At well-baby exams, the doctor will take a look at your child’s gums and teeth, but the timing of dental exams depends on the age of a child as well as on other considerations such as his oral health. In general, your child should get his first official dental exam between his first tooth eruption and first birthday, according to suggestions from the American Dental Association. At dental exams when your child is from about 6 months old to a year old, the dentist or his assistant either has you hold the child in your lap or puts the child on a table.
If you have a child anywhere from toddler to adolescent, the most common interval for visits is every six months. Your dentist, however, might advise more frequent checkups if your child is at risk for cavities or other issues. The dentist uses sealants to help with tooth decay and repairs cavities. He may also recommend orthodontic treatment such as braces.
Consider taking your child to a pediatric dentist, one who specializes in children. These dentists have child-friendly setups and child-friendly equipment. Exams begin with an inspection of the child’s gums and teeth. It’s possible that X-rays will be performed to check on any tooth development problems in areas that dentists can’t see. Next, the dentist cleans your child’s teeth and gums to get rid of plaque, tartar and stains.
For best results from your child’s dental exam, set it up for a time when the child will be rested and eager to cooperate. Explain in advance of the exam what he should expect, and use positive terms. Say that the dentist has to clean your child’s teeth to keep him healthy, and that he may get a treat at the end if he behaves. If your child expresses fears about going to the dentist, listen to these fears and talk them out.
You’ve read about why dental exams are critical for children. For a deeper look at the subject, check out this website to find out more about dental exams in Durham.