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Dental exam for children

Children’s Dentistry in London

Regular dental examinations are important for both children and adults, and they are essential for preventing different dental issues.

During your child’s dental exam, the dental professional will clean their teeth and evaluate the child’s risk for tooth decay. In some cases, the dentist or hygienist will apply fluoride or sealant to the child’s teeth to minimise the risk of decay. A child’s dental exam may also involve different diagnostic procedures and dental x-rays.

The routine dental appointments for your child may also involve discussions on your child’s diet and oral hygiene routine and demonstrations of proper flossing and brushing techniques. The dental professional may also discuss ways to prevent oral injuries. If the child is an adolescent, the dentist may talk about the dental and general health risks of oral piercings, substance abuse, and tobacco.

Why are dental exams for children necessary?

When your child attends regular dental exams, it ensures that the child’s oral health is protected. These visits to the dental practice allow the dentist to identify early dental issues your child might have, which increase the chances of successful treatment and give the child access to professional dental tips to care for their teeth.

Timeline for a dental exam

Different factors determine how often your child needs a dental exam. These factors include risk of tooth decay, age and health.

Below are the general guidelines for children’s dental exams;

  • Six months to one year Dental professionals recommend scheduling your child’s first dental exam after the first tooth erupts and before the child’s first birthday. During the exam, the dentist will check the child’s gums and teeth.
  • Toddlers, school-age children and adolescents You can schedule regular dental check-ups at most every six months for your child within this age. However, your child’s dentist may recommend more or fewer visits depending on the child’s risk for dental problems.

Preparing for dental exams

Before you schedule an appointment for your child’s first dental exam, you’d need to consider whether you prefer your family dentist or the paediatric dentist (a dentist who specialises in providing dental care for children, from their infant to teenage years).

Paediatric dentists usually have more child-friendly dental equipment and offices. The following can help you prepare your child for a dental exam;

  • Carefully time the visit Ensure you schedule the dental exam when your child is well-rested and most likely to cooperate.
  • Listen to your child Talk to your child and encourage them to speak about their worries about a dental exam or visiting a dentist.
  • Be positive Try avoiding words like pain or hurt when speaking to your child about dental-related issues. Instead, encourage the child by saying the dentist uses special instruments to make the teeth healthy. You can also tell the child of your experiences at the dental clinic but leave out negative experiences.

What to expect at the dental exam

The activities during a dental visit will depend on the child’s age and risk factors.

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