Various factors might determine when your child needs to have a dental exam, including age, health, and risk of tooth decay. Consider these general guidelines:
Toddlers – The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association recommend scheduling a child’s first dental exam 6 months after the first tooth erupts and no later than their first birthday. Expect your baby’s teeth and gums to be examined at baby check ups.
School-age children and adolescents – The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends scheduling regular dental checkups, with the most common interval being every six months. However, the dentist might recommend fewer or more-frequent visits depending on your child’s risk factors for oral health problems.
A dental X-ray allows the dentist to see detailed images of specific sections of your child’s mouth to help diagnose problems not visible during the dental exam.
Dental Cleanings (Prophylaxis)
A professional dental cleaning involves removing plaque and tartar from teeth to promote tooth and gum health. Teeth are also polished with special instruments and paste to make them shine bright! Dental cleanings are typically recommended every 6 months. Cleanings may be recommended more frequently depending on an individual’s cavity risk and gum health.
Fluoride varnish is a tooth-colored gel that is painted on the teeth to help provide protection against tooth decay. Fluoride works by strengthening enamel and reducing the harmful effects of oral bacteria. Scientific studies show fluoride use is safe and highly effective for treating and preventing tooth decay. Fluoride varnish is typically recommended every 6 months but may be needed more frequently based on an individual’s risk of tooth decay
Dental sealants are a thin protective coating applied to the grooves on the teeth. They prevent food particles, bacteria, and acid from getting trapped on the tooth decreasing your risk for tooth decay. You can think of sealants as a raincoat for your tooth. Just like how a raincoat protects you from rain, the sealants protect your tooth from the bad things in your mouth.