Preventive and Pediatric Dentistry
Oral Prophylaxis (Cleaning)
Your regularly scheduled check-up is often referred to as a "cleaning", but there is much more to it than that! The technical term is "oral prophylaxis", which means prevention of oral disease.
One way to prevent oral disease is to remove harmful plaque and tartar (calculus) both above and below the gum line. You may also be given special instructions on brushing or flossing to keep clean the areas where we found significant buildup. That is the familiar "cleaning" part of your checkup.
Deep scaling is the removal of plague and tarter above and below the gum line. It is generally performed using a local anesthetic.
Pit and Fissure Sealants
The top surfaces of your teeth - where the chewing takes place - aren't smooth and flat. They are cris-crossed with tiny hills and valleys - called pits and fissures. These are places where plaque can build up safe from your toothbrush and dental floss. Some of the pits and fissures are so narrow that even a single bristle from your toothbrush can't get deep enough to clean them out.
One method of preventing cavities from developing in the pits and fissures is to seal them off with a special varnish called a pit and fissure sealant. If your dentist determines that you need a pit and fissure sealant to help protect your teeth from decay, some special steps are taken to prepare the teeth first. Your dentist will clean the tooth first, then apply a mild acid solution to 'etch' the surface and make it easier for the pit and fissure sealant to stick. The whole procedure is quick and painless.
Fluoride is a natural element that can be found in many things, like the water we drink and the food we eat. Decades ago, scientists began to notice that children who lived in places where fluoride occurred naturally in the water, had fewer dental cavities.
Fluoride that is absorbed by your body is used by the cells that build your teeth to make stronger enamel. Topical fluoride - fluoride that is applied to the outside of the enamel - makes the crystals that form enamel more durable. Tooth enamel crystals that have fluoride are much more resistant to acid. They are less likely to breakdown and cause the tooth surface to become porous.
Space Maintainer / Regain
Maintaining proper spacing as the teeth and arch grow is a very effective pro-active approach to providing our patients with insurance of developing correct occlusion. Some examples of space maintainer are: band & loop, lingual arch, nance button and transpalatal arch.
T4K or Trainer for Kids
Did your child thumb-suck a lot when he or she was younger? Did/does he or she have the habit of thrusting out his or her tongue when he or she talks? Does your child breathe more through his mouth than through his nose? If you answered "yes" to any of the previous questions, chances are your child's teeth look quite crooked (or have weird gaps in between), or your child has difficulty saying words with the letter "s." You may notice a few other things, as well.
In such cases, you may want to visit your dentist and ask about the T4K or Trainer for Kids. This is a pre-orthodontic trainer - primarily for kids aged 10 and below - and is designed to improve your child's teeth and correct habits like mouth-breathing, tongue-thrusting, etc.