Maintain your child’s smile with gentle checkups
Maintaining your child’s beautiful, healthy smile is often as simple as scheduling six-month preventive checkups and cleanings. We encourage you to begin dental care for your child by the age of one or by the time your son or daughter’s first tooth arrives. The sooner you allow us to monitor your child’s oral health, the greater our ability to guide successful development, while protecting teeth from problems like tooth decay.
About Your Child’s Visit
Infant Oral Exam
Our team empathize with your child, which is why we strive to offer exceptional comfort and a relaxed environment. We often see children who are under the age of three and recommend kids see a dentist as soon as the initial baby tooth erupts.
A child’s first visit to the dentist should be enjoyable. Children are not born with a natural fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. Our office makes a special effort to use pleasant, non-frightening, simple words to describe each treatment. We want you and your child to feel at ease from the moment your family arrives at our office.
We will explain the equipment and give your child time to become acclimated to the new sights and sounds of the dental practice. Once your son or daughter feels relaxed and comfortable, we will proceed with a gentle dental checkup. For infants, we will perform a knee-to-knee lap exam.
We may also incorporate the use of digital X-rays to monitor the growth and development of your child’s teeth, offering the following benefits:
- Digital X-rays require the use of comfortable sensors placed in your child’s mouth rather than uncomfortable bitewings associated with conventional X-rays
- The X-rays upload quickly to our computer system for near-instant viewing
- Digital X-rays emit a significantly reduced amount of radiation when compared with conventional X-rays
We also use the exam as an opportunity to educate parents about the proper methods of brushing teeth and maintaining good oral hygiene for infants and young children. Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and our team will discuss with you the right time to start flossing your child’s teeth.
Gentle Dental Cleaning
Plaque adheres to everyone’s teeth on a daily basis, acting as the leading cause of tooth decay and gum disease. Protecting your child’s oral health relies heavily on maintaining truly clean, plaque-free teeth. Daily brushing and flossing contribute but you will need a dental cleaning for comprehensive plaque removal.
Preventing tooth decay with regular checkups
Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid, which can break down your teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.
Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. Tooth sealants are also recommended because they “seal” the deep grooves in your child’s teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-clean areas.
Preventive Pediatric Treatments
Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth after their permanent teeth have erupted as a preventive measure against tooth decay. It is more common to seal “permanent” teeth rather than “baby” teeth, but every patient has unique needs, and the dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.
Sealants last from three to five years, although it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact so if your child’s sealants come off, let us know, and schedule an appointment for your child’s teeth to be re-sealed.
Sealants give your child’s teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.
Fluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay by coating teeth and preventing plaque from building up and hardening on the tooth’s surface.
Fluoride comes in two varieties: Systemic and Topical:
- Systemic fluoride is ingested, usually through a public water supply. While teeth are forming under the gums, the fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, making it stronger and more resistant to cavities.
- Fluoride can also be applied topically to help prevent caries (cavities) on teeth present in the mouth. It is delivered through toothpaste, mouthwash, and professional fluoride applications. Professional application of topical fluoride foam and varnishes is also a valuable tool in cavity prevention.
A fluoride treatment in the dentist’s office takes just a few minutes. After the treatment, patients may be asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your child’s oral health and our team’s recommendation, your child may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months.
Contact us today to schedule a visit, so we may join you in helping your child establish a lifetime of excellent dental habits.