Charlotte dentist Dr. Richard Van Gurp has more than 20 years of experience working with children and adult patients. While most of our practice is devoted towards adults, Dr. Van Gurp welcomes children in the office. We generally begin seeing children at age 6 or when they have outgrown their pediatric dentist.
Most parents appreciate the convenience of bringing the whole family to the same dentist office. Dr. Van Gurp and his staff are familiar with the needs of children and teens, striving to make each visit as enjoyable and educational as possible.
Importance of Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric dentistry is critical to the long term health of teeth. Tooth decay is the most chronic childhood disease. It is estimated that half of all first-graders have a tooth cavity. Dr. Van Gurp offers comprehensive treatment to keep kids teeth healthy.
The life long road to maintaining a healthy smile starts at an early age. Applied to the teeth of children, Dental Sealants serve as a barrier to food and bacteria, reducing the likelihood of cavity formation. This thin plastic coating, which Dr. Van Gurp and his dental assistant apply to the dry, cleaned surface of chewing molars, premolars and any deep grooves of teeth, seals the tooth. Dr. Van Gurp starts to apply the sealant as soon as permanent teeth start to come through – usually at around 6 or 7 years of age. The rest are usually sealed as soon as they appear.
Both children and adults can benefit from fluoride treatments, which strengthen and even repair areas weakened by early cavity formation. Because of the additional benefits that this preventative measure offers his adult patients, Dr. Van Gurp strongly recommends it. With age, gums begin to recede, which can lead to both tooth sensitivity and gum disease. Dr. Van Gurp addresses these issues through fluoride treatments which rebuild the enamel layer of the exposed teeth at the gum line and decrease the levels of bacteria that are present in the mouth.
Accidents during contact sports and activities account for a large percentage of damaged and lost teeth, most of which could have been saved with the use of a sports mouth guard. Dr. Van Gurp recommends a custom made sports mouth guard for maximum protection and comfort.
Wearing a sports mouth guard protects not only the health of your child’s teeth and gums, but also the investment you have made in the maintenance or enhancement of their smile. A custom fit mouth guard can fit snugly and comfortably over braces and any other oral appliance your child may need to wear. Far superior to over the counter “boil and wear” options, a custom mouth guard makes it easy for your growing athlete to drink and talk to teammates on the sidelines, reducing the incidence of loss or trauma when it is not replaced before heading back on to the field.
Dr. Van Gurp also recommends a custom mouth guard for active adults. Keep your smile in tact while playing whatever sport you enjoy during your free time.