Preventative Care

Preventative Care Preventative dental care for your child is essential to providing a lifetime of healthy habits and a healthy smile. The most important thing to remember is that children with healthy mouths have a better chance at healthy lives.

After visiting Smile Zone, we will provide a preventative program for your child at home. This will include brushing and flossing instructions, diet counseling and, if necessary, fluoride recommendations. Though it ultimately comes down to the child doing it, any preventative care program is only going to be successful with your involvement and encouragement.


Visits to the dentist every six months for regular check-ups and cleanings are an essential part to maintaining good oral health. And whether it's your child's first or fifteenth cleaning, our team is well-trained at keeping kids calm by explaining the process and tools used during the cleaning and polishing.

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride inhibits the loss of minerals from tooth enamel and can affect the bacteria that cause cavities. In areas like Springfield and the surrounding communities, fluoride if often added to the water supply because of its positive dental health traits. However, in some cases a child may need additional fluoride supplements to prevent tooth decay. Dr. Hudkins can assess your child's need for fluoride supplements and, if needed, provide it safely and effectively.

Dental X-Rays

Dental X-rays are an invaluable tool in assessing the dental needs of your child. In addition to detecting cavities, X-rays may be needed to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment. Since every child is unique, the need for dental X-ray films varies from child to child. But in general, children need X-rays more often than adults. Their mouths grow and change rapidly and they are more susceptible to tooth decay.

Oral Hygiene Instructions

Good oral hygiene removes bacteria and the leftover food particles that combine to create cavities. For infants, use a wet gauze or clean washcloth to wipe the plaque from teeth and gums, and try not to put your child to bed with a bottle filled with anything other than water. For older children, brush their teeth (or have them brush their own teeth) at least twice a day and floss once a day. Also, watch the number of snacks containing sugar that you give your children, because the more sugar they eat the more likely they are to have tooth decay.


Gingivitis is an irritation of the gums, usually caused by plaque that builds up in the small gaps between the gums and the teeth and by tartar that forms on the teeth. If left untreated, this inflammation can cause deep pockets between the teeth and gums and loss of bone around teeth (periodontitis). Since the bone in the jaws holds the teeth into the jaws, the loss of bone from periodontitis can eventually cause teeth to become loose and fall out, or need to be extracted because of acute infection. Gingivitis can usually be prevented by good oral hygiene habits and regular visits to the dentists. If you suspect that your child might have gingivitis due to swollen gums, gums that bleed easily, or gums that are very tender to the touch, try to visit the dentist as soon as possible.