REGULAR DENTAL VISITS
Regular dental visits help your child stay cavity free. A professional dental cleaning removes debris that builds up on the teeth and can cause gum disease and decay.
Your pediatric dentist provides an ongoing assessment of changes in your child's oral health.
For example, your child may need additional fluoride, dietary changes or sealants for ideal
dental health. The pediatric dentist may identify orthodontic problems and suggest treatment
to guide the teeth as they emerge in the mouth.
In general, children need X-rays more often than adults. Their mouths grow and change
rapidly. They are more susceptible to tooth decay than adults. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends X-ray evxluations more often for children with a high risk of tooth decay. Children with a low risk of tooth decay require X-rays less frequently.
X-ray films detect much more than cavities. For example, X-rays may be needed to survey
erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury or plan orthodontic
treatment. X-rays allow dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be
detected during a clinical examination. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable and affordable.
Fluoride treatments renew the fluoride content in the enamel, strengthening teeth and
preventing cavities. Hygiene instructions improve your child's brushing and flossing, leading to cleaner teeth and healthier gums. Tooth decay isn't the only reason for a dental visit.
Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, especially the chewing surfaces
of back teeth where most cavities in children are found. It is difficult and sometimes impossible to clean the tiny grooves and pits on certain teeth. Food and bacteria build up in these crevices,
placing your child in danger of tooth decay. Sealants "seal out" food and plaque, thus
reducing the risk of decay. Research shows that sealants can last for many years if properly cared for. If your child has good oral hygiene and avoids biting hard objects, sealants will last
longer. Your pediatric dentist will check the sealants during routine dental visits and reapply if necessary. The application of a sealant takes only one visit. The tooth is first cleaned. It is
then conditioned and dried. The sealant is then flowed onto the grooves of the tooth and
hardened with a special light. Your child will be able to eat right after the appointment.