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. 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 his or her teeth stay healthy and smile stays beautiful.
By routinely seeing the dentist for exams and cleanings, your child can:
- Prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath
- Avoid costly and extensive dental procedures
- Reduce staining from food and drinks
- Shorten the time spent in the dentist’s office
- Have a smile that will last a lifetime
- Instill habits for a lifetime
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 problems. The dentist may also want to take X-rays to see what is happening beneath the surface of the teeth and gums. Whether these X-rays are traditional or digital, the images provided will help the dentist discover dental issues not visible to the naked eye.
The hygienist will carefully clean your child’s teeth with a variety of instruments to remove plaque and any hard mineral buildup (tartar) from the teeth. Then, the hygienist will floss your child’s teeth, use a polishing compound, and apply fluoride. Cleanings are not painful, but if your child has any anxiety about the appointment, be sure to let the hygienist and staff know. If the dentist or hygienist finds tooth decay or gum disease, they will talk to you about changing your child’s brushing or flossing habits and recommend necessary treatment. If your child’s teeth and gums appear to be healthy, the dentist will probably recommend that your child continue his or her brushing and flossing routine as usual.