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Preventive Dentistry

preventative dentistry

Mouth Guards
Tooth Colored Crowns
How do Fillings Work?

While the basis of preventative dentistry starts at home with frequent brushing and flossing and a healthy diet, periodic dental examinations are key to optimal oral health. When a cavity is caught and treated early they don’t have the chance to develop into a painful (and expensive!) toothache. The bacteria in the mouth spreads from one tooth to another and if cavities are not treated these cavities spread throughout the mouth. Dental infections, once seated, can spread more easily throughout the body, causing sickness and draining energy. Often in chronic cases the patient doesn’t report pain as the patient doesn’t remember life without cavities. Parenting does not come with an instruction manual and we are eager to help guide you through this process to establish great oral hygiene habits for your child.

Our preventive approach to dentistry puts a strong emphasis on developing healthy oral hygiene and diet habits. If treatment can be avoided and put off with an increased oral hygiene and fluoride regiment it will be recommended. We believe following up with regular checkups will allow us to address issues which crop up, helping you evaluate risk factors your child may be at risk of.

Mouth Guards

Mouth guards protect the teeth from possible sports related injuries. Not only do they protect the teeth but the lips, checks, tongue and jaw bone as well. In some instances they can protect a child from certain head injuries. Most complex dental injuries occur to the mouth and head area when a child is not wearing a mouthguard.

Some sports require a mouth guard (football, hockey) but the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends any active contact sports (soccer, basketball, karate, softball, baseball, skateboarding etc) should use a mouth guard. Most injuries occur when children are playing basketball, baseball and soccer. Not all dental trauma can be avoided but sports related dental trauma can avoided with a properly worn mouth gaurd.

The only effective mouth guard is the one a child wears. Most guards are found at athletic stores. These vary in comfort, protection as well as cost. The least expensive tend to the least effective in preventing oral injuries. Customized mouth guards allow the wearer to speak and communicate which often is the reason for low compliance in wearing mouth guards bought at the store. A custom mouth guard can be provided through our practice at a very reasonable cost.



Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities forming in the small grooves of a tooth. As these grooves and pits are so small the toothbrush is unable to removed bacteria. Once the sealant is placed the groove is somewhat flatter and the toothbrush is able to cleanse the area much more effectively. This plastic material usually applied to the chewing surfaces of any tooth that shows the characteristics of developing decay. These teeth are most commonly the permanent molars. The recommendation for sealants is considered on a case-by-case basis.

The longevity of a sealant varies. Sealants in place 3-5 years are generally accepted as successful. It is not uncommon to have a sealant still be intact through adulthood. Sealants are successful while children are young as hygiene is not always optimal. Even a broken sealant can protect the deep grooves of teeth from cavities. It is important to have routine exams to monitor these sealants for reapplication or repair when necessary.

Sealants are usually performed in one visit and require no special instruction after the procedure. Patients can eat immediately after the placement. The process of sealant placement can be viewed by clicking here.

Tooth Colored Crowns

If a tooth has multiple areas of decay, decay which has destroyed ¾ of the tooth or decay that extends into the nerve of the tooth a crown will be recommended. Research has shown crowns are the best restoration a compromised primary tooth can receive. They almost never get cavities again and rarely break or come off.

Crowns come in two varieties. A white crown and a stainless steel crown. The white crown is much more esthetic and appears to have a better adaptation with the tissue but poses no better long term functional benefit to the stainless steel crowns.  Whether in the front or in the back of the mouth pediatric dental crowns do not have to be silver. For more information about our white crowns click here.

How do Fillings Work?

First, consider how a cavity works.

Cavities are caused by bacteria in plaque, which coat our teeth. That bacteria feeds on carbohydrates from the food we eat and produces acid, which eats away at our teeth. These cavities get worse over time, eating away at the enamel first and then more sensitive areas of the teeth underneath.
Despite popular opinion, you might not even know if you have a cavity- most are totally painless. But if your dentist finds a cavity, he or she will likely recommend a filling.

Fillings have two parts: the dentist removes the part of the tooth that has already decayed and replaces it with a filling. Fillings can be made from all sorts of different materials, but usually they’re silver amalgam, a white resin or porcelain. Gold fillings are also relatively common.



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