The foundation of a healthy smile starts with preventive dentistry in Maple Grove. With regular cleanings and exams, small issues such as cavities can be caught early before they turn into damaging and costly problems later. When combined with a consistent at-home brushing and flossing routine, preventive care can eliminate most dental issues altogether. Establishing strong oral health habits as a child increases the likelihood of continuing those habits for life. Contact your Maple Grove pediatric dentist today to schedule your child's preventive visit!
Two of the most important elements of preventive care are routine dental cleanings and oral exams. Regular cleanings can prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar on your child’s teeth and reduce their risk of gum disease and cavities. Routine oral exams provide insight into your child’s oral health and how you can care for their teeth properly. Oral exams also allow Dr. Matt to provide recommendations about preventive treatments such as dental sealants and fluoride, which can help protect their teeth from bacteria and decay.
Digital x-rays are fast, high-resolution images that capture your child’s jaw and tooth health. X-rays will only be recommended if Dr. Matt thinks they are necessary. For most cases, x-rays are taken every few years, however, Dr. Matt may recommend more if your child is at high risk for oral disease.
Our practice uses special lasers that can remove both soft tissue (gum tissue) and hard tissue (tooth enamel). Lasers reduce bleeding and allow your child’s mouth to heal more quickly, making these tools ideal for pediatric dentistry.
After the cleaning treatment is complete, Dr. Matt or a hygienist will “paint” your child’s teeth with a fluoride treatment, which consists of a fluoride gel or paste. The fluoride helps remineralize and strengthen your child’s teeth, and can even reverse early stages of tooth decay.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a blend of silver, ammonia, water, and fluoride that kills bacteria and prevents further decay, keeping your child’s tooth healthy until it falls out naturally. While SDF is a reliable preventive measure for baby tooth decay, it is possible that your child's tooth may still need a filling or crown in the future. SDF is only used in baby teeth because it will permanently stain the treated area black.
Dental sealants use a transparent liquid resin, which is applied directly to the teeth and is hardened using a UV light. This creates an impenetrable seal on your child’s tooth, which stops bacteria, acid, and food particles from causing cavities. This treatment is usually recommended specifically for cavity-prone rear teeth.
Even children need oral cancer screenings! This is an essential part of preventive care that can be performed quickly, safely, and usually without your child noticing.
During the screening, Dr. Matt will examine your child’s mouth, gums, and oral tissues. They’ll look for discolored patches, lumps, growths, and other similar abnormalities. In the rare case that an issue is found, a biopsy may be taken and sent to a specialist for further analysis, or Dr. Matt will refer you to a specialist directly.
Scheduling a dental visit in Maple Grove every 6 months allows Dr. Matt to address any issues before they become larger problems.
If your child grinds their teeth, custom night guards can provide a solution. The night guard will fit over your child’s teeth perfectly and prevent direct tooth-to-tooth contact at night while they sleep. Not only can this reduce teeth grinding, but night guards can also prevent premature tooth wear and tear.
Custom-fitted mouthguards can protect your child’s teeth from any accidental oral trauma during contact sports. Mouthguards cushion and protect the teeth and gums, and help your child avoid oral injuries like cracked, broken, loose, or knocked-out teeth.
Be sure to brush your child’s teeth twice a day, every day, for two full minutes. Assist your child with brushing until they are 6 years old or can tie their shoes on their own. Once your child is able to brush independently, we encourage you to make brushing a family activity. Demonstrate your own proper technique to your children, and make sure they’re brushing regularly.
Floss your child’s teeth just as you would for your own teeth. Make sure you’re flossing between every two teeth that make contact and behind the rear molars. We recommend flossing your child’s teeth once per day and having them rinse with water or mouthwash after flossing to remove any food particles that were dislodged during the process.
Depending on your child’s age, you may need to find a toy or distraction to keep them entertained while you floss their teeth. You will need to floss your child’s teeth until they’re about 10, since it’s a lot harder to learn proper flossing technique than it is to learn proper brushing technique. Floss holders may be helpful for toddlers so they don’t accidentally bite your fingers.
In order for your child to eat and chew properly, they must have healthy baby teeth and strong oral health. Damaged or decayed baby teeth can cause them a lot of pain and discomfort. Even though your child will naturally lose their baby teeth as they child age, their baby teeth should remain in place until they fall out on their own. Losing one or more teeth prematurely can affect their future oral development since baby teeth help form the “paths” that the adult teeth follow when they emerge. If your child loses one or more baby teeth too soon, oral development problems could occur.
Almost every dental insurance plan covers preventive care, like six-month cleanings and exams, for dependents. In some cases, fluoride treatments and dental sealants may also be covered. Coverage for each insurer and dental plan varies, so we recommend consulting directly with your provider to learn about the full scope of your coverage and benefits.