Children should see a dentist twice a year beginning with their first birthday, just like adults. The reason? Preventative dental care is essential to oral health and overall health as your child grows up. From ensuring teeth are strong and healthy to preventing unnecessary cavities and maintaining healthy gums, pediatric dental visits twice a year also lay the foundation for good oral hygiene habits that last a lifetime.
Pediatric Dentistry Focuses on Prevention & Education
It is much more comfortable for your child and less costly for parents to prevent problems from developing than it is to fix them later. To that end, pediatric dentistry emphasizes prevention in the following ways:
Fluoride treatments are painless preventative treatments that help strengthen the teeth making them less susceptible to decay, fractures, or cracks. A fluoride treatment consists of a gel, foam, or varnish applied to the surface of the teeth.
Reduced Radiation Digital X-Rays
Your child doesn’t need imaging tests at every appointment. But from time to time, they will be recommended so that your pediatric dentist can ensure that there are no abnormalities beneath the gum line. Digital x-rays can also show cavities in their earliest stages that cannot be seen with the naked eye. The imaging tests are also helpful in planning for the adult teeth to erupt and determining if your child needs early orthodontic treatment. Reduced radiation digital x-rays are quick and painless.
Some children are born with teeth that naturally have deep grooves in them, which make them more likely to develop cavities. Dental sealants are most often used on the molars, and fill in the grooves that can trap bacteria and lead to decay. Dental sealants are painless, and only involve cleaning the tooth, and then filling the grooves with a biocompatible resin.
Even children with excellent oral hygiene habits won’t be able to remove all of the plaque on the teeth and between the teeth. Adults can’t either, which is why twice-yearly dental cleanings are recommended for people of all ages. During the same appointment, your child will also have a thorough oral examination to look for any signs of decay, infection, or other problems.
Each pediatric dental appointment will include oral health education for your child. From brushing and flossing techniques to showing your child their digital x-rays, pediatric dentists make it a point to reinforce how important it is for kids to take good care of their teeth.
Contact Your Dentist in the Event of a Dental Emergency
Although twice-yearly dental examinations and cleanings are recommended by the American Dental Association and the American Association of Pediatric Dentists, it’s important to contact your pediatric dentist right away in the event of a dental emergency. Dental emergencies include:
- Cuts to the soft tissues of the mouth (cheeks, gums, tongue)
- Trauma to the mouth/jaw
- Knocked out teeth
- Cracked tooth
- Swelling in the mouth
- Bleeding gums
Book a Dental Appointment for Your Child in Maplewood, NJ
Marigold Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics provides complete pediatric dentistry and orthodontic services at our state-of-the-art practice. To book your child’s dental appointment in Maplewood, call 973-821-7161 or send us a message.