Prevention and Early Dental Care

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Our Pediatric Specialists Help Safeguard Your Child's Teeth

Parents in Littleton, Colorado have come to rely on the expert treatment and advice of Dr. Pankratz and Dr. Klepacki  to give their children a lifetime of healthy and beautiful smiles. As parents themselves, our doctors understand the importance of finding capable and compassionate healthcare providers, and have dedicated themselves to offering nothing but the highest quality of care.

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Preventative Care   |   Brushing & Flossing   |   Restorative Care

Preventative Care

Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting in the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur on the teeth and sugars in the everyday diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria, causing it to produce acids that break down the mineral in teeth, forming a cavity. Our dentists remove the decay and fill the tooth using a variety of fillings, restoring the tooth to a healthy state. Nerve damage can result from severe decay and may require a crown (a crown is like a large filling that can cap a tooth, making it stronger or covering it). Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental checkups, diet control and fluoride treatment. Practicing good hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth and costly treatment.

Sealants

Sealants are something we take very seriously in our office. The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way. Although decay may still occur with a perfectly placed sealant, we will always strive to ensure that each child remains cavity free.

Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments. For patients who maintain their regular six month check-ups in our office, compromised sealants will be touched up or reapplied with no additional fee.

Our Sealants are Bisphenol A (BPA) Free!

Recently, the media has suggested that the material used in sealants contains the chemical BPA, which has been associated with various health risks. At Southwest Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, we are committed to the overall health of our patients. There are countless products on the market, but we continue to use sealant and bonding material of the highest quality that is free of the chemical Bisphenol A, or BPA. For more information, please visit the site of our sealant provider, Ultradent Products, Inc.

Fluoride

Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride and brushing and flossing regularly ensures significantly lower cavities. 


Brushing & Flossing

Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste, unless the child is under the age of 3. If a child is younger than age 3, parents should clean their child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. After age 3, parents should supervise brushing. Use no more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and make sure children do not swallow excess toothpaste.

When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth and the surface of each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and chewing surface of all of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.

Brush your teeth four times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles and plaque:

  • In the morning after breakfast
  • After lunch or right after school
  • After dinner
  • At bedtime

As soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray, replace your toothbrush with a new one. Do not swallow any toothpaste; rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after you finish brushing. It is important to carefully floss and brush daily for optimal oral hygiene.

Flossing

For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, dental floss is used to remove food particles and plaque. Dental floss is a thin thread of waxed nylon that is used to reach below the gum line and clean between teeth. It is very important to floss between your teeth every day.

Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out any food particles or plaque. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go, so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish. Floss behind all of your back teeth.

Floss at night to make sure your teeth are squeaky clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not go away after the first few times, let a staff member know at your next appointment.


Restorative Care

We provide restorative care through composite bonding. Bonding is a common solution for:

  • Fixing or repairing chipped or cracked teeth
  • Reducing unsightly gaps or spaces between teeth
  • Hiding discoloration or faded areas on the tooth’s surface
  • Often used to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance your smile.

As the name indicates, composite material, either a plastic or resin, is bonded to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite bonding removes little, if any, of the original tooth.

Composite bonding has many advantages:

  • It is a quick process, which typically lasts less than one hour.
  • It does not reduce the tooth’s original structure and is relatively inexpensive.
  • Composite resins come in many different shades and provide better matching of shades to the natural color of your teeth.
  • Composite bonds, however, are not as durable and long-lasting as veneers and crowns and may need to be re-touched or replaced in the future.

Composite bonds stain more easily and therefore require proper care and regular cleaning. In order to ensure the longest possible duration of the bonding, composites should be brushed and flossed daily. Common staining elements include coffee, tea, tobacco, foods and candy.

Schedule A Visit Today & Stop Dental Problems In Their Tracks

While we offer outstanding restorative care, our preference is to teach you the habits to avoid

needing major procedures later in life! Good hygiene, combined with preventative treatments, set

your child up of a lifetime of strong, healthy teeth and gums. If you want your child to benefit from

these options, or have more questions, give our office a call to request a visit with our doctors

We look forward to meeting you and creating a beautiful smile for life!