Pediatric Oral Exams
Once your baby has successfully erupted his or her first tooth it is time to begin a regular routine of scheduled checkups with your pediatric dentist. We are specialists in the treatment and monitoring of pediatric oral health which means that as a parent you can feel that you are getting the most up-to-date information available about your child’s dental health.
We recommend starting to talk to your child about seeing the dentist prior to coming in for their first appointment. It is helpful to talk with your children to allow them to understand that the dentist will be looking inside of their mouths and checking on their beautiful new teeth.
When You Arrive
When you arrive to your first dental exam, you and your child will be greeted by our enthusiastic staff and dental care team, eager to make your child’s first dental appointment a positive experience and an overall success. Since children do not have the same amount of enamel on their baby teeth, their teeth can be more susceptible to the effects of plaque and decay. Because of this, we suggest seeing your dentist every 6 months unless otherwise recommended. This ensures that problems occurring in the mouth can be safely resolved without progressing to a stage which can cause pain, lost sleep, nutritional issues or behaviour problems in your child.
Your first visit will see your child getting familiar with the environment at the dental office. They will be shown how the chair works and may like to watch their favorite show on tv while the dentist examines their teeth.
Your Child's Dental Exam
Your dentist will be looking for signs of decay in your child’s mouth as well as assessing your child’s bite. Your dentist will also observe and inspect the soft tissues of your child’s mouth including their gums, tongue, cheeks, tissues beneath the tongue, hard and soft palate and the associated lymph nodes. If your child is old enough, they may be offered x-rays in order to increase the efficacy of the dental exam. Digital x-rays offer lower exposure to radiation and provides you and your dentist the opportunity to observe what is going on beneath the gum line and whether any concerns exist where the normal eruption of teeth are concerned.
Your dentist will also examine the muscles of the jaw to evaluate the muscle structure and comfortable movement of the joint. Parents will be asked to discuss the family’s medical history including any genetic disorders that we should be aware of. Your dentist may ask about the child’s natal and neonatal history as well as information about your child’s delivery. Medical allergies will be discussed, as well as the child’s current nutritional profile. This is a good time to discuss concerns such as thumb sucking or frequent pacifier usage which your dentist may be able to counsel you about so that you can ensure that these habits do not impact the alignment of the baby teeth.
Once your dentist has compiled all of the relevant information into your child’s file, it will remain on hand for each subsequent visit to your dentist to assist them in tracking the healthy development and progression of the teeth. Your dentist or dental hygienist will be available to ask questions around oral hygiene and how best to care for your child’s teeth. Nutritional information about foods that support the healthy development of teeth, as well as strategies to encourage an appreciation of oral hygiene in children, is something that our dental professionals are happy to provide. If concerns exist, your dentist will discuss whether interventions are necessary or whether the concern can be monitored while parents take steps to remedy those concerns.
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