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Preventive Dentistry For Kids

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The Importance of Preventive Care

Preventive dental care at Kids Tooth Team is essential for protecting your child’s oral health. With regular appointments at our office, you can ensure that your child’s mouth is healthy and is developing properly. You can also avoid cavities and other common childhood dental health issues, which saves you both time and money. Schedule an appointment for your little one at Kids Tooth Team today! We have three office locations in Buda, TX, South Austin, TX, and Kyle

Teeth Cleanings & Oral Exams

Teeth cleanings and oral exams are some of the most important parts of preventive dentistry at our office. Your child will come in and see one of our team members for a cleaning and check up at least every six months. We’ll clean away plaque and tartar from your child’s teeth, then one of our specialty trained dentists will perform a comprehensive exam to make sure that their teeth, tongue, and gums are strong and healthy.

This oral exam also includes an essential head and neck cancer screening and any necessary x-rays that are needed to diagnose cavities or possible infections. The doctor will discuss her findings with you and let you know if your child might need any additional dental treatment, and all safe and reasonable options to do so. 

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Sports Mouth Guards

If your child plays sports, a customized sports mouthguard is essential for protecting their oral health. We can create a cushioned, custom-fitted guard that will protect their teeth. Athletes are 60x more likely to experience dental trauma (especially on their front teeth!) when not wearing a mouth guard, so protect your child’s dental health at Kids Tooth Team!

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are an ideal method for preventing cavities. Our team will apply a thin layer of plastic resin to your child’s tooth after it’s cleaned, then harden this resin with a UV light. The transparent plastic creates a strong barrier that prevents contact with oral bacteria and acid. If maintained and taken care of, a sealant can prevent cavity formation for up to 10 years!

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FREE Second Opinions!

We love welcoming new folks ‘round these parts. If you’re planning your first visit, be sure to take advantage of our new patient special. With a free second opinion consultation, we’ll make sure your little one gets started off on the right foot at our office.

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The Benefits of Establishing a Dental Home

A “dental home” is the office where your child will receive most of their dental care throughout their childhood. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends establishing your child’s dental home by age 1. There are a few key benefits to establishing a dental home:

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Track Oral Development

Coming to Kids Tooth Team regularly ensures that we can keep an eye on your child’s teeth and jaw bones as they grow, so we can identify any potential oral development or orthodontic problems early. It also allows us to reinforce great nutrition and oral hygiene habits to your child. This allows us to provide your child with a better overall level of dental care.

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You and your children will get to know our doctors and the staff at Kids Tooth Team. The process of going to the dentist will seem more familiar, which will help prevent dental anxiety. A dental home also helps provide guidance on every stage of dental development and growth so that you always know what to expect for your child’s oral health.

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Encourage Lifelong Oral Health

Your child will be able to learn everything they need to know to adopt great oral care habits, and keep their smile healthy for the rest of their life. In addition to having a friendly dental family to see for your regular check ups and cleanings, it is important to establish a dental home in case of a dental emergency. Should your child experience dental trauma after hours, having the ability to call your “dental home” for immediate treatment is essential, as many dental emergencies are time-sensitive.

Protect Your Child’s Teeth With Fluoride

We offer both traditional fluoride treatments as well as a newer fluoride option, called silver diamine fluoride (SDF), that helps stop cavities in their tracks. Silver diamine fluoride is a minimally invasive treatment option that is painted onto cavities to help prevent their growth and in some cases, reverse the cavity process. This is a great option for young or uncooperative children who cannot tolerate other options to repair their cavity.

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Fluoride Treatments

Routine fluoride treatments consist of a fluoride-rich varnish or foam that one of our doctors will apply to your child’s teeth after their cleaning appointment. This fluoride helps attract minerals to your child’s teeth, strengthening them and even reversing the first stage of tooth decay. These fluoride treatments can be applied every six months to help maintain healthy teeth and prevent cavities from forming.

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Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)

SDF uses a special blend of silver, fluoride, ammonia, and water, which is applied directly to a cavity to halt its progression. SDF is used as an alternative or interim treatment to fillings for baby (and occasionally adult) teeth. It may be a good option if you don’t think a filling is right for your child, or if your child can’t safely tolerate a filling due to age or cooperation.

The liquid does permanently stain the tooth black, but in some cases it can be combined with a white filling to minimize the appearance, and we can always remove the staining at a later date when your child can tolerate more advanced treatment.

Have Questions About Preventive Dentistry?

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What Dental Problems Could My Child Have?

