Cleanings, Exams, and X-Rays
Routine dental care is crucial for a child's health and development. Your baby is born with all of their baby teeth under the gums, but these will start to erupt around six months of age. Within six months of the first tooth eruption, but before the child’s first birthday, you will need to bring them into our office for their initial dental exam. In addition, you should bring in your child for an initial exam if they are new to our office. Our dental professionals at Sierra Kids Dentistry will provide a thorough exam and monitor for proper development.
The Importance of the Initial Exam
Your child’s initial exam is important because it allows our dentist to get a baseline of their dental health and development. It also allows our dentist to check for any dental issues and ensure that the teeth are developing properly. It is important to resolve these issues early so that they do not lead to further infection, injury, or maldevelopment of the teeth and mouth. These exams allow us to put a treatment plan in place for any issues that may be occurring.
What to Expect During the First Exam
The reason for your child’s initial exam may differ; either they have just gotten their first tooth or they are a new patient. However, the exams will look very similar. During the initial exam, our dentist will check for tooth decay or disease, development, bite and jaw movement, and the need for any further treatment. This exam typically includes a light cleaning and our dentist will discuss proper oral hygiene methods with you and your child. Our dentist may also provide a dental x-ray as part of the initial exam to monitor development.
The Importance of Dental X Rays
Dental x-rays are important because they allow our dentist to check the position of the teeth and oral structure as well as determine the presence of any underlying disease. Dental x-rays show formation and placement of the teeth, number of teeth, and a variety of oral health issues. Dental x-rays generally begin around age two or three.
Types of Dental X-Rays
There are several types of dental x-rays that your child can receive; bitewing, periapical, panoramic, occlusal, orthodontic, and cone beam computerized tomography. Bitewing x-rays are used to look at crowns, cavities, and fillings. Periapical x-rays display one or two teeth in great detail. Panoramic x-rays show the entire mouth and are used to monitor development, injury, and disease. Occlusal x-rays show the arch of teeth in the jaw. Orthodontic x-rays show the entire side of the head and are used in planning orthodontic treatments. Cone beam computerized tomography x-rays provide a 3D image and are used to monitor development.
There are various types of x-ray equipment depending on the type of x-ray your child receives. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends various pieces of protective equipment, such as aprons and shields. The radiation from these x-rays is very low. To schedule an initial appointment or get more information on dental x-rays, call Sierra Kids Dentistry at (775) 473-1247 today.