When should my child first see a dentist?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child should have its first dental check-up by age one. Although there may be a few teeth erupting, studies have shown that preventative measures to reduce decay, baby bottle rot and other developmental issues can be detected early and corrected. It’s never too early for an adorable smile!
How often do I take my child for his/her dental check-up?
AAPD recommendations are that a child has a dental check-up twice a year. Some cases of tooth decay, unusual growth development or poor hygiene may require additional visits, but the doctor will review each case individually and create a proper schedule.
My child has perfect teeth, why should I take him/her to the dentist?
Many children can have decay and serious oral health conditions with few obvious symptoms. Often times it isn’t until the doctor has thoroughly examined the child, and sometimes reviewed x-rays, that these conditions are detected. Early intervention is key to the growth and development of permanent teeth and healthy gums. Dental cleanings also ensure that the prettiest of little smiles stay that way.
What can I expect at our first visit?
Expect to arrive a little early to complete necessary medical and health forms. Insurance and payment information will be required so remember to bring all insurance cards along. Most of these forms can be found on our website to download, complete and bring with you for your visit. At this first appointment, the doctor will give a thorough exam of your child’s mouth, looking for decay, potential issues with gums and jaw. If necessary, the doctor will take a few minor x-rays but only if they detect an underlying issue. For older children, the first visit can include a cleaning and fluoride treatment. Parents are encouraged to speak to the doctor and staff and ask any questions.
Are x-rays safe and does my child need them?
Most pediatric dental patients have had an x-ray by age five or six. They can prove useful when detecting serious issues such as baby bottle rot, severe decay or growth and development issues. The amount of radiation transmitted in a dental x-ray is extremely low. With modern high-speed digital technology and proper shielding, we take every step to ensure each child has a minimal radiation exposure.
What are sealants?
Sealants are a thin coat of protection added to the chewing surfaces of the teeth. They protect the grooves and areas of the teeth where decay is most likely to set in and cause a cavity. It is safe, painless and fast. Your child will even be able to eat right after the appointment. Because sealants are so successful at preventing cavities, most insurance companies now provide coverage for them. When applied well, sealants can last your child many years.
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a compound of fluorine, a natural element that can help prevent tooth decay and cavities. Although in the U.S. many water supplies contain fluoride, it is still considered as an additional supplement on a case-by-case basis. The dentist will review the child’s history, current oral health and determine the best course of action. Children can also benefit from fluoride in toothpaste and certain mouthwashes, and always be sure to use a product that contains the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.