Preventive care helps establish good oral health by identifying and addressing the 41 known risk factors for cavities. A regular dental routine that includes cleanings, exams, proper home hygiene, dietary advice, and risk evaluation can prevent and catch dental issues early. This proactive approach sets the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
Children should start seeing the dentist as early as 1 year old, or when their first tooth erupts.
Dr. Franklin and her team will conduct a comprehensive head, neck, and oral examination. They will then introduce your child to the various tools used during the cleaning process, including "tooth counters", "tooth ticklers", our "water hose and tooth blow dryer", a "silly straw", and flavored toothpastes with fun flavors picked from our menu to make the experience enjoyable and stress-free.
Dr. Franklin practices ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) which minimizes radiation exposure by taking only needed diagnostic X-rays based on each child's caries risk. We are committed to using the most accurate digital imaging equipment requiring the lowest ionizing radiation exposure.
We will have a comprehensive conversation about factors such as your child's sports activities, diet, hygiene practices, family dental history, snacking habits, and more to identify ways to maintain their oral health. Don't hesitate to ask any questions - our goal is to educate and build relationships while promoting oral wellness.
If any follow-up is needed after the exam, Dr. Franklin will take into account all findings, your child's comfort, and your preferences to create a personalized plan. After you have a thorough understanding of the issues and our proposed solutions, we will schedule the next appointment for your child.
Our team will help schedule your child's routine dental cleanings and exams, as well as any needed treatments. Our practice will be their dental home and you can reach us via email or text for any questions. Dr. Franklin is also available for emergency appointments for established patients.
Two of the most important elements of preventive care are routine dental cleanings and oral exams. Routine oral exams provide insight into your child’s oral health and how you can care for their teeth properly. Routine exams help us catch issues when are they small! Oral exams also allow Dr. Franklin to provide recommendations about preventive treatments such as dental sealants and mouthguards.
Digital x-rays are fast, high-resolution images that capture your child’s tooth health. X-rays will only be recommended if Dr. Franklin thinks they are necessary.
We may recommend a fluoride varnish to help remineralize and strengthen your child’s teeth. This is always optional and we're more than happy to discuss the benefits!
Some patients who have active tooth decay may be eligible for an alternative treatment that uses Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF). While SDF has been used for decades in Asian and Middle Eastern countries, SDF became commercially available to dental professionals in April of 2015 (including Dr. Franklin who trained in a program leading the nation in evidence based research on SDF and Hall Crowns). Compared to a traditional filling that may require a local anesthetic and drilling of tooth structure, this treatment is non-invasive and very quick for the patient. It is a liquid that is simply brushed on to the cavity that can stop current decay and also prevent new decay in the future. It turns cavities BLACK, typically this is in back areas with very low visibility.
Dental sealants use either a glass ionomer or an opaque liquid resin to seal the deepest grooves and pits of your child's permanent molars. Sealants are remarkably effective at preventing bacteria, acid, and food particles from causing cavities on the outer grooves of teeth.
Even children need oral cancer screenings! This is an essential part of preventive care that is done at each routine exam. During the screening, Dr. Franklin will examine your child’s mouth, gums, and oral tissues.
Many children (up to half!) grind their teeth. If we see a concerning amount of wear we can provide recommendations. We will also ask about other sleeping habits. If recommended, we can make your child a custom nightguard to protect their grown up teeth from wear.
We recommend mouthguards for sports where any trauma is likely. Often times Dr. Franklin recommends starting with over-the-counter mouthguards. When the time comes, we can also make your child a custom mouthguard to help your child avoid oral injuries like cracked, broken, loose, or knocked-out teeth.
Kids laugh around 400 times per day.
Encourage your child to brush their teeth twice daily, with a focus on brushing for one minute for younger kids and two minutes for older kids. Help your child brush until they reach 7 years old or can easily cut a tough food item with a sharp knife. When your child can brush independently, make it a family activity to reinforce the importance of oral hygiene.
Start flossing your child's teeth when two teeth touch, which usually occurs around 2.5 years old with the arrival of the posterior molars. Nighttime flossing is the most effective, but flossing at least every other day can significantly reduce buildup of plaque. Using floss sticks or a Reach flosser can make the process easier. Children may need help flossing longer than brushing, particularly on the back teeth.
Baby teeth are essential for a child's overall oral health and development for several reasons. Firstly, healthy baby teeth allow for proper chewing and biting, which leads to a balanced diet and good nutrition. Secondly, baby teeth play a crucial role in speech development and pronunciation. Furthermore, baby teeth act as placeholders for permanent teeth, guiding them into the proper position. Neglect of baby teeth can lead to overcrowding or misalignment in permanent teeth. Lastly, a healthy, confident smile in childhood can positively impact self-esteem and quality of life. It is important to remember that baby teeth play a crucial role in a child's overall oral health and development, and should be taken care of accordingly.
Most dental plans cover preventive care such as bi-annual cleanings, fluoride treatments, exams, etc. for eligible dependents. However, dental insurance companies aim to minimize costs and may not cover all recommended treatments. Our team will assist you in understanding your dental insurance benefits.
Around 85% of children see the dentist regularly.