What is a panoramic radiograph?
When your child’s first permanent molars erupt, we will suggest taking their first panoramic radiograph. This radiograph is critical for us to see the presence, or absence, of the permanent teeth as well as their shape and eruption pattern. We are also able to evaluate the development of the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint) and the presence of many pathological conditions that affect the jaws. This radiograph is critical to many decisions that we make concerning your child’s restorative and orthodontic care.
How can I help prevent cavities?
We recommend that parents continue to teach and reinforce good nutrition, including healthy snacking habits and good oral hygiene with their child. We strongly recommend that a parent continue to help a child to brush and floss his teeth until he is 7 or 8. A good rule of thumb is that if he cannot tie his shoes, he can’t do an adequate job of brushing and flossing his teeth. Continue to schedule and keep regular continuing care appointments, or dental check-ups, for your child every 6 months.
What about mouth guards for sports?
We are very supportive of the use of mouth guards in any contact sports, including football, soccer, and hockey. Mouth guards not only protect the teeth, but can reduce concussions, brain injuries, and injuries to the joints. A mouth guard must be comfortable and not cumbersome, so that the child will use it. If you have trouble finding one to fit, we can make a custom one for your child.
Is chewing gum bad for teeth?
We encourage the use of sugarless gum to help prevent tooth decay! Sugarless gum can actually clean the biting surfaces of the molars and stimulate saliva production. This brings minerals to the surface and helps the teeth heal. Keep in mind that gum with sugar is very bad for the teeth.
Can we seal out decay?
Sealants are used to protect the decay-prone areas of the back teeth, and are possibly the best preventive care measures that we can provide your child. Studies show that sealants can reduce caries in these permanent teeth by 70%. Sealants are easily applied and are quite durable, so ask the dentist if your child can benefit from sealants.