The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children visit their pediatric dentist at least twice a year for a routine cleaning and exam. These visits are important to ensure a lifetime of good hygiene habits. During your child’s dental visit, Dr. B will discuss preventive measures, detect any decay, and discuss any further treatment that may be needed. These routine visits are also important to discuss your child’s rapid growth and changes in their dentition and facial features. Dr. B and his staff will discuss diet and oral hygiene with your child, as well as proper technique. Dr. B encourages each child to become members of his Cleaning Club. These habits include brushing a minimum of two times per day and flossing every night, as well as maintaining a healthy diet.
The Importance of Routine Dental Visits
During periodical dental visits, preventive measures for your child are discussed. One of the major topics of discussion Dr. B has as a pediatric dentist includes a healthy diet. Dr.B will relay to your child the importance of a diet filled with fruits, vegetables and proteins, along with water and white milk. He will explain that sweets, juices, and sodas should be considered “special treats”. We all know that “special treats” would only be considered special if we have them on special occasions. Other preventive measures include routine x-rays, topical fluoride application, sealants on appropriate teeth, and evaluation of growth and development.
Cavities are another major discussion topic at a routine cleaning and exam. Primary (baby) teeth get cavities. As a matter of fact, early childhood dental cavities are 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever. Cavities in primary teeth need to be treated just as adult teeth, even though they will eventually fall out. We treat dental decay not only to help prevent infection and pain, but also to aid in eating and keeping space for permanent teeth. Lack of treatment of dental decay is considered dental neglect. Dental decay can result in future pain, swelling, infection, and possible emergency room visits.
It’s important to monitor growth and development of your child’s teeth during these visits as well. Growth is not only jaw growth, but also the transition from the primary dentition to mixed dentition (baby and adult teeth) to permanent dentition. Dr. B will discuss with you the order of these exfoliations and the approximate ages at which to expect this. He will evaluate the probability of the future need for braces based upon your child’s individual growth and development. He will also discuss whether your child would be a good candidate for orthodontics and at which age they should begin.
As you can see, periodic visits are not only about cleaning, but also about observation and conversation. Our pediatric dental group is concerned with seeing the full picture of dental health in children. If your child is due for their six month cleaning and exam, please contact our office today at 901-415-2536 to schedule an appointment.