We love it when children come to the office for a visit! February is National Children’s Dental Health month. We would like to highlight some frequently asked dental questions parents have regarding their children’s dental health.
At what age should my child have his first dental checkup?
Dr. Roach follows the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) which states a child’s first visit should be around 1 year of age. Dr. Roach will check the erupted teeth as well as discuss healthy habits for baby. He recommends another check up at age 2 with regular 6 month cleanings and dental exams to begin at 3 years old.
Do cavities need to be fixed in baby teeth?
YES…most of the time depending when the tooth will be lost. Because the enamel is thin and the nerve is big in a baby tooth, the decay can quickly reach the nerve of the tooth and cause pain or an abscess. By filling the tooth early enough we can prevent pain and premature tooth loss. The baby teeth are essential for holding the space needed for permanent teeth to erupt.
Is fluoride beneficial for children?
The use of fluoride has dramatically helped to reduce decay in children. Studies have shown the more applications of fluoride, the less chance for tooth decay to develop. The preferred method of fluoride application in the dental office is a varnish. This fluoride is recommended for children as young as 18 months old. In some instances we also recommend additional fluoride to be used at home in the form of rinses or prescription fluoridated toothpaste.
When is the right time to place dental sealants?
Dental sealants are thin, plastic, protective coatings a dentist places on the chewing surfaces of your child’s molars (back teeth). They fill the deep grooves that are hard for children to properly clean by brushing . Dental sealants are to be placed on permanent molars preferably as soon as they fully erupt.
When should my child see an orthodontist?
This is determined case by case. Some orthodontic treatment such as expanding the upper and lower jaws is completed as early treatment which could begin as early as 7-8 years old. In other cases, orthodontist like to begin treatment when all the baby teeth have been lost around the ages of 10-12 years old. We do recommend having a panorex completed by the age of 8 years old to evaluate the erupting pattern of the permanent canines. This xray can be taken during a routine dental appointment.
Dr. Roach’s desire is to walk alongside parents to help them establish the healthiest habits for their children. We want our office to be a place of education, as well as, a fun place to be where children genuinely look forward to visiting. A great checkup is fun for kids as well as parents!