Standard Cleanings and Checkups
The care we provide is the best we can for each individual child. This means the exact cleaning schedules we recommend vary from individual to individual. Your child might benefit most from cleanings every three or four months, or they might be able to spread out their visits to once every six months. Your child has unique needs, and our recommendations will meet those needs.
What happens during a standard cleaning and checkup?
- A standard dental examination
- Scaling, polishing and flossing
- Dental x-rays, if necessary
- Fluoride treatment
Fluoride Varnish Treatments
We at Riverfront Pediatric Dentistry are constantly on the lookout for new dental technologies and procedures to help all of the children we treat. In order to provide the best treatment possible, we have decided to switch from fluoride foam treatments to fluoride varnish.
What makes fluoride varnish better? First off, it is almost twice as powerful as the traditional foam treatments. Where foam contains only 12,300 ppm fluoride, the varnish contains 22,600. It comes in the form of a thick sticky paste that adheres to teeth to minimize swallowing.
Fluoride varnish is very well tolerated as well. Infants, younger children, special needs individuals and anyone else coming to our offices for treatment will find it much more comfortable than traditional foam treatment. Moreover, it eliminates the need for bulky and uncomfortable foam trays.
Varnish is proven in many ways to slow, stop and even reverse the formation of cavities. Everyone is at risk of developing cavities, from the youngest infant to the oldest teens we treat. Here are some of the risk factors:
Infant use of a bottle past one year of age. Infant sleeping with a bottle containing juice, milk or other non-water liquids
Frequent breastfeeding without proper mouth cleaning afterwards, especially at night
Constant use of sugary medications
Constant consumption of sugary or starchy foods and beverages
Dental history of calcium loss, cavities and other oral issues
Many developmental disabilities
Fluoride varnish is unfamiliar to many patients, so here are some key points of information for parents and children who have varnish treatments.
Fluoride varnish will make your child’s teeth look dull, not as shiny as they usually do when leaving the dentist. Their shine will return as the varnish wears off, usually within 24 hours.
In order for the varnish to have the most benefit, it needs to remain in place as long as possible. This means your child should not brush or floss until the next morning.
To help prevent early removal of the varnish, avoid abrasive or hard foods for the rest of the day. A soft diet is ideal for the day the varnish is applied.
Fluoride varnish treatments should be applied every six months for most children. Some children who have a high risk of cavities will benefit from a more frequent application of fluoride varnish, and we may recommend three-month intervals instead.
What are sealants? A sealant is a resin material that is applied to the biting surface of teeth. It helps to make the grooves of the teeth flat to avoid food getting stuck in the grooves and sitting there for a long period of time. It can be clear or shaded. Sealants are applied in order to give the teeth a sturdy barrier between them and the food, plaque and acid that decay the tooth itself. This helps prevent tooth decay and minimize cavities.
Tooth Colored Fillings
Why do we use tooth colored fillings? These white fillings, known as composites, have several benefits. First, they blend in with the natural color of the tooth. This allows them to restore the natural appearance of the tooth, rather than replace parts of the natural white with unsightly dark metal. Composite fillings also bond to teeth more easily than traditional fillings, which mean less of the original, healthy tooth needs to be removed for the filling to be placed. All of this can be completed in one visit to our offices.
How do we place composite fillings? The process is fairly quick and easy. First, the tooth is dried and isolated from saliva, so the liquid cannot interrupt the procedure. Second, the decayed tooth material is cleaned and removed, and a bonding material is placed and set with a magic blue light. Third, the tooth-colored composite material is placed and hardened with the special light. Finally, we cover the rest of the grooves with a sealant material to protect the rest of the tooth from future decay. The result is a tooth that looks and feels like a healthy, whole tooth without dark metallic patches.
What is Happy Air? Happy Air is our name for N2O, also known as laughing gas or nitrous oxide. In our dental practice, we use it as a mild analgesic. Happy Air works by filling the patient with a feeling of happiness, which helps set our children at ease and lower their anxiety about dental treatment. Happy Air is a gas you can breathe, with no smell, no color and no possible irritation.
How do we use Happy Air? We apply the gas though a tube and hood assembly that fits comfortable over your child’s nose. All he or she has to do is breathe! The nosepiece comes in a variety of scents, so your child can pick a scent they enjoy. Strawberry, orange, grape, bubblegum and more are all available.
Why use Happy Air? N2O is a fast-acting and wears off quickly. Its effects can be felt within five minutes, and when the gas flow stops, those effects wear off within another five minutes of breathing oxygen. It is safe, easy to use and can be adjusted easily for your child’s comfort. The only thing that stops it is a stuffy nose. It is a gas, after all, and if your child can’t breathe it in, it won’t work.