Dental Exams for Children
Dental exams and cleanings are essential to good oral health. These appointments preserve the health of the teeth and gums, and encourage good oral hygiene habits. It is important that these practices start when a child is young, which is why the dentists at Chrisman & Wyse Cosmetic & General Dentistry offer a wide range of pediatric dentistry services that are catered to children.
Just as with adults, the foundation of pediatric dental care is exams and cleanings. Here, we prepare our Bloomington, IL, patients for what they can expect at a dental exam for children, as well as how often they should schedule these exams for their kids.
When Should Children Start Receiving Dental Exams?
Many people do not schedule a dental exam for their child until long after all of their teeth have come in. In fact, it is not unusual for children to be in school by the time they have their first dental exam. Unfortunately, this is far later than what is recommended. Both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association recommend that children have their first dental exam after their first tooth erupts, or no later than their first birthday.
How Often Does A Child Need an Exam and Cleaning?
Once children have their first dental exam, it should become a regular part of their healthcare routine. As with adults, it is recommended that children undergo a professional dental exam and cleaning twice a year, or once every six months. These regular exams and cleanings help us monitor the oral health of our Bloomington patients and drastically reduces the risk of dental complications that will require further restorative dentistry treatment.
What Can I Expect at These Appointments?
Our dentists always strive to make dental exams and cleanings as comfortable as possible for our Bloomington patients, and we are especially gentle when performing a pediatric dental exam. Our goal is to evaluate the teeth and gums to determine if there are any signs for concern, clean the teeth and gums to prevent future complications, and demonstrate the types of practices that will teach children lifelong oral hygiene habits.
Dental exams for children generally start with a visual examination of the teeth and gums. Our dentists will look for any obvious signs of dental problems or complications. Once a year a pediatric dental exam will also involve oral x-rays. However, a child usually does not require x-rays until it is no longer possible to visually examine the area between the back teeth, which often happens around the age of five or six.
After visually examining the teeth, our dentists will perform a professional dental cleaning. A hygienist will carefully remove any plaque or tartar that has built up on the teeth. Again, we will be as gentle as possible so that children remain comfortable throughout the exam. Next, the teeth will be polished with a high-powered toothbrush and a granular toothpaste. Finally, the hygienist will floss the child’s teeth, and offer tips for how the teeth should be brushed and flossed at home.
We recommend that children end each exam and cleaning with a fluoride treatment. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and diminishes the risk of cavities. However, this portion of the exam is optional, and parents can choose not to have their children receive fluoride treatment.
If any follow-up care is required following the exam and cleaning, we will discuss our concerns with the child’s parents. Otherwise, treatment will be complete until the next regularly scheduled dental exam.
Get In Touch
If your child is in need of a dental exam and cleaning, you can count on the dental professionals at Chrisman & Wyse Cosmetic & General Dentistry to provide the gentle and thorough care you want for your family. To learn more about our comprehensive range of dental services, send us a message online at your earliest convenience or call (309) 663-6393.