Initial Exam and Digital X-Rays
Regular dental exams and digital dental x-rays play a key role in diagnosing and preventing dental health problems.
Why do Children need Dental Exams?
When done regularly, dental exams allow us to protect your child's oral health, pinpoint problems early when they're more treatable, and clean them in ways you can't back at home. We also offer tips on dental care, such as how to brush and floss properly. From our cheerful staff to our equipment designed specially for children, our office is very child-friendly.
Preparing for an Initial Dental Exam
If you're taking your child to the dentist for the first time, make sure to avoid using negative words or phrases that deal with shots or pain. Tell the child instead that the dentist has special tools that are meant to make sure the child's teeth are healthy. Tell the child that you visit the dentist, but don't mention any negative experiences you may have had.
Schedule the appointment during a time of day when the child is rested and cooperative. Listen to any concerns or fears they may have about dental offices or exams.
What to Expect
Dental exams differ depending on a child's age and treatment needs. Here's what you can expect for each age group.
6 Months to a Year
Dr. Victoria or Dr. Rodriguez will likely conduct the examination with your child either in your lap or on a table. During this exam, you can expect her to evaluate your child's oral and overall health, eating and drinking habits, thumb sucking, and pacifier use, and risk of tooth decay. She may also use a wet toothbrush or cloth to remove stains, check for sores on the child's tongue, cheeks, and roof of the mouth and explain proper brushing techniques.
Toddlers, Elementary School-Age Children and Adolescents
At each regular checkup, we will give your child's teeth a professional cleaning and evaluate your child's dental hygiene and overall health, eating and drinking habits, and risk of tooth decay. Other things that might happen include:
||Repairing defects or filling in cavities
||Examining the alignment of your child's bite for problems
||Applying sealants (thin plastic coverings) to back teeth and teeth at risk of decay
||Digital x-rays or other diagnostic procedures
||Inform your child about the negative effects of habits like nail-biting, jaw clenching, teeth grinding and thumb sucking
||Discuss pre-orthodontic and orthodontic treatments
Dental x-rays give us detailed images of selected sections of the mouth, allowing us to diagnose problems we can't detect during a dental exam. X-rays aren't needed at every single visit, and we'll discuss your child's need for x-rays, which will depend on their age, risk of disease, and oral health.
There is a low risk of radiation exposure with dental x-rays, especially digital x-rays. But if you're concerned, let us know.
Results of the Exam
After completing the exam, Dr. Victoria or Dr. Rodriguez will discuss your child's oral health, risk of tooth decay, and preventative measures you both can take. She will also schedule your child's next appointment. It's best if they occur once every 6 months. However, if your child is at an increased risk for tooth decay or other oral health complications, they may need appointments scheduled more often than that.
Learn More About Children's Dental Care:
For more information, please contact our office at 256-712-4080, or schedule an appointment today!