Westpark Helpful Dental Articles
Dental Prevention Starts with Teaching Children to Brush and Floss
At West Park Dental the entire team is involved in the prevention program in order for it to be successful. Prevention is part of our practice culture and everyone--from hygienists to assistants to the doctors--will emphasize prevention with patients. Whether it is regular six-month cleanings or hygiene visits that are more frequent, it is paramount that consistent maintenance is taking place. At these visits the doctors have an opportunity to determine if perhaps an unhealthy situation has developed that the patient may not even know exists. Regular visits are also the time to follow-up with recommendations that may have previously been discussed with the patient.
The assistants are well-versed in the procedures and how they will benefit the patient, so they are capable of answering questions that help the patient understand what is going on and why the appointment is needed. The six month cleaning is a standard part of our prevention program, and it involves taking x-rays to check for decay in-between the teeth. It also includes a full mouth cleaning and a full soft-tissue exam. All the teeth are checked, the joints are also checked, and overall we want to determine if anything has changed since our last exam with the patient.
At these six month cleanings either a doctor or the hygienist will give the patient instructions for proper oral hygiene. In addition to giving the patient a toothbrush and toothpaste we also suggest that the brush be changed every six months or sooner if indicated.
Parents should be brushing their children’s teeth until about the age of eight to make sure plaque is removed properly and to give that child a solid foundation of daily brushing and show them how it is done properly before they take over care of their teeth on their own.
Dr. Brian Gallagher
West Park Dental
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