You child’s first checkup should take place when his or her first tooth “erupts” — in other words when the first tooth becomes visible. The first dental visit not only allows on of our kid-friendly dentists to check the child’s mouth to be sure everything is healthy and developing normally, it’s also a great opportunity to familiarize your child with the office, the staff and dentists, so that any future visits are easy and non-traumatic.
At our DFW dental office, kids dental checkups are quite friendly and gentle — with parents close by in a “parent nook” just outside the treatment room — and with lots of explaining and showing and telling. Kids can hold a mirror and watch what their dentists is doing, they can experiment with the suction tip, have a fun ride in the chair that goes up and down, feel the buzz of the cleaner on their hand, etc. We all work together to make it a calm, relaxing, interesting and fun experience for the child.
Our kids dental checkups are also quite thorough and include the following elements:
• Parent interview and health history to identify any areas of concern. • A general oral exam checking teeth, gums and mouth for any problems, abnormalities, indications of decay, etc. • Radiograph x-rays (low dose radiation) are taken to evaluate how teeth are coming in. This allows the dentist to see what is forming below the gum line and to make sure there are no problems or areas of concern. This is usually done only once a year and may not take place on the first visit, depending on the age and comfort level of the child. • Evaluation of all x-rays to determine the health of the roots of all the teeth. • Evaluate the position of the teeth, bite and jaw from an orthodontic perspective and determine any need for braces or other correction. • Evaluation of speech patterns and tongue position to make sure there are no areas of concern — especially important if any signs of a speech impediment are present. • Checking for airway issues and disordered breathing. This is becoming an area of increasing focus in state-of-the-art dental practices. Your dentist is actually the best medical professional to evaluate if a disordered breathing issue exists or may be developing. • Cleaning the child’s teeth. • Teaching and showing proper brushing and flossing techniques. • Letting the child pick his or her own new toothbrush.
Kids dental checkups are not just about checking their teeth and gums anymore. A competent dentist will conduct a full mouth, teeth, tongue, gums, airways, jaw and bite examination during your child’s checkup.
If it is determined that a specific treatment or procedure is needed or recommended– such as a filling, dental sealant, a fluoride treatment or caries risk management — this will be discussed up front with the parent, with all options presented and costs clearly explained. If the tooth is a baby tooth, the root will be examined to make sure we are filling a tooth that your child is going to have for a while as we don’t want to waste your money. Before any treatment or procedure, we will explain to the child what we’re going to do, show them on their hand, and involve them as much as possible. Depending on their age, they might want to hold a mirror so they can watch, hold their own suction tip, etc.
During each of your kids dental checkups, our friendly staff will talk, laugh, smile, teach and show so that a visit to the dentist is never a cause for anxiety or fear.
We should see your child twice for a regular dental checkup and in between if any problems develop or you notice any signs of a problem. Please don’t put off calling our DFW dentist office if you have an area of concern. It’s best to have it checked because dental problems just get worse, more uncomfortable and more expensive the longer you wait.