Having a routine oral health exam is a critical part of preventive health care. During an oral health exam, the hygienist will clean your child’s teeth. Then, the dentist will evaluate the teeth and your child’s risk for tooth decay. Based on the findings, other diagnostic procedures may be required.
The dentist will discuss their findings and review good diet and oral hygiene habits. He will also demonstrate the proper way to brush and floss. Furthermore, the dentist will discuss other topics like avoiding oral injuries and the health risks of oral piercings, tobacco, and substance abuse.
When to Have an Oral Health Exam
For the best chance of detecting problems early, your child needs regular oral health exams. First, your baby should have their first dental visit when their first tooth erupts, or by age 1. The dentist will provide tips for caring for your child’s teeth. It’s important to start early and build a good foundation for proper oral hygiene.
After the first oral health exam, your child should have a regular checkup every six months. More frequent visits maybe required based on your child’s health or risk factors. Your dentist will inform you of this.
Preparing for The First Dental Visit
First, you need to decide if you want to use a pediatric dentist or a family dentist. Pediatric dentists provide specialized dental and oral care for children. They have years of additional training to make them child-friendly and specially equipped for caring for children. Furthermore, their offices are generally centered around children and offer a more comfortable experience.
To prepare for the visit, schedule an exam at a time when your child will be most comfortable. Avoid scheduling appointments too close to nap time. Talk to your child about the exam and what to expect from it. Be positive and avoid words like shot, hurt, and pain. Remind your child that you also visit the dentist.
To make your child feel more comfortable with the dentist, you can read books or watch videos about trips to the dentist. If possible, let your child accompany you to a dentist visit to see what it’s like. Encourage your child to voice their concerns and fears about the dentist. This will help you to calm their fears and explain what will happen.
What to Expect at The Dentist
At the first visit, the dentist will clean and evaluate your child’s teeth. Then, he will discuss drinking and eating habits, fluoride supplements or treatment, the impacts of pacifier use and thumb sucking. Finally, he will demonstrate proper cleaning techniques for at home care and answer any questions you may have.
After that, your child will need regular oral health exams. The dentist will continue to evaluate your child’s oral hygiene, habits, and risk of tooth decay. Your child will receive a cleaning during each visit and if necessary, the dentist may:
- Take digital dental X-rays
- Apply sealants
- Repair cavities
- Recommend pre-orthodontic treatment
- Check for problems in your child’s bite
- Counsel your child on the effects of thumb sucking, nail biting, and jaw clenching
For older children, the dentist will discuss the possibility of removing your child’s wisdom teeth, as well as the oral health risks associated with:
- Not wearing a mouthguard during contact sports
- Oral piercings
- Eating disorders
- Chewing tobacco
- Consuming too many sugary beverages
Oral Health Exam Near Me
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your child. After the exam, the dentist can discuss your child’s oral health and risk of tooth decay. In addition, we will address all your concerns and offer information on preventive measures that can be taken to improve and protect your child’s teeth.