How often should I or my child see the dentist?
The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend seeing the dentist twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings. Depending on your teeth and your oral health, more frequent visits may be necessary, especially during treatment for specific conditions.
What happens during a routine office visit?
Routine office visits begin with a review of any issues or symptoms you may be experiencing, followed by a thorough cleaning by the dental hygienist. Dental cleanings remove bacteria, plaque and tartar to help prevent gum disease and keep teeth and gums healthy. They also provide an opportunity for the hygienist to provide you with guidance on how to care for your teeth by improving your brushing and flossing techniques. Once the cleaning is complete, you may have x-rays done to provide a view of the interior of the teeth, the tooth roots and your jaw. Next, the dentist will perform a careful exam of your teeth and gums to look for signs of decay and other issues that need to be addressed. An oral cancer screening will be performed as well. At the end of the visit, the results of your exam will be discussed and you'll also discuss any treatments you might need to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
How can I help my child have good oral health habits?
The best way to help your child have a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums is to ensure they see the dentist regularly and have the recommended treatments, as well as modeling good habits yourself. Be sure to provide plenty of healthy snack alternatives and avoid sugary and sticky snacks. Also, be sure your child knows how to brush and floss properly and does so regularly. Children should also wear mouth guards when playing sports.