a neutral pH. This constantly clears debris and plaque and provides an ideal environment for the health and wellness of our oral structures. If the tongue is tied or if there is a tongue thrust, the saliva is forced to the front teeth, and the cheeks assist in the swallow. This can result in plaque and debris accumulating on teeth and not cleared during each swallow. When this occurs, children have significantly more plaque and buildup to remove at each brushing session. The plaque can irritate the gums, making brushing uncomfortable, so our little patients avoid it. This results in heavy plaque buildup and an increased risk for cavities. In addition, the cheeks put pressure on the teeth during the swallow and cause them to tilt inward toward the tongue. This contributes to dental crowding and makes it even more difficult to keep the teeth clean. Dr. Laborde screens for a good, effective swallow at each dental appointment. If it is discovered that our patients have a tongue thrust or ineffective swallow pattern, they are connected to resources to retrain the swallow.