The Center for Dentistry at Children’s Health delivers the caring, compassionate, expert dental care for a variety of children, including those who have special healthcare needs, a complex medical condition and/or who require sedation for dental treatment. Our dentists are specially trained to provide the preventive dental treatments that will help ensure optimum health for your child, including:
- Wellness checks and cleanings
- Teeth cleaning and Fluoride treatments
- In addition, we understand that emergencies happen. That’s why we provide 24-hour emergency dental treatment for children.
What can I expect with Pediatric Dental Exam?
Dental Wellness Checks and Cleanings
Good oral care is an important way to guard your child’s overall health. While routine brushing and flossing are important, so is visiting the dentist for a full exam and cleaning every six months, beginning when your child’s first tooth comes in, but no later than 12 months. The examination is also an opportunity for you to ask questions about any changes or issues you’ve noticed and for the dentist to offer your child helpful tips on keeping his or her teeth clean and healthy.
At regular check-ups, your child’s dentist will examine the teeth and gums to evaluate if there is any tooth decay or gum disease. Often, an X-ray will be taken to help the dentist see the entire tooth, including the root.
Teeth will be cleaned to remove plaque, a sticky film, and hardened plaque called tartar. It is important to remove plaque and tartar because they can cause gum and tooth decay. Plaque and tartar can only be removed by the special instruments used by your child’s dentist.
Fluoride Treatments for Children
Research has shown that fluoride reduces cavities in children by being incorporated into the tooth surface, making teeth stronger and more resistant to decay. It helps repair the early stages of tooth decay before the decay becomes visible.
A fluoride treatment in the dentist’s office takes only a few minutes. The fluoride, in a higher dose than you can receive in fluoride toothpaste, is painted on the teeth. Your child will not be allowed to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride.
Depending on your child’s oral health, your dentist may recommend fluoride treatments every three, six or 12 months.
Sealants for Children
Sealants give your child’s teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities on the biting surface of the tooth. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves and crevices are filled in and become smooth, so they are less likely to harbor plaque and bacteria, which can cause the cavity to begin.
It is more common to seal permanent teeth rather than baby teeth, but every patient has unique needs, and your dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis. Sealants are typically applied to a child’s permanent 6-year and 12-year molars.
If your dentist recommends sealants for your child’s teeth, the procedure takes only a few minutes and can be done during the regular exam. After the teeth are cleaned, a solution is applied to condition the tooth. That solution is rinsed and then the teeth are dried. The sealant is then applied, and it dries within seconds. Sealants typically last from three to five years.