Preventive Dental Care for Kids in Centerville, UT

Preventing Dental Issues Before They Occur.

Here at Children’s Dentistry, we firmly believe in the importance of promoting preventive care. Our pediatric dentists will take excellent care of your child’s dental health during their visits, as well as educating them on how to maintain good oral hygiene at home. We invite you to call us at 801-295-8322 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mark Nelson or Dr. Treagan White, our dentists for kids. We proudly serve the Centerville, Bountiful, Woods Cross, Layton and Salt Lake communities of Utah.

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Why Preventative Care Matters

Preventive care aims to protect your child’s smile from damage caused by tooth decay, periodontal disease (gum disease), and other damaging dental conditions. Preventive dentistry works to stop these common dental issues in their tracks before it becomes necessary to undertake any restorative work. When these problems are left unchecked, your child may develop toothaches, dental abscesses, or damage to the point that extractions become necessary. None of that is pleasant for a little one to go through, so we like to be proactive about your child’s dental health to avoid the ordeal in the first place.

Building Healthy Habits for Life

A pediatric dentist, like our super dentists Dr. Nelson and Dr. White, plays a magical role in helping kids and teens develop lifelong healthy dental habits! From the moment a child’s first tooth appears, we’re there to make sure those tiny teeth get the very best care. Our Children’s Dentistry team teaches kids how to brush and floss properly, turning these important tasks into fun activities rather than boring chores.

But wait, there’s more! Dr. Nelson and Dr. White also help kids understand why it’s important to take care of their teeth, using cool models and easy-to-understand language. They show them how eating healthy foods keeps their teeth strong and how to avoid those sneaky sugar bugs that cause cavities.

Pediatric dentist in Centerville smiling with three young patients

Regular check-ups with our children’s dentists aren’t just about checking for cavities but also about building trust and comfort. This way, kids won’t feel scared about dental visits and will be more likely to keep going even when they grow up. It’s all about creating a friendly and positive experience!

So, we don’t just look after your kids’ teeth; we set them up for a lifetime of healthy smiles. And that’s pretty awesome if you ask us!

Key Preventative Strategies

Regular Dental Exams

The AAP recommends that children visit the dentist every six months to ensure that any potential dental issues are caught early and treated promptly. During these checkups, Dr. Nelson or Dr. White thoroughly examines your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth. They look for any signs of decay, check the child’s bite, and monitor the development of their teeth and jaws. They also give advice on brushing, flossing, and overall oral hygiene.

Cleanings & Fluoride Treatments

Professional teeth cleaning for kids involves removing plaque and tartar that can’t be removed by brushing and flossing alone. This gentle and thorough cleaning ensures kids’ teeth are sparkling clean. After cleaning, a fluoride treatment is often applied. This treatment strengthens the teeth, making them more resistant to decay. Fluoride is like a superhero shield for teeth, helping to fight cavities and keep teeth strong.

Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally found in water and many foods. While we receive a certain amount of fluoride from our diet and from using toothpaste with fluoride, our team may recommend fluoride treatment to strengthen the teeth further and prevent cavities. Professional fluoride is available in the form of a gel, varnish, or foam. When you bring your child to meet with our pediatric dentists, we will evaluate their fluoride levels and may provide a topical fluoride treatment to help protect and strengthen their teeth.

A child getting fluoride treatment in Centerville, Utah

Fluoride helps to strengthen your teeth and protect them from tooth decay. As you eat and drink throughout the day, bacteria, sugars, and acids constantly attack and demineralize the enamel of your teeth. Fluoride works to remineralize tooth enamel, preventing tooth decay and cavities. In addition, fluoride can strengthen teeth as they develop to make sure they are strong and healthy. This makes fluoride very important for children as their teeth grow in.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are a fantastic way to prevent cavities in children. They are made of a clear or tooth-colored resin material that is painted onto the chewing surface of teeth. By blocking out the bacteria and food debris that lead to tooth decay, the sealant prevents decay and cavities. The dental sealant forms a smooth coating over the natural pits and grooves of the tooth surface, making it easier to effectively clean teeth with normal brushing.

Dental sealants are frequently recommended for permanent molars as soon as they come in, usually between the ages of 6 and 12. Our pediatric dentist in Centerville, UT, can apply dental sealants in just one short, comfortable visit to our practice.

Sports Mouth Guards

If your child participates in organized sports or other recreational activities, we recommend that you bring them to Children’s Dentistry for a sports mouthguard. Dr. Nelson or Dr. White can create a custom-fitted sports mouth guard that provides protection against dental injuries during sports. These mouth guards cushion any blows to the face, reducing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face, or jaw.

Caring for Your Child’s Teeth

The most important work when it comes to caring for your child’s teeth happens at home. Helping your child avoid bad habits, maintain a healthy mouth, and develop an effective oral hygiene routine at home is equally as beneficial as professional preventive care from our Centerville pediatric dentists. Below, we have provided a few tips on brushing and flossing your child’s teeth. If you have more questions about caring for your child’s teeth or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mark Nelson or Dr. Treagan White, call our office at 801-295-8322.

