Early Protection for Your Child
from Dental Issues
With years of advanced training and experience under his belt, Dr. Bear can treat all kinds of dental problems that children and teens may face. However, he much prefers stopping these issues from happening in the first place. In fact, we believe that preventive dentistry in McKinney, TX is essential to have a healthy smile for life! That’s why we do everything we can to provide our patients with an exceptional experience every time they come in. Has it been a while since your child saw the dentist? Are they ready for their first visit? Contact Bear Pediatric Dentistry for an appointment today!
Why Choose Bear Pediatric Dentistry
for Preventive Dentistry?
- Personalized Dental Care for Each Patient
- Skilled, Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist
- Special Needs Patients Welcome
Unfortunately, some patients are more prone to cavities and other dental issues than others, and sometimes we are able to identify their risk early on, even in infancy. Dr. Bear can evaluate their oral cavity and consider other factors that contribute to their likelihood of experiencing serious oral health issues in the future. With this knowledge, you can take extra steps to ensure the health of your child’s smile moving forward.
You can tell when your baby is about to have a tooth erupt. It can be an exciting and yet stressful time in their development. After your baby’s first tooth has grown in, you need to start a routine of brushing twice every day. Plus, after their first birthday, you need to bring them in for their first checkup. During these initial visits, we’ll not just examine their mouth but also talk about how to handle teething and ways you can keep their baby teeth strong.
While your baby is brand-new, thumb or finger sucking is adorable and harmless. However, this little habit can present a problem if your child has continued to self-soothe by sucking their thumb into their toddler years. It can affect not only how their baby teeth grow in, but also how their jaw grows and develops. In the long term, this effect potentially means more advanced orthodontic treatment. We’ll provide guidance for ending this habit and offering other methods of self-soothing.
& Infant Feeding
Does your baby struggle to breastfeed, eat solid foods, or speak? They may have a thick, large, or restrictive frenum, which is the connective tissue between the upper lip and upper jaw and the tongue and the floor of the mouth. These are called a lip or tongue tie and can make normal movement much more challenging. This problem used to be resolved with surgical scissors or a scalpel and sutures, but here at Bear Pediatric Dentistry, we treat a lip or tongue tie with a soft tissue laser, which involves far less discomfort and bleeding.
& Teeth Cleanings
Our friendly team makes every effort to create positive experiences for your child, even for simple checkups and cleanings, because these visits play a critical role in their lifelong oral health. We look for any signs of decay and monitor their oral development, always ready to intervene early on any problems as they pop up. During these appointments, we also spend some time instructing your child on proper hygiene habits and gently remove plaque and tartar that they have missed.
While your child learns proper brushing technique, their teeth can be particularly susceptible to decay. The chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars are especially difficult to keep clean. That’s why we offer dental sealants, which consist of a tooth colored resin that will cover and provide a barrier for the chewing surfaces. We apply the dental sealant to these teeth, and this protective barrier keeps food, bacteria, and plaque from contacting the enamel, preventing cavities from forming.
Athletic Mouthguards/ Sportsguards
Is your child active in sports? Just as you wouldn’t send them onto the football field without a helmet, you should make sure they have the right protective equipment for their teeth. Even in sports that don’t typically include contact, such as basketball or soccer, a mouthguard can make sure that an impact to the mouth doesn’t harm their smile. In fact, some studies suggest that wearing a custom mouthguard may lower the risk of a concussion as well!
Admittedly, oral cancer in children is pretty rare, but it does happen. Whenever we conduct an oral exam on a patient, we take just a couple of extra minutes to check for thickened or discolored patches of tissue, lingering sores, and other potential signs of cancer. As experts in this area of the body, we can identify suspicious spots that may need more testing with a physician, which may lead to an earlier diagnosis and successful treatment.
Do you know why basically all toothpastes have fluoride in them? This naturally occurring mineral supports your tooth enamel against acids, preventing cavities and damage to your teeth. It’s also why fluoride is often added to sources of public drinking water. After we’ve gently removed calcified plaque from your child’s teeth, we can apply an even stronger treatment of fluoride to their teeth, giving additional protection against decay until their next visit.
If we are able to detect a cavity early on, we can stop the growth with Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF). Silver Diamine Fluoride is a safe and effective agent that has been used in Japan since the 80’s. This conservative approach is particularly helpful for young children, whose baby teeth tend to be thinner and more prone to developing cavities faster. However, keep in mind that this treatment only works on the beginning stages of a cavity.