Q: How often should a child see the dentist?
A: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a dental check-up at least twice a year for most children. Some children need more frequent dental visits because of increased risk of tooth decay, unusual growth patterns or poor oral hygiene. Your pediatric dentist will let you know the best appointment schedule for your child.
Q: Why visit the dentist twice a year when my child has never had a cavity?
A: Regular dental visits help your child stay cavity-free. Teeth cleanings remove debris that build up on the teeth, irritate the gums and cause decay. 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.
Q: What happens in a dental check-up?
A: Dr. Robbins will review your child’s medical and dental history. He or she will gently examine your child’s teeth, oral tissues, and jaws. The teeth will be cleaned and polished, followed by the application of a fluoride.
Q: Will X-rays be taken at every appointment?
A: No. 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 examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay. Children with a low risk of tooth decay require X-rays once a year. Dr. Robbins is particularly careful to minimize the exposure of child patients to radiation, which is why our office only uses digital X-rays.
Q: How can I help my child enjoy good dental health?
A: The following steps will help your child be part of the cavity-free generation:
- Beware of frequent snacking/optimal diet
- Brush effectively twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss once a day
- Have sealants applied when appropriate
- Seek regular dental check-ups
- Assure proper fluoride through drinking water, fluoride products or fluoride supplements
Q: What are sealants?
A: Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, especially the chewing surfaces of back teeth where most cavities in children are found. Made of clear or shaded resin, sealants are applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free. They are placed on 6 year and 12 year molars regularly, and other teeth as necessary.
Information taken from the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (www.aapd.org)