What to Expect During a Dental Checkup for Children

dental checkup

The CDC recently released statistics that 80% of children between one and 17 years old scheduled a dental checkup in the past twelve months. This is unfortunate because all children should visit the dentist every six months.

Dental appointments are important not only for preventative care but they identify issues so the dentist can fix them before they become even worse. Since your child is developing, you want to make sure they are developing correctly, leading to a happy adulthood.

The American Dental Association recommends your child schedule a back-to-school dental checkup, too. 

Sometimes the biggest hurdle to overcome is that of dental anxiety that both children and adults face. To reduce dental anxiety, it helps to educate yourself on what to expect.

Here is what you can expect will have on your child’s dental checkup.

You Must Complete the Paperwork

This will be the first item to expect when you arrive at the dental appointment with your child. Before the dentist will be their dental exam, they will want to know the child’s history of previous treatments. They will also ask general questions related to medical and dental history.

If you have dental insurance or if you have any other dental savings plan, this will be the time to present it. If you have this information ready to go prior to starting the paperwork, it will make things easier to get through the form.

Your Child Needs an X-Ray

When you visit the dentist, the doctor needs x-rays of your teeth and jaw. This is no different for a child. Especially when a pediatric dentist needs a detailed look at the development of your child’s teeth, they need an x-ray.

You can accompany your child to the room where they will take the x-ray. While walking in, kids can experience dental anxiety, so it will help to you there alongside them to help reassure them that everything is okay. This process will not hurt.

A dental technician will help with the x-ray. They will first cover your child with an apron composed of lead. It reduces radiation exposure.

The dental technician will ask your child to bite down on a tray. This allows for a clear image and is painless. While taking the x-ray, you, the parent, will need to step outside the room, but you can reunite with your child as soon as it is over.

The Initial Dental Exam

It won’t take long after they take the images that the dentist will inspect them. Then, they will recline the dental chair so they can get a closer look at your child’s teeth. This inspection helps the dentist look for abnormalities and visible cavities.

The dentist may use a probe, scaler, or dental mirror to help inspect. With a closer look, they can make a diagnosis if there is an issue, and recommend a course of treatment to take care of it.

Share Concerns You May Have

Does your child struggle to brush consistently? Do they complain of tooth pain, or do you catch them sucking their thumb? Is there a misalignment that you see in your child’s teeth, and do you want to ask if braces are necessary?

Whatever is on your mind, this is the time to ask. Being a parent is a busy lifestyle and you may forget you have a question. Be sure to write it down before you arrive to help you remember.

Routine Dental Cleaning

Pediatric dentists should perform teeth cleaning for your child every six months. This helps to remove plaque and tartar. Without cleaning this, your child could suffer from gum disease or tooth decay.

A good dental cleaning involves a few important steps. First, a dental hygienist uses scalers. This is to physically remove potential tartar from the surface of your child’s teeth.

Next, to polish and clean, the hygienist will use gritty toothpaste and a high-powered electronic brush. The hygienist may use a water pick to floss the teeth. Last, the hygienist will give your child a fluoride treatment.

Potential Treatments

If your child has cavities, the dentist may take care of it the same day or have you come back for another appointment. It may require your child to get a dental filling. This procedure is quick.

In cases where your child has alignment issues, the dentist could recommend you see an orthodontist for braces. This would correct an issue with alignment.

While it is rare, your child could need a complex procedure to correct an issue. The best thing is to have your child practice good hygiene and attend regular dental exams to reduce the possibility of a complicated procedure.

Talk to Your Child

Provide your child the comfort they need to reduce dental anxiety. It is important that you time the visit right. If your child is sick, this is not the best time to take them.

Also, if they are tired or hungry, they will come to the dental appointment with stress. Afterward, it will leave a negative impression. You want them to have an enjoyable experience.

Schedule Your Child’s Dental Checkup

Do not let dental anxiety prevent your child from getting the dental checkup they need. Welcome to Newbury Dental Group, where your child will leave feeling their best and smiling their best!

Dr. Peyman and Saman Saghizadeh believe in quality service, so they provide all their patients with dedicated care. With the care they give you today, it will ensure oral health for your future!

The experts at Newbury Dental Group address all your needs with their wide variety of dental procedures. Don’t procrastinate. Contact Newbury Dental Group and schedule your child’s dental exam today!


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