Getting regular dental check-ups is the best way to prevent cavities and to maintain strong, healthy teeth. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should start seeing a dentist when they turn one or when their first tooth erupts, whichever comes first. After that, you can start scheduling dental exams for your child every 6 months.
Why Dental Exams are Important
Even patients who take great care of their teeth need to visit the dentist biannually. The pediatric dentist is able to detect dental issues before they become visible or painful. Some dental complications may be genetic, so even if your child is extremely diligent with their oral care, they could still be at risk of cavities. During a dental exam, the pediatric dentist can also use an x-ray to see the growth and development of teeth and cavities below the surface. They can identify cavities or orthodontic problems to treat to avoid serious and costly problems later on.
What to Expect
At Hacienda Pediatric Dentistry, we strive to provide a comfortable, caring environment at our dental office, so your child feels safe and secure when they visit the dentist. Dr. Sheu, our pediatric dentist, also understands the importance of building strong, trusting relationships with her patients at every dental exam. When patients trust their providers, they are much more likely to comply with instructions in the office and follow oral hygiene advice outside the office. Establishing a dental home early on for your child will also put them more at ease when they have to undergo dental or orthodontic procedures later on.
Before the actual dental exam, our pediatric dentist will review your child’s oral health history. If your child has any dental issues, like tooth sensitivity or pain, this is a good time to tell the dentist! They will pay special attention to these areas of concern. Depending on how old your child is and when the last time they had a dental x-ray was, your child may need to get a dental x-ray. After our doctor examines the x-rays, a physical dental exam will take place. Our dentist will be looking at the development and positioning of your child’s teeth, dental decay, possible cavities, gums, and more. Then, our pediatric dentist will treat any minor issues (cavities, teeth extraction) that are present. Finally, your child’s teeth will be professionally cleaned.
How to Care for Teeth After a Dental Exam
Patient education is one of the most important aspects of dental care. After the checkup, the pediatric dentist will go over specific ways for your child to improve their dental care. For example, Dr. Sheu will show your child any problem spots to pay special attention to when brushing or how to floss correctly. Patients only typically only receive dental checkups twice a year, but they brush their teeth 2 – 3 times every day of the year! That’s why the best way to have healthy teeth is by keeping up a good oral hygiene routine.
If you have questions about dental exams at Hacienda Pediatric Dentistry, give us a call! You can make an appointment online or over the phone as well. If your child is nervous about seeing the dentist, you can stop by our Hacienda office for a tour before your actual appointment as well.