Preventive Dentistry – Katy, TX
Stopping Oral Problems Before They Begin
Our team at Happy Chompers Pediatric Dentistry believes that the best way to deal with oral problems is to prevent them from happening in the first place! Unlike some medical conditions that eventually go away on their own, oral problems never get better with time—only worse. That’s why Dr. A and the rest of our team focus on the importance of preventive dentistry for Katy kids of all ages. Through small, simple actions now, such as regular checkups and cleanings, we can help your child avoid damaging or painful problems with their teeth. Make an appointment with us today!
Why Choose Happy Chompers Pediatric Dentistry for Preventive Dental Care?
- Special Needs Patients Welcome
- Gentle Team of Professionals
- Sedation Available for Anxious Patients
Oral Health Risk Assessment
At every annual appointment, our team will complete an oral health risk assessment on your child to determine whether they have a chance of developing tooth decay. We’ll specifically look for white spots, signs of obvious decay, and any damage to existing restorations. We will document and clearly explain what we find, and then, if necessary, we’ll provide their treatment options and give you advice for avoiding future cavities.
As your little one grows, teething can be an exciting but also stressful time. As a board-certified pediatric specialist, Dr. A can provide guidance for handling this challenging transition. It’s important to bring your child to our Katy dental office starting about six months after their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday. That way, we can make sure that their oral development is on track and that their new teeth are healthy.
While your child is young, they may rely on sucking their thumb or a pacifier to soothe themselves. Early on, this isn’t typically a problem, but if these non-nutritive habits continue beyond age three, they can interfere with your child’s oral development in the long term. Our team at Happy Chompers Pediatric Dentistry would be happy to share some tips for easing your child out of these behaviors so that their smile continues to look adorable and function well.
Laser Frenectomies /
Lip & Tongue-Tie
At some point during gestation, the piece of tissue that connects the upper lip to the jaw and the tongue to the mouth floor is supposed to disappear. However, this tissue called a frenulum, or more commonly a tongue or lip tie, sometimes remains and makes breastfeeding much more difficult. As your child ages, they may also have trouble eating solid foods, speaking clearly, or performing other oral functions. In the past, resolving a tongue/lip tie required a scalpel and sutures, but at Happy Chompers Pediatric Dentistry, we use a soft tissue laser. This gentle treatment allows us to execute a frenectomy with little discomfort as well as with little to no bleeding for faster healing.
Dental Checkups & Teeth Cleanings
As soon as your child turns one, or six months after their first tooth arrives, they need to start coming to see Dr. A for regular checkups. This routine appointment allows us to monitor their smiles and inspect their teeth for cavities and other problems. We’ll also use these visits to help your child become familiar with our team. As they continue to come and feel more comfortable, we’ll add in cleanings to remove plaque that has built up on your child’s teeth to prevent future oral problems.
Your child’s teeth need all the protection they can against the bacteria that cause cavities. The acids they produce eat away at their enamel and lead to decay. Did you know that 80% of the cavities that children get are located on the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars? The good news is that our team at Happy Chompers Pediatric Dentistry offers dental sealants to keep harmful bacteria from being able to settle on and damage these vulnerable teeth.
Nightguards for Bruxism
Does your child grind their teeth while they sleep? They may have a common condition called bruxism. If left untreated, they can experience chronic jaw pain and weaken their tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cracking or breaking down the road. Thankfully, a simple, comfortable, and completely customized oral appliance worn at night can keep your child’s upper and lower teeth from grinding and causing damage to their smile.
Athletic Mouthguards / Sportsguards
No matter their age or skill level, your child should wear a mouthguard whenever they participate in sports, particularly where contact with others is likely, such as football, hockey, lacrosse, basketball, and soccer. We can provide your child with a customized mouthguard to protect their smile from impact. Unlike the kind you can buy at a store, this comfortable appliance will fit them perfectly and not interfere with their ability to breathe or perform to their best ability.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Although oral cancer in children isn’t common, we take just a couple of minutes during every checkup appointment to look for any potential signs of this disease. Some of these include red or white tissue, lumps or bumps, and trouble swallowing. If we find anything concerning, we’ll refer you to a doctor for further diagnostic tests. When detected early, oral cancer can easily be treated, making this gentle, quick screening every six months well worth it.
Have you ever wondered why so many toothpastes have fluoride in them? This naturally occurring mineral reinforces and strengthens tooth enamel against oral bacteria’s harmful acids. That’s why it is often found in drinking water as well. After your child has had a thorough dental cleaning, we can apply a topical treatment of fluoride to their teeth. It’s highly concentrated, completely safe, and can help protect your child’s teeth from cavities in between dental visits.
At Happy Chompers Pediatric Dentistry, we try to identify cavities at their earliest stages of development before they have a chance to cause harm to your child’s precious smile. If we see the beginning of tooth decay, we can use silver diamine fluoride to quickly and effectively get rid of the cavity without having to use more invasive methods. This special treatment allows us to preserve more of your child’s natural tooth structure for longer, which is always a good thing!
At-Home Oral Hygiene Products
Although regular dental visits are certainly important for your child’s oral health, equally important are the little things that they should do every day. Make sure that their teeth are brushed twice and flossed once every day. When your child is old enough to spit, they can use fluoride toothpaste, but as they learn how to maintain their smile on their own, keep in mind that they don’t need to use much toothpaste to keep their teeth clean. If you’d like recommendations for brands, just give our Katy dental office a call.
Gum Disease Treatment
The teeth aren’t the only thing in your child’s mouth that can cause problems. Plaque can accumulate at the gum line, irritating these soft tissues. As the gums develop an infection, they can become red, swollen, and bleed easily. If you notice these symptoms in your child’s gums, make an appointment with us right away so we can start treatment. With scaling (a deep cleaning that goes beneath the gum line) and root planing (smoothing the exposed root surfaces), we can make sure that your child is infection free now and down the road.
Holistic / Alternative
There are lots of different parenting styles out there, and Dr. A wants to help you care for your child’s growing smile in the way that best fits your values and goals. That’s why holistic dentistry options are always available here at Happy Chompers Pediatric Dentistry upon request, such as all-ceramic restorations and fluoride-free cleanings. Just let us know what you prefer, and our team will be happy to accommodate it. We can’t wait to support your child’s future health and happiness!