Preventative Dentistry

Preventive Culture:  Keeping primary teeth until they are naturally replaced by permanent teeth.

Pediatric Dentists help you keep your child’s smile healthy:  Dr. McCorkle and our staff will work with you to understand, select, and provide preventative therapy and treatments to keep your child’s smile healthy and avoid cavities, gum disease, halitosis, malocclusion, and injuries.

Preventative care of the teeth can include the following types of treatments:

  • Careful assessment of your child’s oral health to accurately plan treatment.
  • Brushing with fluoridated toothpaste and proper parental supervision and guidance at least twice a day is amazingly effective.
  • Flossing teeth and gums prevent cavities, halitosis and gum disease.
  • Stimulating salivary flow by chewing gum regularly is very beneficial.
  • Professionally removing dental calculus, stain, and plaque from the teeth at least biannually to keep teeth beautiful and gums healthy and breath fresh..  
  • Timely placement of sealants to prevent molar chewing surface cavities.
  • Application of topical fluoride varnish to prevent smooth surface cavities.
  • When your child can not brush, for example when traveling or at school, over the counter fluoridated mouth rinses can help those at high risk of decay who are at least six years old.
  • Drinking mostly water between meals is easily introduced even for toddlers.
  • A well fitting mouth guard for athletic and active kids prevent dental fractures, avulsion, luxation, and concussion.

Sealants keep Molar Chewing Surfaces Healthy:  Before a child develops cavities, the application of protective sealants on the chewing surface of molars is very effective. Sealants are applied to the molars, teeth toward the back of the mouth, where the chewing surfaces are at risk.

Protecting a Child’s Teeth From Injuries:  If your child participates in sports or is at risk of an oral injury, Dr. McCorkle can recommend or fabricate a dental mouth guard to protect your child’s teeth, gums, and brains.

  • Mouthguards prevent some concussions.
  • Mouthguards prevent dental fractures and loosened, dislodged and knocked out teeth.  
  • Mouthguards prevent jaw fractures.
  • Mouthguards prevent lacerated lips, cheeks, and tongues.

Intercepting developmental occlusal disturbances – Orthodontics for Growing Smiles: Orthodontic treatment of growing smiles is part of the specialty of pediatric dentistry and the care provided by Dr. McCorkle.  For most children that need orthodontic care one phase of treatment is best.  However, for some children, more than one phase of orthodontic treatment can save a lot of trouble.  

Timing of orthodontic treatment for children is critical.  Proper timing helps to avoid prolonged treatment by starting too soon or missing an opportunity for easy resolution by starting too late. For example, erupting misaligned teeth may need a space management plan to reduce the risk of more orthodontic treatment.  Developmental abnormalities taken care of at the right time is often easier and can prevent additional developmental problems.

Protecting a child from harmful habits:  During every preventive visit, Dr. McCorkle will notice abnormalities of the erupting teeth, adverse eruption patterns, deleterious effects of oral habits, and issues with the gums, lips, tongue or palate.  These problems will be evaluated and discussed with you along with options for care and recommendations for the best age for treatment prior to additional problems developing.

Sucking Habits: Thumb or finger sucking habits or pacifier habits are normal for many children.  Quitting before the age of four years allows your child’s teeth to grow normally.  Most children quit on their own at the right time.  For children with a prolonged habit, proper coaching usually is successful.  Dr McCorkle can discuss alternative options for children who are having trouble learning to quit digit sucking.