What are the best ways to ensure that your child forms good dental habits that will last a lifetime? Oral hygiene is one of the most important measures—making sure that your child learns the fundamentals of brushing from an early age, and supervising them until they're ready to take responsibility themselves. Of course, a high standard of oral hygiene isn't the only tool at your disposal. Sometimes a child needs the sort of help that only a dentist can provide.
Regular appointments with pediatric dental specialists act as an effective early warning system. Your child's dentist can spot early signs of tooth decay and may be able to apply preventive measures to stop a cavity from forming. Other irregularities can also be spotted before they can pose a serious risk, and any abnormalities will also be noted, with your child receiving necessary treatment or receiving an early referral to the relevant specialist. For example, your child's dentist may note an issue with the alignment between your child's upper and lower dental arches, and so may refer you to a pediatric orthodontist.
A pediatric dentist routinely uses certain preventive measures on their young patients, whether they're at an elevated risk of tooth decay or not. This is simply to ensure the best possible health of your child's teeth. Regular remineralization is one such approach, and this involves fluoride varnish. Applied to your child's teeth during their checkups, fluoride varnish offsets the demineralization that can be caused by any plaque that may form on your child's teeth. The oral bacteria that form dental plaque can produce acid, which corrodes the mineral content of teeth, leading to tooth decay. Regular fluoride varnish treatments can minimize this risk.
In addition to regular fluoride treatments, a pediatric dentist may wish to apply a dental sealant to the biting surfaces of your child's teeth (particularly their molars). This is a transparent coating of resin, which dries immediately after being painted on. It covers the pits and fissures of the tooth's biting surface (which can be difficult for a young patient to clean effectively—even with your assistance). The sealant offers extra shielding for these parts of your child's teeth, which then gives them extra protection from corrosion. A sealant will naturally wear away due to biting pressure, and even from brushing, but it can easily be reapplied at each checkup.
With your help, your child will be taking the best possible care of their teeth at home, but some extra help from their dentist can make a huge difference. For more information, contact pediatric dental specialists near you.