The most common dental problem among children is tooth decay. Tooth decay can affect both baby teeth and adult teeth. It happens when kids eat sugar and other foods and do not brush and floss properly. Over time, oral bacteria begin to break down the food particles on their teeth, and digest them, excreting acid.

This acid, in turn, begins to attack the outside of your child’s teeth, causing tooth decay (cavities). To prevent cavities, it’s important to limit your child’s sugar intake, make sure they're brushing their teeth thoroughly at least twice per day, and bring them to Kids Tooth Team for routine checkups and teeth cleanings every six months.

While they're less common, some other dental problems that affect children can include malocclusion (bite problems), issues with oral development, premature tooth loss, and tongue and lip ties. Children may also experience dental emergencies like broken or cracked teeth if they slip, fall, or otherwise injure their mouths while playing or participating in contact sports.

No matter what dental problems may be affecting your child’s oral health, Kids Tooth Team is here to help. With Dr. Alex and our team on your side, you can get the treatment your little one needs to restore their oral health and prepare for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

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Why Are Baby Teeth Important?

Firstly and most obviously, baby teeth are essential for your child’s mouth to function properly. Your child will usually have all of their baby teeth by the time they're three years old, and they usually won’t lose their final baby teeth until the age of about 13. So for about 10 years, your child’s baby teeth will allow them to chew and eat, speak clearly, and smile proudly!

For that reason alone, it’s important for your child to take good care of their baby teeth. They need to brush regularly and eat a healthy diet. And if your child complains of pain, sensitivity, or any other issues with their baby teeth, it’s important to get help from a dentist like Dr. Alex, diagnose the issue, and take steps to keep the baby teeth healthy.

Another reason that baby teeth are so important is that they help form the “paths” that adult teeth take as they emerge, encouraging proper oral development. Your child’s baby teeth help maintain proper spacing in their mouths, allowing their permanent teeth to emerge in the right place. This is why it’s important to get treatment with a space maintainer if your child loses a baby tooth too early. A space maintainer helps keep the gap between their teeth open, and prevents their other teeth from shifting.

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How Often Should My Child Visit The Dentist?

Your child should see the dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning and an oral exam. And you should start bringing your child to see the dentist when they turn one year old or their first tooth emerges, whichever comes first. Six-month visits with Dr. Alex and the team at Kids Tooth Team are essential for your child’s oral health.

Why? First, routine teeth cleanings can help reduce tartar and plaque buildup, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease, and keeping your little one’s smile healthy. Oral exams and x-rays also help us look below the surface, and make sure that hidden cavities and oral development issues are caught early, if present.

But that’s not all, either. Seeing a dentist like Dr. Alex regularly from an early age normalizes dentistry for your kids, and makes them more used to the process of seeing the dentist. They're less likely to be scared, and more likely to enjoy their checkups.

Seeing a dentist regularly also helps your kids learn more about the importance of brushing and flossing, and how to take care of their teeth at home. Our pediatric dentists and hygienists are dedicated to helping little smiles stay healthy. We can answer any questions that you and your little one have about oral health, and keep their teeth healthy and strong!

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When Can Kids Start Brushing On Their Own?

Every child is different. But a good rule of thumb is that kids can start brushing on their own whenever they have enough dexterity and good enough motor skills to tie their shoes on their own. This is usually around the age of 5-6 for most kids. Until then, you’ll need to brush your child’s teeth for them twice per day.

Once your child takes over tooth brushing duty, it’s a good idea to make it a family activity. You can lead by example and show your child how to brush their teeth properly and thoroughly, and have fun doing it! You’ll also be able to supervise them, and make sure they're doing a good job. Some kids may not brush for long enough or clean every surface of their teeth, so supervising for a while as they learn is a good idea.

When it comes to flossing, most kids have a harder time learning how to floss, so they may be 7-8 or even older before they can floss on their own. Again, until your child can floss on their own, you should make sure to floss their teeth for them at least once per day. Since it removes food particles that can’t be removed with brushing alone, flossing is essential for reducing your child’s risk of tooth decay and cavities.

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Is Fluoride Bad For My Child?

Absolutely not. Fluoride is essential for oral health, both in children and adults. There’s no evidence that it’s harmful, and it’s incredibly powerful at fighting back against cavities. This is because fluoride helps attract certain minerals like calcium and phosphorus to your teeth, rebuilding them and strengthening them.

So rest assured, fluoride is completely safe for kids. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and using other fluoridated products like mouthwash will not harm your children, and will help them avoid cavities as they grow. That’s something to smile about!

Is Your Little One Due for a Checkup?

Giddyup and Schedule a Preventive Appointment!

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