Those that provide preventive dentistry include:
- General dentist: This is your go-to provider when you need routine preventive care like regular teeth cleanings, exams, and X-rays. They will also do fillings and provide other basic dental care. One of your general dentist’s key roles is guiding you in proper dental care for yourself. They can identify any potential problems before they become large, help you build healthier habits, and refer you to dental specialists if you need further care.
- Pediatric dentist (children’s dentist): Pediatric dentists specialize in dental care for kids. Most kids will start out with dental care sometimes as soon as their first tooth appears. In many cases a pediatric dentist will continue to see children through their teen years. A pediatric dentist provides both preventive dentistry services as well as more specialized care when needed, including extractions, fillings, and oral surgery in some cases.
What is preventive dentistry for children?
As soon as a child gets their first tooth, preventive dental care can begin. Preventive dentistry for kids can help identify problems early on in your child’s life before dental problems become worse and often more costly. Services typically include the following:
- Promote good dental habits, including brushing and flossing, guidance on thumb sucking.
- Regular teeth cleanings and oral exams, usually every 6 months
- Fluoride application (usually up to a certain age)
- Routine X-rays.
- Fitting athletic mouth guards
- Referrals to orthodontists if needed
What are the benefits of preventive dentistry?
Regular preventive dental exams provide the following benefits to your oral health.
- Lowers your risk for developing tooth decay, gum disease, and more serious dental problems.
- Helps promote good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing.
- Early identification of dental problems may help minimize treatment and cost.
- Enables your dentist to do a full exam of your mouth, jaw, neck, etc.
- Helps reduce dental problems related to some chronic medical conditions. Diabetes, osteoporosis, certain cancers, and eating disorders can all influence dental and oral health. For people with chronic conditions, regular preventive dental care is an important part of whole person health.
- Teeth cleanings: You may only be covered for 2 teeth cleanings a year—1 every 6 months.
- Fluoride treatments: These are considered preventive only for children under a certain age.
- X-rays: Only certain kinds of X-rays—usually bitewing—are covered as routine or preventive and only for a limited number of views.