Regular Dental Checkup
Regular dental checkups are an essential part of maintaining a healthy smile. They are a critical part of your child's oral health and we recommend them to all our patients. Dental checkups should be completed every six months to maintain optimal oral health.
Regular Dental Checkups
As soon as your child gets their first tooth, it’s time to take them to see a pediatric dentist. Caring for your child’s teeth when they first arrive and as they continue to grow will help ensure their oral health. Young teeth are more prone to cavities and decay. At your child’s regular dental checkup, we clean their teeth. We can also give your child dental sealants and fluoride treatments to help prevent cavities. We focus on ensuring thorough dental care exams to check your child’s teeth, gums, and overall health. During your child’s appointment please feel free to openly inquire about any dental concerns you may have.
You can expect a regular dental hygiene and cleaning appointment to go as follows:
- Our front staff will welcome you and your child, gather any information necessary (medical history, insurance, etc.), and answer any dental care questions you have.
- Next, your dental assistant will greet you in the waiting room.
- If required (and age-appropriate), dental x-rays will be taken. X-rays help us understand the overall health of your child’s mouth and accurately diagnose any dental issues.
- Then your dental assistant will perform a teeth cleaning, polish, floss, and fluoride.
- Next, we will take a periodontal chart to write and record gingival and overall oral conditions relating to oral and periodontal (gum) health.
- Meet the doctor for an exam. We will discuss any areas of concern you or your child have, or that we want to address.
- If any areas of concern are found, we consult with your insurance company to provide an estimate of costs.
- Schedule any needed treatment or simply your next 6-month cleaning appointment.
Expect this first appointment to take between 1 hour and 1.5 hours, so that we don’t rush you through or provide too much information too quickly for you.
Why are dental checkups important?
Many oral health concerns can only be detected through a thorough examination by a trained dentist. Dental checkups provide oral cancer screenings, digital X-rays to check for hidden issues, and professional cleanings to eliminate plaque, bacteria, and other buildups that daily brushing and flossing won’t effectively eliminate.
Teeth cleanings and dental checkups are very important for children to prevent or identify cavities. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 kids ages 5 – 11 has at least one untreated cavity. Cavities left untreated can be painful and cause additional infections. Getting your child’s teeth cleaned every six months will reduce their risk for cavities.
How often should you get dental checkups?
Ideally, dental checkups are performed every six months. Regular dental checkups are used to determine any change in your child’s oral health and keep their teeth and mouth in good shape or maintained appropriately.
The American Dental Association, and most dentists, recommend six months because the maintenance and cleaning provided at each visit is the best way to ensure you maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Why are brushing and flossing important?
We all know brushing and flossing make our mouth feel great. But, brushing and flossing do more than freshen breath – they physically disrupt the complex network of bacteria called a biofilm. It’s important to disrupt and remove the sticky film so diseases like cavities and gum disease are less likely to happen. There are a lot of products on the market that claim they are the best. Make sure to talk about the options with your dental assistant to get the best recommendation.
And as you know, it is important to brush twice a day for at least two minutes, and floss once. Helping and encouraging your child to make brushing and flossing a part of their habits will help them have a healthy smile as kids and throughout their lifetime!
How long should kids brush their teeth?
Brushing and flossing are daily habits that children should start as soon as their age permits them. Below are some guidelines parents can follow to help get their child on the right track for life-long good oral health habits:
- Kids who don’t have their first tooth, yet: Wipe their gums with a clean, soft cloth after feeding in the morning and right before bed.
- Children with their first tooth and those that are under age 2: Brush their teeth for them, twice a day, with a soft toothbrush and water with a smear of toothpaste.
- Kids ages 2 – 6: Watch them while they brush, for two minutes. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with low fluoride. Ensure they spit out any extra toothpaste and do not swallow it.
- Kids ages 6+: Ensure they brush for two minutes a day, twice a day, using standard fluoride toothpaste.
What are other preventative dental care strategies?
Besides having your child’s teeth cleaned and stain polished off, our comfortable dental cleanings also provides other preventative services, such as:
Dental Sealants — Deep grooves and pits in your back teeth are at a higher risk of cavities. Placing a protective sealant over these surfaces makes them easier to clean and lowers your chances of developing tooth decay.
Fluoride Treatment — Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, fights sensitivity, and reverses the earliest stage of tooth decay (demineralization). Dental insurance typically covers fluoride treatments for children.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) — Silver diamine fluoride helps prevent cavities from growing or spreading to other teeth by killing harmful bacteria and then rebuilding natural tooth materials.
Diagnostic X-rays — Intermittent X-rays allow us to identify new areas of decay so that we can treat your child in the least invasive manner before any issues become worse.
Is It Time For Your Child's Next Checkup?
If it's been six months since your child's last dental exam, contact our office or request an appointment to get their appointment scheduled, or explore the other pediatric dental services we offer.