Parents often want to know how long to wait before feeding their children following fluoride treatment. This procedure is usually done to remineralize the teeth and strengthen them against cavities or decay. The time before patients can eat or drink may depend on the fluoride varnish used. When it comes down to food choices, the…
What is Included in a Children’s Oral Health Exam?
Pediatric dentistry is a dental practice focused on children's oral health and wellness. Taking children to the dentist while young can help set them up for a lifetime of good oral hygiene. Additionally, a dental exam helps identify any problem areas in your children's teeth. Working with kids may take a different skill set from working with adults.
What does the dental exam include?
Before you take your children to their dental exam, you may want to explain to them the process. If your kids do not have a lot of familiarity with the dentist, they may be prone to anxiety beforehand. Giving them a rundown of what to expect can help alleviate nervousness.
Questions about medical history
To start a pediatric dentistry exam, the dentist will have various questions. As a parent, you may have to answer some questions for your child. Some questions may involve the child's medical history, types of medications he or she takes, and any health conditions he or she may have. Additionally, the dentist may ask questions that relate to oral health. For example, professionals may ask children if they experience any pain in their jaw or teeth or have any sensitivities.
X-rays are critical for dentists to assess the health of your child's mouth. Imaging allows professionals to see any issues they cannot detect simply by looking at the mouth. For instance, X-rays can show cavities forming before you can see them with the naked eye. X-rays can also detect issues with the jaw, teeth, and roots, including gum infections.
When dentists detect issues early, they can come up with a treatment plan to stop them before they grow into something worse.
Teeth cleaning and polishing
Most dental exams also include professional cleaning and polishing. Professionals will remove any plaque or tartar deposits. They scrape below and above the gum line before flossing the teeth. A dentist flossing a child's teeth tends to be more effective than the child flossing themselves.
Once finished, the dentist uses a spinning polisher with a slightly abrasive head. This polishes your child's teeth to leave them smooth and shiny. It also rids your child of any plaque, food particles, or tartar.
Some children receive fluoride treatments as part of their exams. The fluoride treatment helps protect the teeth from cavities. It can also affect erupting teeth, leaving adult teeth more robust and less prone to decay. To apply fluoride, many dentists use a fluoride tray filled with foam or a gel. However, dentists may also use varnish and paint the fluoride on the teeth after a cleaning.
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Once you know what to expect from a child's dental exam, you can prepare yourself and your kids for the upcoming appointment. Pediatric dentistry covers the ins and outs of preventative treatment and care of children's teeth. Children have unique oral health needs that pediatric dentists understand.
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