According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, every child should visit a dentist around age 1 and every six months thereafter. These visits are usually very brief and help children begin to get comfortable in a dental setting and allow dentists to observe the dental changes in a child’s mouth from an early age.
At the initial visit, the dentist will perform your baby’s first oral examination and will review infant oral hygiene. In some cases, the dentist will clean your baby’s teeth and apply a topical fluoride. The extent of the examination will depend entirely on you and your child’s comfort level. We will also review oral hygiene procedures for brushing your child’s teeth.
When preparing your child for their first visit to the dentist, please reinforce the idea that going to the dentist is a fun and comfortable experience. Please try to avoid using words like “pain” and “hurt” when talking to your child about the dentist. If you are anxious about the visit, your child will sense that and will be anxious as well.
Comprehensive Oral Evaluation & Cleaning
An oral evaluation is recommended every six (6) months to prevent cavities and other dental problems. During an oral evaluation a thorough examination is done to check the hard and soft tissues of the mouth.
Regular cleanings help keep gums healthy and teeth cavity-free. A dental cleaning includes removal of tartar and plaque and having the teeth polished to remove stains that are not removed when regular tooth brushing is performed and to prevent further buildup of plaque.
Fluoride is a natural substance that helps strengthen teeth and prevent decay. Fluoride treatments are administered at this office as an important component of pediatric dental treatment. The fluoride is applied to the teeth in a gel, foam, or varnish form.
Cavity Prevention and Fluoride Treatment
During a regular check-up, oral hygiene instructions are given to both patient and parent to reduce the risk of plaque and tartar build-up, as well as cavities. Instructions include, but are not limited to proper brushing techniques, flossing, and using mouth rinses.
Dental sealants are made of a safe resin material which is applied to the surfaces of teeth (commonly permanent molars) to prevent cavities. The sealant material fills in the crevices of a tooth and “seals” off the tooth from cavity-causing agents like food and plaque. The teeth are prepared for the sealant application and the sealant is painted directly onto the chewing surface of each tooth and then hardens. Sealants are applied in one visit.
Custom-fitted mouth guards from your dentist are preferable to cheaper products available from a store. Many school athletic programs require participants to wear a mouth guard. Athletes who are wearing braces will particularly benefit from a custom-fitted mouthguard.