Pediatric Preventive Dentistry

At Valleau, VanDeven, and Massie Dentistry for Children, our primary focus is to educate our patients and their families on the importance of preventive dental care. Dentistry used to be a lot more black and white; when a cavity was diagnosed, it was filled, and so on, without much regard as to why cavities kept appearing. Nowadays, with the advancements in dental research, materials, and techniques, preventive dentistry is allowing dentists and patients to work together to prevent cavities in the first place.

A Focus on Prevention

Drs. Valleau, VanDeven, and Massie use prevention-based techniques and focus on diagnosing problems early, before they cause a major, costly problem. This is why our office offers infant oral exams and encourages parents to start their children early at the dentist, before it is too late. Many dental problems that appear later in life start early and can be prevented with routine dental care and good home habits starting at a young age.

By scheduling your child for a routine dental visit, you are accomplishing more than you realize! These visits help your child develop the understanding that the dentist isn’t a scary place and will also build the foundation for a lifetime of healthy oral health habits. These regular dental check-ups also allow our doctors to check for any problems that may be present. Early detection of problems minimizes treatment and means fewer visits for your child and less money spent for you.

Valleau, VanDeven, and Massie Dentistry for Children offers a wide range of preventive services in order to achieve your child’s optimal oral health.

Children’s Cleanings and Hygiene Instruction

Our doctors and hygienists work carefully and gently with your child using child-friendly terms and activities to educate them about the importance of keeping their teeth healthy. It is not uncommon for children to have a difficult time adequately brushing their teeth; even for parents, this can be a daunting task. Regular cleanings are important for removing the plaque and tartar that naturally builds up on and around the teeth over time. Clean teeth allow for better diagnosis and early cavity detection.

Comprehensive Examinations

At your child’s visit, Dr. Valleau, Dr. VanDeven, or Dr. Massie will examine your child. The doctors pay careful attention to each child’s growth and development pattern and will alert you of anything concerning. X-rays are typically part of a comprehensive examination and are extremely valuable in seeing below the surface of your child’s teeth and gums to catch problems early. The sooner problems are detected, the more conservative the treatment approach.

Our office follows the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Guideline on Prescribing Dental Radiographs for Infants, Children, Adolescents, and Persons with Special Health Care Needs. We are dedicated to providing safe, high quality pediatric imaging (Image Gently).

Additional Preventive Services

Our office provides and encourages fluoride treatments for all children. Generally a fluoride treatment using a 5% sodium fluoride varnish will be recommended on a 6- month basis because of the extraordinary benefits it provides in reducing the risk of getting cavities. Some children, due to an already high cavity risk will benefit from more frequent fluoride applications until that risk decreases. After the application, the children can eat and drink immediately.

Sealants are a clear protective coating placed on the chewing surface of permanent molars. The procedure is quick and non-invasive and helps prevent food and plaque from being trapped in deep, hard to reach grooves of molars. Sealants have been studied for decades and have been proven to greatly decrease the risk of developing decay in the treated teeth.

Our doctors and staff encourage kids to be active and think a little bit of healthy competition is a good thing! However, we want to make sure our kids are safe during play. Encouraging kids involved in contact sports to wear a mouthguard is an important aspect of dental trauma prevention. Our office is more than happy to make custom mouthguards for those adolescents who have all of their permanent teeth. For kids in their primary dentition or early mixed dentition, the boil and bite type of mouthguards are typically recommended. At a young age, so much is still changing and developing that these tend to be the most cost effective, yet still very beneficial protective devices.

Call Our Office to Schedule Your Child for a New Patient Exam Today

Preventive care is the foundation for any dental treatment plan. If you are looking for a dental group that encourages prevention and seeks to minimize treatment, look no further. Call to schedule your child at either our Grand Rapids or Rockford locations today!  

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