Children's Dental Exams in Lancaster, PA

Children's Dental Exam

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What Are Children's Dental Exams?

At Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates, our team of specialists performs routine dental examinations to detect oral problems as early as possible. Since children can develop cavities (tooth decay) even at a young age, we generally provide a comprehensive dental exam at least once each year during one of your child's dental cleaning visits. A dental exam gives us the chance to visually screen for oral conditions, like cavities, gingivitis, and bite misalignment, among other concerns. During some visits, dental x-rays may be taken to examine for hidden concerns, such as impacted teeth, delayed tooth eruption, developmental concerns of the jaw, and cavities between the teeth. By diagnosing and treating any oral problem early, we can often minimize the need for future care, saving your family time, money, and convenience. For more on routine dental exams from our board-certified pediatric dentists, call our Lancaster, PA practice and speak with a member of our team today.

What Are the Benefits of Children's Dental Exams?

Pediatric dentistry offers several advantages to your child's oral health. Some of the primary benefits of pediatric dental exams include:

  • Treats tooth decay and cavities
  • Allows for an early start to oral hygiene
  • Helps to create positive oral health habits
  • Positive dental visits help to prevent dental anxiety
  • Access to professional dental cleanings
  • Prevents, identifies, and treats dental issues

Who Needs a Dental Exam?

Children of all ages should have their teeth examined at least once every 12 months. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children visit the dentist before the eruption of the first tooth, which generally occurs around 8 – 10 months of age. During the early stages, oral problems, like cavities and gum infections, may not be easy to detect with the naked eye. Our expert team uses advanced technologies, like the DIAGNOdent laser cavity detector and digital x-rays, to identify problems before they become larger issues. Routine dental exams, combined with our expertise, allow us to treat oral problems in the most conservative manner possible. Our team can also help new parents understand teething and other oral development and the risks associated with sippy cups, nighttime bottles, and thumb-sucking. As your child grows, we can also help you navigate eruption pattern concerns and address conditions, like orthodontic needs and tooth impactions.

What Can I Expect During The Dental Exam Visit?

At each and every visit, our upbeat team seeks to create a positive, fun environment and create fond memories of the dentist for your child. During your child's exam visit, we will measure their weight and height and update their medical history. A caries (cavities) risk assessment will also be conducted, allowing us to evaluate your child's overall risk of tooth decay. We may also take dental x-rays to help us gain a complete understanding of your child's dental health. One of our dentists will then examine your child's teeth with an explorer and our DIAGNOdent laser, checking for signs of cavities. The health and integrity of any existing restorations they may have will also be assessed. We will check the gums and soft tissues and perform an oral cancer screening, which is routinely conducted for all patients to evaluate for any abnormalities or irregularities. Before completing your child's dental exam, our dentists will examine the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) and bite to determine if any oral functional concerns exist. If your child has a cavity-free checkup, they will be given a No Cavity Club certificate!

Is there any Follow-Up Care?

Once your child's dental exam is complete, we will review our findings and go over any treatment recommendations that may improve your child's dental health. Our team may recommend dietary and nutrition recommendations and fluoride treatments, sealants, or other services to support oral health. We will also show you and your child the best techniques for brushing, flossing, and caring for their teeth at home. If necessary, our team will help you schedule follow-up appointments for recommended treatments and establish a recare program for routine dental cleanings and exams to help your child enjoy the advantages of a healthy, lasting smile.

Does Insurance Cover Dental Exams? 

Routine dental examinations are generally covered by most dental insurance plans. Our insurance coordinator will review your specific plan and let you know off any portion of your child's care that may not be covered. Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates wants all children to have access to dental care and accepts several forms of payment, including low-cost medical financing.

Children's Dental Exam FAQ

What happens during my child’s first visit to the dentist?
Your child's first dental visit will typically be short and sweet. Our team will provide you with some general information about dental care for children while we get to know your child. Then, we will examine their teeth for placement and any issues. If necessary, we will may clean their teeth. If you have any questions about children's dental checkups or how to care for their teeth, now is the time to ask!

How can I prepare my child for their first dental exam?
It is important to have a positive attitude about your child's first visit to the dentist. We don't have to tell you that children pick up on all kinds of emotions. If you are having apprehensions about their first visit, they may be too. We strongly recommend showing your child pictures of our office and the dentist they will be seeing. If your child has anxieties or fears about their first dental visit, you can trust that our team of dental professionals is specially trained to work with children and can help them through their anxieties or fears.

How is a pediatric dentist different from other dentists?
All pediatric dentists are trained to work with children and their unique dental needs. Our team is passionate about creating a positive dental experience for your child. We want them to feel safe and excited about visiting the dentist, so we can help them build healthy dental habits that will benefit them throughout their life. If you are seeking a practice to perform a pediatric dental exam, we invite you to contact our office to schedule an appointment.

When should kids start using fluoride toothpaste?
Kids should start using fluoride toothpaste as soon as their first tooth appears, using an amount the size of a grain of rice up to age three, and then a pea-sized amount thereafter, to help prevent cavities and strengthen tooth enamel.

How do I know what is a good toothbrush for my child?
Choosing a good toothbrush for your child involves selecting one with soft bristles to ensure gentle cleaning, a small head designed for their age-appropriate mouth size, and a comfortable handle to encourage proper brushing technique.

When should children start flossing?
Children should start flossing when their teeth begin to touch each other, which can begin anytime between the ages of 2 – 6, as flossing is essential for removing plaque and food particles between teeth where a toothbrush can't reach.

Proactive Pediatric Care

Oral health is an important component of your child's health, comfort, and happiness. Routine dental exams with our Lancaster, PA pediatric specialists can allow us to identify oral problems, like tooth decay, gingivitis, and other dental needs early on, reducing long-term oral needs and helping your child grow with a healthy smile. At our caring kid-friendly practice, our entire team is dedicated to making sure your child experiences dentistry in a fun, positive way. To partner with a team that will put your child's smile first, schedule a visit at Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates today.

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