With all the amazing and life-changing restorative and cosmetic procedures now possible with modern dentistry, it’s easy to forget about what is — and always has been — the most important aspect of taking care of your mouth: preventive dentistry.

Excellent preventive care is the best strategy for keeping your teeth and gums healthy for life, with fewer invasive and expensive procedures along the way. It includes meticulous oral hygiene at home and maintaining a regular schedule of professional cleanings and exams.

If you or anyone in your family is due for a checkup, call Kirchner Dental of Jeffersonville, IN at 812-913-6093 (Jeffersonville) 812-884-8304 (New Albany) 502-430-3451 (St. Matthews) .

Preventive Care Starts with the First Tooth

It’s never too early to teach your kids the importance of good dental habits. It’s important to start building this foundation from a very young age, so brushing their teeth and visiting the dentist becomes a normal part of life for them. Not optional, and not something to fear.

The American Dental Association recommends that children see the dentist when their first tooth comes in, or by their first birthday (whichever comes first). At Kirchner Dental, our top priority is to ensure young children feel comfortable and safe, and make their first dental appointment a positive one so they won’t be afraid to return in the future. So while we will conduct a cleaning and exam at baby’s first visit, we will make it fun.

It’s also important to take care of your baby’s teeth and mouth at home. Even before that first tooth comes in, get into the habit of wiping baby’s gums down with a soft damp cloth. This cleans away bacteria, plus eases your child into a dental-health routine. Once the first teeth appear, you can start using a very soft baby toothbrush.

Dental Visits Deep Clean and Catch Hidden Problems

Every person in the family should visit us at Kirchner Dental twice per year for a professional cleaning and exam.

Even if you do everything right at home, there are areas of your mouth that are virtually impossible to reach with your toothbrush. At our office, one of our skilled hygienists will thoroughly clean your teeth. They will be able to access hard-to-reach areas, clean below the gumline, and scrape away plaque and tartar buildup. They will then floss and polish your teeth so they look shiny and clean.

Dr. Kirchner or Dr. Sherry will then examine your teeth and gums. The doctor will be able to spot early signs of disease and decay, even before you have symptoms. This gives us the option of starting treatment right away, before the problem gets worse.

We may take digital X-rays of your teeth. X-rays are important because they expose issues that aren’t visible to even a doctor’s naked eye. These include abscesses, hidden cavities, impacted teeth, and cysts.

At Kirchner Dental, we offer other preventive services you may want to consider for yourself or your children.

  • Sealants can be helpful at any age, but they have been proven to benefit children especially. A sealant is a plastic coating that’s painted over the back teeth, creating a protective barrier against cavity-causing acids.
  • Fluoride is a mineral that keeps tooth enamel strong. It’s lost through a process called demineralization, and must be continuously replenished. We offer fluoride treatments to ensure you are getting the amount you need.
  • Athletic mouthguards protect the teeth and gums during athletics and other vigorous activities. Our mouthguards are custom made and comfortable to wear.

Check Your Brushing and Flossing Technique

Since you only see us twice per year, it’s important that you use care and correct technique when you brush and floss at home.

  • Brush twice daily, for two minutes at a time.
  • Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gumline. Use short circular strokes and reach all parts of the teeth, including the backs.
  • Be thorough but gentle: brushing too hard can strip away the enamel and injure your gums.
  • Brush your tongue to remove decay- and bad-breath-causing bacteria.
  • Replace your toothbrush when it begins to show signs of fraying, or every few months.
  • Use 18 inches of floss. Wrap most around your middle fingers, leaving a couple inches to work with.
  • Go up and down between the teeth, keeping the floss taut against the enamel.
  • Use a fresh section of floss each time you move to a new tooth.

Meticulous preventive care will pay off with a lifetime of good dental health. Book your next checkup with Kirchner Dental of Jeffersonville, IN. Request an appointment through our online form or call 812-913-6093 (Jeffersonville) 812-884-8304 (New Albany) 502-430-3451 (St. Matthews) .