As summer turns the corner into fall, all sorts of routines start up again. Children go back to school, jackets and sweaters start coming out in the evening, and it's also time for back-to-school dental checkups.
Dental problems like cavities affect millions of kids around the United States. With an annual back-to-school dental exam, we can catch any dental problems early and help your child develop good oral health care habits that will last a lifetime.
At Wedgewood Dental, we look forward each year to seeing our new and existing pediatric dentistry patients. Under the leadership of Linda K. Westmoreland, DDS, we're proud to serve families from the Rolla and Salem, Missouri, areas. Here's what to expect from, and how to prepare for, your child's annual back-to-school dental exam.
What to expect from a pediatric back-to-school exam
Dr. Westmoreland and her team work with young patients of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers looking toward college plans. You can trust our expertise and sensitivity when it comes to setting the standard for excellence in pediatric dental care.
Depending on your child's age and care needs, an annual back-to-school dental exam could cover:
- A thorough checkup of your child's oral health, including teeth and gums
- An examination of your child's developing bite and tooth alignment
- A professional dental cleaning
- X-rays, to check on your child's developing teeth and tooth roots, as well as scan for decay
- Mouthguard checks for children involved in sports
We also can discuss additional treatments with you, such as dental sealants — a great way to protect your child's permanent molars from decay — and fluoride treatments.
How to prepare for your child’s appointment
Successful dental appointments can help your child develop positive associations and good habits. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get you in and out of the office with minimal fuss.
Schedule your child's appointment when they're not too tired, stressed, or worn out. Don’t book your appointment right before or after nap time, for example, or on the day of a big test at school. Your child can handle the stress of a dental appointment better when well-rested and prepared.
Also, make sure your child has eaten a snack or light meal before leaving home or school for your appointment time to avoid grouchy emotions. Your child shouldn’t eat a big meal, however, especially if they have a sensitive gag reflex.
So that our dental care team can have unobstructed access to all teeth surfaces during exam time, please leave the chewing gum at home. And we always appreciate it when our patients brush their teeth before their appointment, as well.
Forming healthy habits for lifelong wellness
Your child's adult teeth have to last them a lifetime, so learning healthy oral care habits early is key to lifelong wellness. Childhood cavities can result in more serious dental problems down the road.
The best way to protect your child's teeth is to help them develop good dental habits. This includes regular brushing and flossing, as well as making and keeping regular dentist appointments. With correct care and professional monitoring, your child's teeth can stay cavity-free for another year.
To schedule a back-to-school annual dental exam for your child, contact Wedgewood Dental today! You can book your appointment over the phone, or with our online tool.