Dental cleanings and regular check-ups for children are important for preventive health care. Having regular visits with the dentist helps establish good oral hygiene early and allows the dentist to detect any dental issues in children before they worsen.
The First Dental Appointment
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, children should go for their first dental appointment by the time they are 1 year old or within 6 months of getting their first tooth. At Mt. Angel Dental, we strive to make our office a welcoming place for kids to feel safe and comfortable so the visit stays positive.
Regular Dental Check-Ups for Children
Children should ideally have regular dental check-ups every 6 months so that any changes to their oral health can be identified and addressed early.
During a dental exam, Dr. Weishoff examines teeth for decay and looks for any potential problems with the gums, jaw, or signs of oral health issues. She also performs an occlusal analysis. During this visit, a professional cleaning, fluoride treatment, and any necessary x-rays may be performed.
If any dental procedures are needed, our staff ensures that children are treated with the utmost compassion and care. Children who are extremely nervous or anxious about a procedure can have their appointments rescheduled. It is always best to carry out dental work when children are calm. In cases where children have a history of anxiety related to dental work, Dr. Weishoff uses nitrous oxide to help reduce anxiety during dental treatment. Nitrous oxide acts as an analgesic and helps reduce any potential pain children may feel. It is typically administered through a small nosepiece, and patients are awake throughout the process. Nitrous oxide is considered safe for use, and children usually recover quickly from its effects after treatment.
Fluoride Treatment for Children
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources, including oceans, rivers, and lakes. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to the acid generated by plaque bacteria. It can also reverse early decay by remineralizing weakened enamel.
Children 6 months to 16 years should use fluoride for dental care since this is the time that primary and permanent teeth appear. Infants and toddlers who do not receive an adequate amount of fluoride may be at an increased risk for early tooth decay.
While fluoride can be found naturally in water, not all water is equal. Children who regularly drink bottled water or non-fluoridated tap water may not be getting fluoride protection for their teeth. If you think your tap water does not have fluoride, contact your local or state health department or water supplier for confirmation. If you live in an area where the tap water is not fluoridated, talk to your dentist about fluoride needs for children.
It is also possible to apply fluoride directly to teeth using toothpaste and mouth rinses. When teeth are at risk of decay or need extra protection, your dentist might perform fluoride treatment using a gel, foam, or varnish with higher fluoride levels than found in toothpaste and mouth rinses.
Teach Your Children Good Oral Hygiene
It is always good to start oral hygiene early for your children. Parents can gently wipe their infants’ mouths and gums with a clean, wet gauze or washcloth a few days after birth.
Similarly, parents should clean their children’s teeth as soon as they start to erupt. Use a child-sized toothbrush and use a rice-grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush your children’s teeth twice a day, morning and night. And as soon as your children have two teeth that can touch, you should begin cleaning between their teeth daily with floss.
Once children are 3 years old, you can increase the amount of fluoride toothpaste used. Parents should always ensure their children brush their teeth two times a day and never go to bed without brushing. Once children are more independent, it is good to supervise their brushing to ensure they use an appropriate amount of toothpaste and don’t swallow it.
Proper dental hygiene is simply following a daily routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing teeth twice a day. Parents need to stick to this routine to remove plaque from their children’s teeth to help prevent tooth decay and cavities.
Regular Dental Cleanings
Professional dental cleanings are an essential part of maintaining oral hygiene. Dental cleanings do not only include regular brushing and flossing. They are more involved and ensure your children have the appropriate dental care they need to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Dental Cleanings & Regular Check-Ups for Children in Mt. Angel, Oregon
Call Mt. Angel Dental at (503) 845-2273 to schedule your children’s dental cleanings and regular check-ups. For your convenience, you may also request an appointment online.