Dr. Alvin Amante preaches prevention.
The dentist at Culpeper Kids Dentistry recommends that children should see a dentist by the time they are one, in an effort to teach proper cleaning techniques and as a way to promote the proper diet among families.
“That’s what we’ve always recommended,” Amante said. “By the time we see them, they could have a full set of cavities. Our focus is to try to prevent it from happening.”
Amante said while it’s important to get a one-year-old in the dentist’s chair to get them acclimated, it’s just as important to get families to buy into prevention - to monitor the diet of young ones so they are not as susceptible to cavities.
“The reason we get cavities is because the mouth becomes acidic or sour, with a lot of that coming from the diet,” Amante said.
He said avoiding candy - especially hard candy - stick carbohydrates, gums, processed foods and juice are some of the important lessons that he teaches families.
Amante has served the Culpeper area since 2016, when he moved Culpeper Kids Dentistry into the area at 18474 Crossroad Parkway.
One of eight children, Dr. Amante hails from the Philippines where he earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of the Philippines College of Dentistry in 1993. He completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency at the University of Rochester in 2000 and finished his Pediatric Dentistry Residency at the same institution in 2010.
He stresses the importance of seeing the dentist regularly for check ups and preventive care.
“Every kid has a right to a healthy smile,” Amante said. “We get that going by seeing them.”
The practice not only does preventive care but also takes care of cavities, fillings and root canals - though hopefully it doesn’t get that far.
Creating a dental home for children is Amante’s primary goal.
“We want them to visit so we can provide guidance for prevention or provide treatment for any issues,” Amante said.
Since opening in Culpeper in 2016, Amante said the practice has been welcomed by the community.
“Culpeper has been really open to us,” Amante said. “We’ve worked with pediatricians and we’ve had outreach to general medicine and the schools. We’re thankful the three years we’ve been here, the town has opened our arms to us.”
The practice has grown as well, starting with two on staff and now employing six. He is the only dentist on staff for the moment. The practice also offers x-rays and can have them done at Novant Health UVa Health System Culpeper Medical Center as he holds privileges there as well.
Heavily involved with the community through the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce, Amante said that stressing the importance of healthy living is part of his community outreach.
“I think the hardest thing is focusing on the diet,” Amante said. “I think the changes in our diet has been the most dramatic. We have fluoride, which helps prevent cavities, but the diet itself has gone to more processed foods and sugary drinks.”
Culpeper Kids Dentistry can be reached at (540) 727-8200.