This depends on the age of your child. If they are 1-2 years old, one of our dentists will gently clean each tooth and their gums, and look for any signs of oral issues. They will also answer any questions you may have about your child’s oral health.
Once your child has most of their teeth (usually between the ages of 2-3), they will receive a standard oral exam and cleaning during routine visits, just like an adult would. One of our hygienists will remove plaque and tartar, buff and polish their teeth, and floss between them. Then, one of our dentists will conduct an oral exam. X-rays may also be suggested, in some cases.
Fluoride treatments are often recommended for children since they are highly susceptible to cavities. During this non-invasive, painless treatment, one of our dentists will apply a fluoride-rich gel to your child’s teeth after their cleaning, leave it in place for a few minutes, then wash it away. Fluoride has the ability to remineralize and strengthen your child’s teeth, which helps reverse minor tooth decay.
Dental sealants are made of a special plastic resin. This resin is applied to your child’s tooth in liquid form after a cleaning. Then, it hardens into a transparent barrier. This barrier prevents direct contact with food debris, oral bacteria, and acid. In turn, this helps your child avoid cavities. Sealants are often covered by dental insurance and can prevent cavities for up to 10 years with proper oral care.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child see a dentist for the first time when their first tooth comes out, or by their first birthday. This may seem early, but bringing your child into our office at one year old will help prevent common oral health and development issues, and ensure that your child is familiar with the process of visiting the dentist.
Teenagers are more independent, which means that it’s easy for them to get into negative dental habits like consuming too much sugar, using tobacco or vaping, or simply neglecting their oral hygiene. The oral hygiene habits your teenager develops will stick with them into adulthood, so it’s important to see the dentist regularly and check in on their oral health. During routine pediatric visits, we will help encourage your child to care for their smile and offer advice for proper hygiene.
If your child is complaining of a toothache or seems to be very sensitive to hot or cold foods, they may have a cavity. They may also complain of pain when biting or chewing. You can also perform a visual inspection to look for signs of a cavity. Get a bright light and shine it into your child’s mouth and look for any visible discolorations (usually brown or black) or visible pits and holes in your child’s tooth. If you think you see a cavity, schedule an appointment right away.