Preventive Dentistry

Pediatric Dentist

Infant Oral Exam

Our primary focus at Mountain Valley Kids Dental is to prevent dental problems from arising.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child’s first visit to the dentist should occur within 6 months of the first tooth erupting and by age one they should have a dental home.

Your child’s first visit is a great opportunity to meet the entire dental team and introduce your child to what it means to come to the dentist. We will discuss your child’s oral development, oral hygiene, healthy eating habits, and perform an oral exam. The exam itself usually does not take long and we schedule ample time for any questions you may have regarding your child’s health. Topics include:

  • Teething

  • Brushing needs and habits

  • Proper use of bottles and sippy cups

  • Transitioning to a regular cup

  • Pacifier use

  • Thumb sucking habits

  • How to handle dental emergencies

  • How to reduce your child’s risk of developing dental disease

Child Initial Exam

Cleaning—Removing plaque and calculus (tartar) from the teeth is the goal of a dental prophylaxis. Plaque forms from food, saliva, and bacteria sticking to the teeth. Bacteria in the plaque is what causes tooth decay and gum disease.

Fluoride—We provide a professional fluoride treatment, which helps to maintain and strengthen the enamel of the teeth. Professional fluoride applications come in many forms with fluoride varnish being the most common today. Topical fluoride absorbs into the teeth over the course of a few hours. We can use fluoride gel, as well, depending on the patients’ needs and desires. Depending on the type of fluoride applied, your child may or may not be able to eat or drink immediately after the appointment.

Dental Exam—Usually performed once every six months, this includes an examination of the face, head and neck of your child as well as a thorough examination of the teeth, bite, gums, and overall dental development. During this exam we evaluate your child’s dental development and check for cavities or dental decay.

Digital X-rays—X-rays allow dental problems to be diagnosed and treated earlier which often means that the treatment is more comfortable and affordable. The exact timetables of a child’s x-rays are dependent on their individual needs. By using the currently available digital x-rays and imaging, we are able to provide a comprehensive dental plan while greatly reducing radiation exposure and maintaining an environmentally safe and chemical free atmosphere.

Dental Sealants—Sealants are an important part of preventative care. A sealant is a thin piece of plastic that fills in the pits and fissures on the chewing surface of the tooth protecting these areas from plaque build-up that could cause cavities. No numbing is required to place a sealant, and the process does not take very long. However, because the sealant only covers the chewing surface of the tooth, the sides and in-between the teeth are still at risk for decay. It is very important to continue a regular prevention program even with sealants in place.

Space Maintainer—If a child loses a baby tooth early due to decay or injury, there is a risk that the adjacent teeth will drift into the vacant space leading to crowding of the permanent teeth or even preventing the permanent tooth from erupting properly. Space maintainers are small fixed appliances which prevent the remaining teeth from drifting into the vacant space.

Sports Mouth Guards—Once a child has all of their permanent teeth we can fit them for a sports mouth guard. This simple appliance is worn while playing sports to lessen the impact of hits to the mouth, lips, and gums. Before your child loses all his baby teeth there are a variety of options for protecting his teeth while playing contact sports. Please let us know if you would like more information about mouth guards.