Preparing Your Child for Their Dental Exam

Five young friends standing outdoors smilingVisiting the dentist can be a scary and anxiety-inducing situation. For a child, this can be the things nightmares are made of. The sounds, the lights, the strangers, and not to mention the tools in their mouths can all have a nasty impact. Of course having the right pediatric dentist in Van Nuys can help. But as a parent, it’s also important to prepare a child for their dental exam.

First, schedule dental exams at a time when the child will be better rested or more likely to cooperate. Be positive and try not to use words that have negative connotations, while still being honest about the experience. Remind them that their parents visit the dentist too. Encouraging them to share their fears will also help counteract any apprehension. Make them part of the experience, not just the unwitting victim of it. Always take the time to improve their idea of the dental experience and take an active role in improving their oral health.

A child is only as prepared as a parent. And if grown-ups are forthcoming, yet compassionate, it shouldn’t be a hassle getting children into a dental exam. From infants to teens, oral care is a must.

For more, contact our Van Nuys dentist.

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Why Dental Exams are Important

Group of friendsYour dental exam may seem skippable simply because it doesn’t happen very often. By this reasoning, if seeing the dentist were essential, more than one or two per year would be required. But this regularity is just right for keeping up with your dental status, and not making your appointment could be a setback.

Your dentist establishes a baseline of care at the start of your treatment, one that extends throughout your time as a patient. To maintain this baseline, the doctor needs you to stay relatively on course—by brushing and flossing, and watching your diet. The exam performs an important function simply by confirming the status quo.

The dentist wants to be aware of any changes in lifestyle—like quitting smoking, for example, or going vegan. A lot of your exam will happen in conversation.

Of course, our San Fernando Valley dentist also performs a full head and neck exam, in addition to looking at your mouth. Checking your head and neck can alert the doctor of any irregularity, like a cyst or swollen lymph node.

The oral exam itself is not just a cavity check—the doctor is always on the lookout for signs of oral cancer or other pathology.

Call today to schedule your next dental exam in San Fernando Valley.

Best Preventive Dentistry Treatments

Woman at the dentistry

In the past, dentists and patients would simply address dental problems as they arise. Today, we are better at preventing issues before they start. This is called preventive dentistry. There are a few different treatments our Torrance cosmetic dentist offers to patients looking to lower the risk of dental problems.

Fluoride treatments are very useful for many patients. Aggressive brushing and acidic foods or drinks can scrub away at our dental enamel. This leaves the teeth unprotected, meaning the nerves can be affected through small tubes in the dentin. Many patients experience severe tooth sensitivity due to this issue. Fluoride helps to remineralize the teeth, and build the enamel back up.

Dental sealants are also a helpful preventive dental treatment. This uses a material similar to plastic, which is placed on the cusps of the molars. These cusps are very textured, and difficult to clean of plaque. Applying a dental sealant protects these areas and keeps the teeth clean for as long as seven years.

There is one preventive measure that you can do at home. If you know or have been told that you clench or grind your teeth while sleeping, our preventive dentist recommends wearing a mouth guard at night. This keeps the teeth from damaging one another, preventing chips, cracks, and wear.

Why are Dental Exams Needed?

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Brushing and flossing your teeth every day is a very important step in keeping your smile healthy and looking beautiful. These tasks do a lot to remove bacteria and food particles that accumulate during the day. But only a dentist with the right tools can remove plaque and get the teeth as clean as they can possibly be. This is why attending regular dental exams is vital to your continuing dental and oral health.

During a dental exam appointment, our cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills will examine all the areas of the mouth, including the teeth, gums, tongue, and soft tissues. This will give them a good idea if you have any risk of tooth decay or other conditions. You will likely need to take dental x-rays, which provide a better look at the oral-facial structure. There are several different types of dental x-rays, including bite wing and periapical. These allow our dentist to better assess the health of the teeth, tooth roots, and jaw.

There are several serious dental and oral conditions that will worsen if not detected early. For example, patients with oral cancer have a much higher chance of restored health when diagnosed early. Similarly, those with certain overall health conditions, such as diabetes, must attend exam appointments more frequently, as there is a greater risk of gum disease.

If it has been more than six months since your last exam appointment, be sure to schedule one today.

What is Done in Preventive Dentistry?

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Preventive dentistry is designed to prevent dental problems. Dental diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease are the leading causes of tooth loss, but they are both highly preventable with the right dental care. Our North Hollywood dentist offers treatments and preventive strategies that can help you keep your smile healthy and happy.

Good dental hygiene forms the basis of any good preventive strategy. We provide our patients with information about the best techniques and tools to eliminate plaque and bacteria from their teeth. Brushing and flossing alone are not enough to eliminate the risk of dental disease. You also need regular dental checkups.

Preventive exams are used to examine your mouth for any signs of dental disease, including early symptoms that can be easy to miss at home. We will clean and polish your teeth, and recommend specific treatments as needed.

Other preventive treatments include fluoride treatments and dental sealants. Both of these are designed to reduce the risk of decay. Sealants protect the biting surfaces of your teeth from the attacks of oral bacteria, while fluoride helps harden the enamel to make it more resilient against bacterial acids. Orthodontics can also be used in preventive dentistry, used to treat malocclusions that could increase your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, TMJ disorders, and other common dental problems.

Call our office today to learn more about preventive treatments, or to schedule an appointment with our expert in preventive dentistry.

Tips for Preventing Dental Problems

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Image of smiling patient looking at camera at the dentist’s

Have you ever had a cavity? If you are like most people, the answer to that question is yes. Thankfully, though, it is relatively easy to prevent cavities, tooth decay and other common dental problems. If you answered yes to the proceeding question, read on for some steps you can take to help avoid these problems in the future.

• Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, and preferably after every meal, with a fluoride toothpaste. Ideally, use an electric toothbrush.
• Floss your teeth every day to clean food particles from the areas your toothbrush cannot reach.
• Rinse daily with a fluoride based mouthwash. This helps to kill bacteria and keeps your teeth strong.
• Eat nutritious meals. Foods that are high in sugar or starch contribute to plaque buildup, so limit your intake of these foods, and when you do eat them, brush your teeth as soon as you can.
• Schedule regular appointments with your dentist for professional cleanings and oral exams. Preventative dentistry is the best way to prevent dental problems from occurring in the first place.

Our North Hollywood dentists can help prevent problems before they start. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.

How Often Do You Need a Dental Exam and Cleaning?

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Dental exams and cleanings are one of the best things you can do for your dental health. Most people need to visit their dentists about every six months. This is because dental diseases tend to develop over time, and identifying them early can lead to more effective conservative treatments. Our dentist can help you decide on the best schedule for a dental exam and X-rays to suit your needs.

During an exam, our dentist will check your gums for any symptoms that indicate gum diseases, such as redness, inflammation or bleeding. He will look at your teeth for signs of decay or old, worn restorations. Dental X-rays are taken to see cavities, bone loss and infection more clearly. We clean your teeth to remove plaque and tartar so that your teeth are completely clean.

Regular checkups reduce the risk of dental disease and help you keep your teeth cleaner and healthier between visits. If you smoke, are prone to decay or tartar buildup, have numerous restorations or have active gum disease, we may recommend more frequent cleanings. Call us today to find out more or to schedule an appointment with our Agoura Hills dentist.