While all parents hope their children’s teeth never need a root canal, this procedure is one of the most common treatments a pediatric dentist performs. If cavities form in a child’s mouth or a tooth is injured, the pulp of the involved tooth may become infected. This can result in premature tooth loss if the…
Quick Age Schedule Guide for Pediatric Dentist Office Visits
When it comes to having strong, healthy teeth and gums, a pediatric dentist can be one of your child’s most important assets. Even if you teach your child to brush and floss daily, only a dentist can identify and treat oral health problems. Going to the dentist’s office regularly will also help establish good patterns and habits for the future.
What to expect with a visit to the pediatric dentist
The pediatric dentist can help with both preventive and restorative dental care. At a wellness appointment, a staff member will take X-rays of the child’s teeth. A hygienist will then clean and polish all sides of every tooth. The hygienist may also floss the patient’s teeth. The dentist ends the appointment with a thorough examination, including checking the X-rays for cavities or infections. The dentist will look for other concerns such as plaque, tartar, gum disease or bite dysfunctions.
First appointment: around age 1
Parents know how important it is to take children to the doctor’s office for consistent wellness checkups. A similar approach is vital for dental care. Most children will start getting teeth around six months. It is a good practice to take the child to the pediatric dentist about six months after the first tooth emerges.
X-rays: age 4
Somewhere between ages 4 and 6, the dentist will likely start taking X-rays of the child’s teeth. While the dentist can spot some cavities with the naked eye, X-rays can reveal small cavities and hidden decay in between teeth. The pictures may also show infection in the roots. Parents can prepare children for X-rays by explaining what they are and that the pictures will help the dentist see the child’s teeth better.
Focus on cavity prevention: age 7
When a child passes the age of 6 and moves into to ages 7 and 8, permanent teeth typically replace baby ones. It then becomes more critical for the child and parents to be diligent about oral health habits. The pediatric dentist will emphasize the importance of brushing twice a day and flossing daily. The dentist may encourage the family to limit sugar food and drinks.
Orthodontic care: age 8
At or around age 8, many dentists will apply sealants to the child’s teeth. This protective resin bonds to the top of the teeth and helps prevent cavities. During this time, parents should start thinking about getting an orthodontic evaluation for the child. Though an orthodontist handles this treatment, the pediatric dentist can do preliminary examinations and identify developing concerns. The dentist may also recommend orthodontists in the area.
Stay on track
As a parent, if you can start forming good dental habits for your child today, your youngster is more likely to have healthy teeth and gums throughout life. From the time your son or daughter first cuts a tooth, you should start thinking about making an appointment for a dental checkup. As your child grows, different challenges will emerge. The pediatric dentist will help maintain the oral health you want for your child.
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