Early Steps to Wellness: Pediatric Preventive Care Essentials


It is essential to take care of your child’s baby teeth and keep them healthy. These teeth hold space for adult teeth, and taking care of your child’s teeth will protect them from dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, or malocclusion. Pediatric oral health consists of two components, namely preventive care by the dentist and preventive care at home. 

The family dentist in Rancho San Diego and El Cajon, and their team provide dental education to parents for oral care at home, in addition to offering preventive care at the dental office.  

What is preventive pediatric care?

A family dentist offers preventive care for patients from early childhood to adulthood and senior citizens. The preventive measures taken for young children include: 

  • During the first dental visit, your child’s mouth will be examined to check for caries or any orthodontic concerns like crowding overbite, etc. 
  • The pediatric dentist will track the jaw and tooth development.
  • A thorough professional cleaning will be performed to remove plaque and bacteria. 
  • Your child’s primary teeth will be coated with topical fluoride to protect the tooth enamel from decay. 
  • The dentist will demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques and will address any parental concerns.
  • Dietary counseling and strategies to stop thumb-sucking and the use of pacifiers will be recommended to the parents. 
  • When your child’s molars erupt, the pediatric dentist will provide them with dental sealants to seal the tooth from bacteria, food particles, and harmful acids. Dental sealants are important tools to fight against tooth decay. 

What does oral care at home involve?

Parents play a crucial role in keeping their child’s oral cavity healthy. Good preventive care at home must include the following:


  • Parents should provide children with a healthy, well-balanced diet.
  • Sugary foods and continuous snacking should be discouraged.
  • Alternatives like cereals, carrot sticks, and yogurt should be included. 

Healthy oral habits 

  • Discourage the use of pacifiers and habits like thumb-sucking.
  • Inculcate good oral habits in children that pave the way for a healthy oral cavity in the future. 
  • Avoid sharing utensils with their children to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  • Guide the children about proper brushing techniques, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste (above 3 years)

Feeding alternatives

  • Avoid breastfeeding or giving a milk bottle to the child while sleeping. 
  • Use sippy cups instead of baby bottles to prevent the pooling of sugar near the teeth.

Parents play a crucial role in maintaining their child’s dental health, especially during the formative years when primary teeth are developing. Collaborative efforts between parents and dentists are key to providing preventive pediatric care. Take your child for dental visits at least once in six months for optimal oral health and wellness.