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Every day, you and your loved ones are at risk for tooth decay and gum disease thanks to the foods you eat and a seemingly never-ending supply of oral bacteria. To keep your family safe from oral health issues, you need to do two things: the first is brushing and flossing properly every day, and the second – of course – is to visit Little Rock Family Dental Care regularly for checkups, cleanings, and other preventive treatments. If you haven’t scheduled your next biannual appointment yet, call us now.
Gum infections and cavities are progressive diseases; on your own, you might not even realize that they’ve started to develop, and your teeth could be at risk by the time you do finally start feeling the symptoms. During a regular dental checkup, a visual examination and X-rays will help us detect signs of decay that you might not have noticed on your own. If we find plaque or tartar, we can get rid of it for you, leaving you with a brighter, refreshed smile.
Just like adults, any child that’s old enough to have teeth needs periodic checkups and cleanings. We also offer you – the parent – advice for dealing with the different stages of oral development. For example, if your little one is still sucking their thumb after their fourth birthday, we can suggest a few ways for you to help them overcome the habit, such as helping them eliminate their anxiety or placing a bandage on their thumb at night.
If you check your molars in the mirror, you’ll notice that they have all kinds of depressions and grooves where food and bacteria can get stuck. Children tend to have trouble keeping these teeth clean, and as such their molars are very likely to develop cavities. As such, we can place sealants over their at-risk teeth as soon as they erupt. The sealant itself is a thin coat of plastic that covers the surface of the tooth in order to protect it.
Fluoride is an essential mineral for patients young and old who care about their teeth. It helps rebuild enamel that has been weakened and can even stop decay in its earliest stages. In addition to the fluoride you get from your drinking water and the foods you eat, we can perform what is known as a “topical” fluoride treatment – in other words, the application of fluoride directly to the enamel that needs to be protected.
Many of the symptoms of oral cancer, such as a sore throat, are often confused for less serious health issues. However, during your regular checkups, we can screen for potential signs of cancer and, if necessary, arrange for a proper diagnosis. These regular screenings could end up saving your life; the five-year survival rate of oral cancer is about 60%, and the odds improve drastically when treatment is started during the earlier stages of the disease.
You might assume that your jaw stays still at night, but you could actually be grinding your teeth together without realizing it. This is called bruxism, and if left unchecked, it could end up inflicting a lot of damage on your teeth as well as your jaw. We can find signs of bruxism during routine examinations; if we do, we can take an impression of your mouth to make a nightguard that will prevent further damage.