According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, most children should have a dental exam at least twice a year. Other children may require more frequent dental exams due to having a higher risk of developing dental cavities, abnormal growth or very bad oral hygiene. Dr. Baker will be sure to tailor the best appointment schedule for your child based on their oral health needs.
What happens at a dental check-up?
Once your child is brought back and all appropriate radiographs/x-rays are taken (if necessary), they will have their teeth gently cleaned by the appropriate dental team member. Once their x-rays have been reviewed by the pediatric dentist (if taken), the pediatric dentist will conduct a dental examination of your child’s oral cavity assessing their teeth, gums, soft tissue, and jaw structures. Your child’s pediatric dentist will ask questions regarding your child’s medical and dental history as well. Once all of the necessary information has been collected and reviewed, your child’s pediatric dentist will review their findings with you and come up with an appropriate treatment plan or recall schedule. Finally, your child’s pediatric dentist will go over proper oral hygiene care (brushing and flossing) and diet with both yourself and your child, and answer any questions you may have.
If my child has never had any cavities, do I still need to take them twice a year to see a pediatric dentist?
The answer is yes. Regular dental exams help to ensure that your child stays cavity-free. Specifically, dental cleanings help remove food debris/plaque and calculus, which can lead to dental cavities and gum disease. In addition, fluoride application helps to strengthen tooth enamel and fight cavity causing bacteria. Oral hygiene instructions (reviewing brushing and flossing protocols with both parent and child) help prevent dental decay by reinforcing prevention protocols.
Aside from checking for dental cavities, your child’s pediatric dentist also evaluates changes in your child’s oral health. This includes assessing your child’s growth and development as it relates to their teeth and gums, checking for any soft or hard tissue pathology (abnormal growth of tissue or bone), reviewing dental trauma guidelines and providing prevention protocols, and providing habit counseling (e.g., pacifier use and thumb sucking).