Oral Evaluations/Exams are diagnostic and typically performed during appointments to check the condition and status of your teeth. The dentist checks for signs of tooth decay, how the teeth are developing, among other things, to form a treatment plan or to provide recommendations to ensure you have a healthy smile.
Sealants are made of plastic or other materials, used to fill-in and cover crevices and pits in teeth that are susceptible to decay, by keeping bacteria and food particles from settling.
Radiographs, or x-ray imaging is a tool dentists use to diagnose or reveal:
It is recommended to have x-rays taken once a year for the average patient, but how frequent they are needed depends on the status of your oral health and treatments needed. Our licensed team, high-tech Sirona digital dental x-rays, and leaded aprons and collar all work together to minimize exposure and ensure safety. If x-rays were taken at a previous dentist, please bring a copy during your visit.
Sometimes children lose their baby tooth prematurely due to injury, decay, or eruption guidance. This could lead to their other teeth shifting to fill the vacant space, disrupting eruption of the adult tooth in the future. Space maintainers are fitted, custom-made wire and ring appliances that keep this space open. There are many different types, such as removable or fixed, unilateral (one sided) or bilateral (two sided). In addition, not every lost baby tooth requires a space maintainer, so it is important to consult a dentist or orthodontist to determine if it is a good option. It is also important to follow proper cleaning and diet instructions, practice good hygiene, and to see a dentist or orthodontist regularly to monitor for timely removal or any adjustments needed.
Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent cavities by strengthening tooth enamel, the outer layer of the tooth, to be more resistant to decay by acid from bacteria plaques. A fluoride paste is applied to the cleaned and polished teeth. We use a fluoride varnish, which stays on longer on your teeth to allow more time for the fluoride to absorb, and also allows you to eat and drink immediately. For healthy teeth, it is recommended to apply fluoride treatment at least once every 6 months. For cavity prone teeth, it is recommended to apply fluoride once every 3 months.
For more information, see ADA's guide to Fluoride
Just visiting a dentist every six months isn't enough! It is important to enforce and keep up good dental hygiene habits as well. During the first visit and each check-up appointment, we will review your child's home care habits and help identify potentially harmful habits, as well as introduce or reinforce good ones.