Preventive and Diagnostic Services

Preventive and Diagnostic Services Decorative Image

Dr. McGuire provides preventive and diagnostic dental services for children in Clinton Township, NJ. Call us today at 908-735-6300 or click here to request an appointment online.

The Importance of Preventive Care

One of the most important things that we can do to keep our teeth and gums healthy is to prevent problems before they get started. Early diagnosis and preventive care are both important tools that we use every day, to keep our patient’s teeth healthy and free from damage. 

For children, preventive care is especially important. Your child’s oral health is changing all the time as their teeth develop and grow. When your child comes in for a dental checkup, we can make sure that everything is progressing as expected, and address any problems that do arise quickly and effectively. 

Comprehensive Oral Evaluation

During an oral evaluation, we will thoroughly examine your child’s mouth, head, and neck to check for any abnormalities that might lead to complications such as overcrowding, cavities, and gum disease. 

Your child should come in for their first evaluation and cleaning sometime between their first and second birthday, once they have at least one tooth. Afterward, we recommend that children return for evaluation and cleaning once every six months to check on their progress and overall tooth health. 

Once we examine your child’s teeth to see if there are any problem areas, we can develop a treatment plan that is perfect for them. 

Dental Cleanings (Prophylaxis)

Professional cleaning of young girl's teeth

Regular visits to the dentist will help keep your child’s teeth healthy and prevent cavities. When your child comes in for a cleaning, we will remove any buildup of plaque and tartar. During the appointment, we will thoroughly polish and clean their teeth to remove any stains and help prevent further plaque buildup. 

Even if your child’s teeth appear to be healthy, regular cleaning by your dentist will help make sure that their teeth and gums remain in great condition, free from plaque and cavities.

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride is a safe and natural substance that helps to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. We use fluoride treatments as an important part of our pediatric dental care. 

You might use a fluoride mouth rinse at home after brushing. At our offices, we apply the fluoride treatment as a varnish instead. This is a more precise application method to treat and protect all of your child’s teeth. The varnish is also a more concentrated solution, resulting in a more effective and thorough treatment compared to at-home rinses.

Digital Radiographs

Dental X-Rays have been used for many years as an important diagnostic tool that allows us to monitor your child’s dental health. By examining an X-Ray, we can identify a wide variety of issues that would be invisible to the naked eye, including early signs of tooth decay, bone defects, impacted teeth, extra teeth, tumors, cysts, and other issues. We can also check on the progress of previous procedures, to make sure there are no complications and that recovery is progressing on schedule. 

With digital X-Rays, the process of dental radiography is changing for the better. Now, we are able to capture high-quality images in less time, with about 50% less exposure to radiation. 

Digital X-Rays provide instant, high quality images, that are available to view immediately. After the image is taken, you can look at the X-Ray with your dentist, who will explain any issues that they notice, and go over treatment options.

Oral Hygiene Instructions

Preventing tooth decay and gum disease starts at home. Children and adults should brush at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day, to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. We also recommend using a fluoride mouthwash, especially if your child is prone to cavities. 

As part of your child’s regular checkup, we will teach proper techniques for home care, including how to brush and floss.  We will show your child how to hold a toothbrush, and how to move the brush in small circular motions to clean the front, back, and chewing surfaces of their teeth. We will also show them how to floss. If your child has difficulty holding floss, they can use floss picks as an easier alternative for small hands. 

Children with braces might have more difficulty than usual cleaning their teeth. We can show them how to brush and floss effectively, and go over which foods to avoid to keep their appliance in good condition.

Developing good at-home habits will help reduce the risk of plaque and tartar buildup, which can lead to cavities if left untreated. Children who learn to take care of their teeth at a young age are building a foundation for healthy teeth and gums that can last the rest of their lives.

Dental Sealants

Closeup of child's mouth with dental mirror

Sealants literally ‘seal’ the outside surface of your child’s tooth from plaque and tartar buildup. They are an important tool that we can use to help prevent cavities in a vulnerable tooth. Often, sealants are only placed on certain teeth, such as your child’s permanent molars. Sealants are made from BPA-free resin, which is safe for your child’s teeth. 

After the tooth is prepared, your dentist will paint the sealant material onto the chewing surfaces of the tooth.The material fills in the tooth’s crevices, sealing it from plaque and tartar. Once in place, the sealant is hardened using a special light. Applying sealants is quick and easy, and can be completed in just one visit. 

Preventive care is very important for continuing tooth health. By working together, we can help your child have healthier teeth with fewer cavities. Early diagnosis when there is something wrong is also very important so that we can address the issue as soon as possible, and prevent the damage from spreading or getting worse. 

Call 908-735-6300 to schedule your appointment to request an appointment online.

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