Dental Checkups and Cleanings
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends your child's first dental visit after the first tooth erupts and no later than the child's first birthday. This enables the children's dentist to do a baseline oral care exam and provide parents with children's dental care information to help properly care for the child's unique dental needs.
Everyone, especially kids, should see the dentist to have their teeth cleaned every six months. Decay is more likely to happen when kids are young so it is important to have regular appointments.
During each teeth cleaning appointment, you and your child can expect a:
- Full oral exam to identify changes in the tissues of the mouth.
- Diagnosis of any dental conditions. The dentist will perform the exam and look for cavities or other dental conditions.
- Preventative cleaning. We will clean and polish the teeth to remove sticky bacteria, called plaque. When plaque builds up, it can cause tooth decay. We will also teach your child proper brushing and flossing as needed, and answer any dental questions you may have.
Fillings are necessary when small cavities are found. Parents and kids have the choice of what type of fillings are used.
White, or composite, fillings are designed to match the color of the tooth. White fillings are often used on front teeth for a more natural look. White fillings do cost a little more and may not be strong enough in certain situations.
Fluoride helps protect teeth from decay. Fluoride treatments are given twice a year during their regularly scheduled exam and cleaning. The fluoride is either a foam or gel placed in trays set over the child's teeth.
Dental sealants are a tooth colored plastic material applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth to "seal out" plaque and food to prevent cavities. The sealant material is simply painted onto the chewing surface of the back teeth where it bonds and hardens in seconds. Sealants are commonly placed on the permanent 6 year and 12 year molars because decay is more likely to develop on these back teeth.
Space maintainers hold the place of a tooth that has prematurely fallen out of a child's mouth due to decay or injury. A space maintainer can be a band or crown attached to another tooth. The dentist will remove the space maintainer once the permanent tooth starts to grow in. If a space maintainer is not put in the vacant space the surrounding teeth can crowd and take over that space. This makes the permanent tooth come in crooked or crowded which leads to difficulties in chewing and talking.
Dr. Greg will evaluate your child at each cleaning appointment and will advise you when it is time to have an orthodontic consultation.