Dental Exams and Cleanings
Preventing Problems Before They Start
The health of your child’s teeth and mouth is very important to the well-being of his or her entire body, and while routine brushing and flossing at home is necessary to keep your child’s smile looking its best, visiting the dentist for a comprehensive exam and cleaning is essential. The American Dental Association recommends that your child visit the dentist every six months to ensure total dental health.
By routinely seeing the dentist for exams and cleanings, your child can:
- Prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other oral problems
- Avoid costly and extensive dental procedures
- Have a clean white smile that they can be proud of
- Monitor growth and development so orthodontic treatment is completed in a timely manner
- Foster good habits and positive feelings towards dental care
During your child’s exam, the dentist will thoroughly examine your child’s teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other health problems. The dentist may also want to take dental x-rays to see what is happening beneath the surface of the teeth and gums. Whether these dental x-rays are traditional or digital, the images provided will help the dentist discover dental issues not visible to the naked eye. Keep in mind that early diagnosis of many dental problems is often only accomplished with the aid of dental x-rays.
The dental hygienist will begin your child’s cleaning by exploring the surface of the teeth to determine if there are any cavities and to examine the quality of existing fillings. The dental hygienist will then perform a periodontal exam to make sure your child’s gums adhere tightly to the teeth.
Next, the hygienist will carefully clean your child’s teeth with a variety of tools to remove any hard mineral buildup (tartar) from the teeth. Then, the hygienist will clean your child’s teeth, use a polishing compound, and apply a topical fluoride varnish. Cleanings usually aren't painful, but if your child has any anxiety about the dental exam, be sure to let us know.
If we diagnose decay or other dental concerns, we will talk to you about ways to change current oral hygiene habits in order to prevent future problems.