Preventing Problems Before They Start
The health of your child’s teeth and mouth is vital to the well-being of his or her entire body, and though routine brushing and flossing at home are necessary to keep your child’s smile looking its best, visiting the dentist for a comprehensive exam and cleaning is also essential. The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist every six months to ensure their teeth stay healthy and smile remains beautiful.
By routinely seeing the dentist for exams and cleanings, your son or daughter can:
- Prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath
- Avoid costly and extensive dental procedures
- Have white teeth by reducing staining from food and drinks
- Shorten the time spent in the dentist’s office
- Have a smile that will last a lifetime
During your child’s exam, Dr. Rivera will thoroughly examine your youngster’s teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other health problems. The dentist may also want to take X-rays to see what’s happening beneath the surface of the teeth and gums. Whether these X-rays are traditional or digital, the images provided will help us discover dental issues not visible to the naked eye.
The dental hygienist will begin your child’s cleaning by exploring the surface of the teeth to determine whether there are any cavities and to examine the quality of existing fillings. The hygienist will perform a periodontal exam to make sure your child’s gums adhere tightly to the teeth, and no periodontal disease or bone loss is present.
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 floss your child’s teeth, use a polishing compound, and apply fluoride.
Cleanings usually aren’t painful, but if your little one has any anxiety about the dental exam, be sure to let us know. We may offer several sedation options to ensure your child’s comfort.
If the dentist or hygienist finds tooth decay or gum disease, we will talk to you about changing your youngster’s brushing or flossing habits. In severe cases, we may recommend antibiotics or other dental treatments.
If your child’s teeth and gums appear to be healthy, the dentist will probably recommend your son or daughter continue brushing and flossing as usual.