Cleanings and Exams
Depending on your child’s age, cleanings include brushing and flossing the teeth and gently polishing them with fluoride toothpaste. During the dental exam, your dentist checks for many things including the strength of the teeth, the health of the gums, how the child bites, and problematic oral conditions.
Our office will educate both our child patients and their parents about the proper methods for caring for little teeth and gums. We help our patients understand how different foods and drinks affect the health of their teeth as well as many other tips that promote optimal oral health.
Digital x-rays are a valuable component to the comprehensive dental exam. There is no standard timetable or age for when a child should have dental x-rays. The need varies for each child and your doctor will help you determine what is best for your child.
Digital x-rays allow the doctor to:
- Detect problems that can’t be seen with a visual exam
- Monitor teeth injuries and mouth traumas
- See how the child’s teeth are erupting
- See the number, size and position of teeth that are forming
- Find out if the child has all of their permanent teeth or too many permanent teeth
- Prepare for braces
- Identify bone diseases
- Determine if any teeth are infected
Are digital x-rays safe?
Yes! Our office uses the safest digital x-rays that are available today. Our digital x-rays emit the lowest dose of radiation and are safe for children. These digital x-rays provide our clinical team with invaluable information needed to assess our children’s overall oral health. Our office also utilizes a lead apron to help keep radiation exposure minimal. Please feel free to ask questions regarding our digital x-rays.
What are the different types of digital x-rays?
- Bitewing x-rays: These are the cavity detecting x-rays! If a child’s back molars are touching, bitewings may be used to detect cavities that often form between the teeth. If your child’s teeth are touching, make sure to floss to prevent cavities from forming between them.
- Periapical x-rays: These are used to view the entire crown and root of one or two adjacent teeth. This also shows the supporting bone around the teeth. This is often used to look for abscesses and gum disease.
- Panoramic x-rays: This x-ray is used to view all of the teeth (primary and permanent) on one film. Both jaws, the temporomandibular joint and the sinuses are also seen. This film does not require anything to be put in the child’s mouth, which is helpful for a child who gags easily or has a small mouth.
- Occlusal x-rays: These are used to view most of the upper or lower teeth on one film.
- Orthodontic x-rays or cephalometric x-ray: These x-rays show the head from the side. It is used to evaluated growth of the jaws and the relationship of bones in the skull. It is very helpful for orthodontists to accurately diagnosis and develop their treatment plan.