Routine Pediatric Dental Exams in Great Neck
Routine pediatric dental exams are essential to give your child a strong head start to a lifetime of good dental health. Routine exams provide a dentist with the opportunity to locate treatable problems early. And routine exams also provide for regular cleaning, care, and instruction for your child in good dental habits.
Children who have early and regular routine exams often have fewer dental problems later in life. The dedicated Great Neck pediatric dentist at Passes Dental Care wants to help your child develop a lifetime of good dental hygiene. Call us today at 516-858-5921 or fill out our online form to make an appointment.
Why Are Routine Dental Exams Important for Children?
We recommend that your child has their first dental appointment after their first tooth comes in or after they turn a year old, whichever comes first. After that, we recommend your child has a routine dental exam every six months. We may recommend more frequent dental exams if we see issues or if extensive treatment is necessary.
The earlier a pediatric dentist can spot potential problems, the better your child’s dental health will be.
You may think that taking a one-year-old to the dentist is premature. Don’t worry. Your pediatric dentist knows how to thoughtfully treat the dental needs of small children. And early care can build good habits and prevent more severe problems later.
Important reasons to start routine pediatric dental exams include the following:
- Providing preventive care is essential – Pediatric dental exams are focused on preventive care. During an exam, your dentist will look for signs of cavities and alignment issues. Regular exams can monitor those issues and catch them early. Dental problems are much easier to treat when they are discovered early.
- Tooth decay is a common problem – Routine childhood dental exams can help prevent and treat tooth decay. Tooth decay is now the most common childhood disease. In several recent years, approximately 23 percent of children in the U.S. ages two to five had tooth decay in their baby teeth. That is a sad and preventable statistic.
Toddlers can develop tooth decay from their diet, poor dental hygiene, and frequently falling asleep with a bottle in their mouths. Our dental professionals want to help you spot tooth decay early so we can treat it.
- Developing good habits – Habits, whether good or bad, begin developing early. Your child will take better care of their teeth when they are teens and adults if they learn how when they are very young. We can teach your child how to brush their teeth and floss at a routine pediatric dental exam, even demonstrating areas they miss with their current technique. We can also show your child that the dentist’s office is nothing to be afraid of but that we are a friendly partner in their dental health.
- Dental structure assessment – Your pediatric dentist can perform structure and development assessments to promptly identify your child’s potential problems. An early evaluation could identify the need to correct misalignment or bite problems. The dentist can also evaluate any issues with the eruption of adult teeth, such as determining whether any primary teeth need to be surgically removed.
What Happens During a Routine Exam?
During your child’s routine dental exam, the dentist and staff will take time to introduce or reintroduce ourselves to your child and help get them comfortable. Once your child is in the dental chair, staff will provide cleanings and take x-rays if needed. And then, the dentist will assess and examine your child’s dental development.
- Dental exam and cleanings – The dental staff will provide a dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from your child’s teeth. They will discuss your child’s oral hygiene with you and your child and suggest proper care and brushing and flossing techniques. They make take x-rays. Then, the dentist will examine your child’s teeth and x-rays for any issues. The dentist will look for tooth decay, gum disease, cavities, or tooth development issues.
- Fluoride treatment – Fluoride is a mineral that is absorbed into tooth enamel, making it stronger and more decay-resistant. Fluoride has been shown to prevent cavities and can reverse tooth decay. Fluoride is found in toothpaste and many municipal water supplies. Your pediatric dental team will apply a fluoride treatment to your child’s teeth. It is quick and easy, but they should not eat or drink anything for thirty minutes after application.
- Applying a dental sealant – Your pediatric dental team may determine that your child would benefit from dental sealants. Sealants fill out minor imperfections in the teeth, making it harder for plaque to attach to the tooth.
- Inserting space maintainers – If a baby tooth comes out too soon, your pediatric dentist may determine your child needs a temporary spacer. These space maintainers are made of metal or plastic and fit into your child’s mouth to ensure that permanent teeth come in correctly.
How Can I Prepare My Child for An Exam?
First off, the dentist can be fun. It doesn’t have to be a chore, but instead can be something your child “gets” to do. If it is a return visit, you can remind your child how cool and slippery their teeth felt after their cleaning, how neat it was to get their teeth polished, or ask what flavor fluoride they think they will choose this time.
If your child is nervous, you can arrive a little early and tell us your child is scared. Our caring pediatric dental staff will go out of their way to make your child feel at ease.
Call Us Today for a Pediatric Dental Appointment
Starting your child’s routine pediatric dental exams early in life can help get them off on the right foot and set them up for a lifetime of good dental health.
Our dedicated dental professionals at Passes Dental Care want to help your child enjoy their dental experience and have a happy and healthy smile for years to come. Please schedule an appointment today by calling 516-858-5921 or filling out our online form.