Preventive Dentistry in Petaluma, CA

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Preventive Dentistry

Cleanings & Exams

Just like cleanings and exams for adults, pediatric cleanings and exams are fairly straightforward. Your child’s Licensed Registered Dental Assistant will clean their teeth and gums, then Dr. Austin or Dr. Gupta will carefully examine their mouth and any x-rays to look for potential issues with your child’s oral health or development.

You will have the opportunity during this visit to speak with Dr. Austin or Dr. Gupta about what to expect during the various stages of their oral development. For example, when their teeth will be erupting, falling out, then erupting again as adult teeth. We will discuss proper techniques for at-home oral care and hygiene for different age groups, and even talk about nutrition and diet, and how it’s related to your child’s developing oral health.

Preventive Dentistry

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride treatments are one of the best ways to prevent dental decay. A simple, non-invasive procedure, fluoride treatments help to keep your child's enamel strong. After your little one's cleaning, we’ll apply a fluoride-rich varnish or gel; we may ask you refrain from allowing your child to eat or drink anything for 5-10 minutes or so following their visit. Fluoride helps kickstart a process called “remineralization,” which restores essential minerals like calcium and phosphates to the teeth, keeping your kiddo's enamel hard and resistant to acids, like those that cause tooth decay.

Preventive Dentistry

Digital X-Rays

Digital x-rays are fast, high-resolution images that capture your child’s jaw and tooth health. X-rays emit very low radiation exposure and will only be recommended if Dr. Austin or Dr. Gupta thinks they are necessary. For most cases, x-rays are taken one time per year, however, Dr. Austin or Dr. Gupta may recommend more if your child is at high risk for oral disease.

Preventive Dentistry

Oral Cancer Screenings

Even children need oral cancer screenings! This is an essential part of preventive care that is performed quickly, safely, and usually without your child noticing.

During the screening, Dr. Austin or Dr. Gupta will examine your child’s mouth, gums, and oral tissues. They’ll look for discolored patches, lumps, growths, and other similar abnormalities. In the rare case that an issue is found, a biopsy may be taken and sent to a specialist for further analysis, or Dr. Austin or Dr. Gupta will refer you to a specialist directly.

Scheduling a dental visit every 6 months allows Dr. Austin or Dr. Gupta to address any issues before they become larger problems.

Silver Diamine Fluoride

Cavities and toothaches are never fun, especially for your child. When it comes to treating decay in baby teeth, you may be wondering if there are alternatives to dental fillings. Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a non-invasive procedure that doesn't require any drilling or injections and can be completed in minutes. Painting on a layer of SDF on your child's back molars not only kills the bacteria that cause decay but also seals and remineralizes the molars for added strength. If your little one has a cavity, fillings may not be the only option!

Preventive Dentistry

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants use a transparent liquid resin, which is applied directly to the teeth and is hardened using a UV light. This creates an impenetrable seal on your child’s tooth, which stops bacteria, acid, and food particles from causing cavities. This treatment is usually recommended specifically for cavity-prone rear teeth.