How to Brush Your Child’s Teeth

Before your child’s teeth erupt, gently clean their gums with a soft, wet cloth. When the teeth begin to emerge, use a soft-bristled, ADA-approved toothbrush. For children under age two, use a small smear of toothpaste. You may graduate to a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste after the age of three. We recommend using an ADA-approved fluoridated toothpaste. Do not allow your child to swallow the toothpaste. You will need to brush your child’s teeth until they have developed the motor skills to clean their teeth effectively (about age seven). Monitor your child’s brushing and flossing until about that same age to ensure that they are cleaning their teeth properly.

How to Floss Your Child’s Teeth

It is recommended to begin flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they have two teeth that touch. Flossing daily removes plaque between the teeth and under the gum line where a toothbrush cannot reach. You should floss your child’s teeth for them until they are able to do it on their own.

Our children’s dentists and team will be happy to demonstrate the best flossing and brushing techniques during your visit to our office.

Cavity Prevention

When you visit Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Mark Nelson and Dr. Treagan White will recommend a variety of ways in which you can help your child prevent cavities and maintain a healthy mouth. We are committed to helping your child develop good oral habits that lead to a lifetime of smiles. For more information about cavity prevention in Centerville, Utah, and to schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentists, call us today at 801-295-8322.

Cavities are almost always the result of poor oral hygiene and a sugary diet. You can prevent cavities by:

  • Ensuring that your child brushes their teeth at least twice each day and flosses daily.
  • Not putting your child to bed with a bottle. If the child insists on having a bottle, fill it only with water.
  • Limit the amount of sugary foods and beverages your child consumes.
  • Help your child maintain a balanced, nutritious diet and avoid snacking.
  • Bring your child to meet with our pediatric dentists every six months for preventive care.
  • Ask us about dental sealants and fluoride treatments.
  • Ask us about the use of Xylitol for your child’s oral health.

We welcome you to contact our office to learn more about how you can prevent tooth decay and keep your child’s smile healthy or to set up a consultation with our caring pediatric dentists.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is early identification of dental issues so critical?

Early identification of dental issues in children is crucial for ensuring long-term oral health and well-being. Common pediatric dental problems, such as cavities or misaligned teeth, can often be detected during routine dental check-ups. Early visits to the dentist enable prompt detection and treatment, which is key in preventing minor issues from becoming major concerns. It’s important for parents to be vigilant about their child’s dental health, paying attention to any changes or irregularities in their teeth or gums. Regular dental visits, combined with parental awareness, play a vital role in maintaining a child’s healthy smile and can set the foundation for good oral habits that last a lifetime.

How do I care for my child’s teeth as they grow?

As your child grows, the requirements to maintain good oral hygiene will change too. Here’s how to keep their smile healthy during every stage:

Infants (Birth to 2 Years):

  • Before teeth erupt, gently wipe your baby’s gums with a soft, damp cloth after feeding to remove harmful bacteria.
  • Once the first tooth appears, brush with a soft, small-bristled toothbrush and a rice-grain smear of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Schedule the first dental visit by the child’s first birthday or when the first tooth appears.

Toddlers (2 to 4 Years):

  • Teach toddlers to brush their teeth twice a day with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, under adult supervision to ensure they don’t swallow toothpaste.
  • Begin teaching them how to spit out toothpaste after brushing.
  • Introduce flossing gently as soon as two teeth touch.

Young Children (5 to 7 Years):

  • Encourage independence in brushing and flossing but continue to supervise and assist as needed.
  • Discuss the importance of healthy eating habits and limiting sugary snacks and drinks, which can lead to cavities.
  • Regular dental checkups are crucial for monitoring the development of permanent teeth and ensuring proper oral hygiene habits.

Older Children and Preteens (8 to 12 Years):

  • Emphasize the importance of thorough brushing and flossing as permanent teeth and molars come in.
  • Begin discussions about the impact of poor dental habits, like the risks of gum disease and tooth decay.
  • For those involved in sports, encourage the use of mouthguards to protect their teeth from injury.

Teens (13 Years and Older):

  • Stress the importance of continuing good oral hygiene practices independently.
  • Be mindful of orthodontic needs, such as braces, and ensure they understand how to care for them.
  • Discuss lifestyle choices that affect oral health, like smoking and oral piercings, and encourage them to avoid these practices.

Do healthy eating habits play a role in dental health for kids?

Yes, healthy eating habits play a crucial role in the oral health of kids! The foods children eat can significantly impact their teeth and gums. Nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and lean proteins contribute to strong tooth enamel and healthy gums, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease. Conversely, sugary snacks and acidic drinks can erode enamel and promote tooth decay. Therefore, instilling good dietary habits from a young age supports overall health and is essential in maintaining a healthy smile. Encouraging children to choose water over sugary drinks, to snack on fruits and vegetables instead of candies, and to understand the importance of a balanced diet sets the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Protect Your Child’s Smile With Preventative Dental Care

If your child hasn’t visited the dentist in a while or is due for their very first visit, don’t delay. Set an appointment with Dr. Nelson or Dr. White at Children’s Dentistry so we can keep your child’s smile looking dazzling and in tip-top shape. We proudly serve the communities of Centerville, Bountiful, Layton, Woods Cross and Salt Lake City in Utah.

Healthy Smiles Start Here!

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions about your child’s first visit or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nelson or Dr. White.