Your child’s oral health matters, right? So, you call a dental clinic to schedule an appointment for them. However, you should be selective when choosing a dental clinic.
Kids can experience fear, stress, and anxiety when going to a dentist appointment. But there are ways you can ease these feelings.
One way is by learning what happens at a pediatric dental exam.
After you learn these things, you can help your child understand. Then, you can prepare them for the visit.
Continue reading to learn what a pediatric dental exam entails.
Sign In and Welcome
You’ll need to sign in when you first arrive at the dental office. One thing you’ll notice at Beaumont Kids Dentistry is the atmosphere. It’s designed for kids!
Kids feel more comfortable when visiting a kid-friendly office. As a result, they’ll instantly enjoy being there. This atmosphere can also help reduce the fear and anxiety that some kids experience from visiting the dentist.
After signing in, someone will call you back for your child’s appointment. If you complete your paperwork before the visit, you shouldn’t have any paperwork when you get there.
Medical History Review
A pediatric dentist will begin the visit by reviewing your child’s medical history. They’ll want to know about any health problems the child has. They’ll also ask about the medications the child takes.
Additionally, they’ll ask about the child’s dental history. The child may not have a dental history if this is their first visit.
During this time, the dentist may talk to the child about their teeth. They’ll explain various instruments and what they’ll do. The dentist will also talk about the importance of visiting a dentist.
You can discuss any concerns you have with your child’s oral health. You may want to prepare by writing a list of questions before attending the visit.
For example, many parents ask about teeth grinding. Most kids grind their teeth, so it’s relatively normal. Yet many parents feel alarmed by this habit, fearful it may cause problems.
When the dentist completes the medical history evaluation, they’ll move on to the next steps. The steps performed may vary, as they depend on the child’s:
- Health status
- Experience with dentistry
- Mental state and mood
One step they may suggest is taking x-rays. Kids might not need x-rays at their first few visits. Some dentists determine whether to take them by examining the child’s teeth.
If the child’s teeth look great, they might suggest waiting until the next appointment. However, they might want to take them at the initial visit if they have questions about the child’s teeth, bones, or gums.
X-rays don’t hurt, but the dentist will ask you to leave the room while snapping the pictures. This is only done to avoid radiation exposure.
Pediatric dentists explain to kids that they’re taking pictures of their teeth. Your kids might think this is fun.
Cleaning and Fluoride
Next, the dentist will clean the child’s teeth and apply fluoride. The steps dentists use during this stage also vary.
For example, a dentist might perform only a minor cleaning during a child’s first visit. Then, the dentist will build on that by performing deeper steps the next time.
Some kids sit well during teeth cleanings. Other kids might have trouble sitting still due to their age, personality, and mood. Therefore, the level of cleaning depends on these factors.
Cleaning baby teeth is just as important as cleaning adult teeth. The health of the baby teeth can affect the health of a child’s permanent teeth. So, keeping baby teeth clean and healthy is vital.
Dentists may also apply fluoride during the visit. There are two methods for applying it.
First, they can place the foam on a tooth tray. They’ll place the tray in the child’s mouth for a few minutes.
The other option is liquid fluoride. They paint this on the teeth. Both options work well, but your dentist might offer only one of these.
Fluoride is a mineral known for strengthening tooth enamel. You can use fluoride toothpaste at home to strengthen your child’s teeth. Professional treatments are stronger, though, providing more strength to the teeth.
Suggestions for Treatment and Care
The final part of the visit includes recommendations. There are two categories of recommendations pediatric dentists offer:
Kids have some of the same problems as adults. Children can experience tooth decay with their primary and permanent teeth. The dentist will recommend fillings if they find decay.
Children also have unique issues. For example, the pediatric dentist will look at how the child’s teeth are growing in. They’ll look at spacing issues, permanent teeth eruption, and alignment.
A dentist might recommend specific procedures or devices to address these issues. For example, dentists might use dental spacers to hold spaces where teeth are missing.
Pediatric dentists also offer preventative services. Dental cleanings are one form of preventative care.
Another is dental sealants. Dental sealants cover teeth with a coating. The coating protects the teeth and reduces the risk of decay forming on them.
Dentists can place these on baby teeth and permanent teeth. They last for several years and can be replaced as needed.
Additionally, a pediatric dentist can help you as a parent. They’ll explain the best methods and products for cleaning your teeth.
They can help you learn the best techniques for brushing your child’s teeth. They may suggest foods to avoid for optimum oral health. They may also provide tips for helping your child enjoy brushing their teeth.
Schedule a Pediatric Dental Exam Today
A pediatric dental exam is a vital service for children. Teaching your kids how to care for their teeth is an excellent skill they can use for life.
Are your kids due for a dental visit? If so, contact us.
Beaumont Kids Dentistry offers pediatric dental services. Dr. Jane-Katherine Jones and her staff strive to make every child feel comfortable. Children enjoy the child-friendly atmosphere, and you will too!
Get in touch with us today to learn more.