At Dentistry for Children, we recommend oral health exams twice a year, preferably during your child’s bi-annual teeth cleaning.
Our dentist will examine your child for abnormalities in the development of their primary teeth and any adult teeth that may be surfacing. We also check for plaque build-up which can lead to sickness.
Why We Perform Dental Health Exams
Oral health exams allow dentists to take a look at your overall oral health, but also gain insight into your body’s health as a whole. Sometimes, dentists and dental hygienists can see signs of other health problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and lupus, just by taking a look at your mouth.
In addition to your mouth being a crystal ball for your health, it gives your dentist a chance to help you treat any oral health problems. Prevention is the key to great oral health!
When is It Time for A First Oral Health Exam?
At Dentistry for Children, we recommend bringing your child for their first visit at age one or within 6 months of their first tooth erupting. This initial visit can allow your child’s dentist to discuss topics such as thumb-sucking and pacifier habits, cleaning your child’s teeth and gums, baby tooth decay, teething and much more.
What to Expect in Your Child’s Exam
Education is our priority at Dentistry for Children. It is our goal to make sure your child learns the importance of practicing daily oral hygiene and how it prevents dental problems down the road. During your visit, our trained staff will show your child how to brush and floss properly and discuss proper nutrition to keep their smile healthy and bright.
During your child’s bi-annual visit, our professional dental hygienists or assistants will perform your child’s routine cleanings. These regularly scheduled cleanings act as a discovery opportunity as our team follows the “tell, show, do” model with your child. This involves our team discussing each instrument and showing them each part of the process. This allows your child to become comfortable with the process and what optimal oral hygiene looks like. We’ll also take this time to recommend special preventative treatments, such as fluoride and sealants, that will benefit your child’s health.
In your child’s exam, our pediatric dentist will examine the teeth, jaw and oral tissue. As they evaluate your child’s mouth, they will look for abnormalities that may result in potential problems down the road. This includes baby teeth and permanent adult teeth that may be erupting. Our expert dental team will take the time to discuss the examination and any next steps that need to be taken. They will have your child on their way to a lifetime of healthy smiles!
This exam will also help your child’s dentist determine if X-rays are necessary and how frequent they should be taken to locate cavities or other abnormalities. If dental X-rays are conducted and decay is found, your dentist will recommend the appropriate treatment options for your child.
At the end of the appointment, your child will be able to pick a prize to take home. Just a little way of letting your child know how proud we are to have them as part of the family!
FAQs About Children’s Oral Exams
At what age should I bring my child in for his or her first oral exam?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends scheduling an initial exam after your baby’s first tooth erupts or no later than your infant’s first birthday
How can I get my child ready for his or her dental visit?
Schedule the appointment at a time of day when he or she is well rested and most likely to cooperate. Let your child know the dentist will use special tools to keep his teeth healthy. Avoid sharing any negative words or experiences with your child.
How often should I bring my child in for dental cleanings?
Routine dental cleanings are essential for preventive care. In general, we recommend cleanings twice a year for all pediatric patients in our care. Some children need more frequent dental visits because of increased risk of tooth decay, unusual growth patterns, or poor oral hygiene. Your pediatric dentist will let you know the best appointment schedule for your child.