As a parent, your to-do list most likely grows every day as you prepare for the start of the new school year: shopping for new clothes, organizing school supplies, and making adjustments to get back into the school routine. These are all necessary for a successful first day of school. Another important task you need to include on your list is a visit to the dentist. When you schedule a check-up now, you ensure your child doesn’t miss school, plus it helps your child get back on track with good dental habits. ADA pediatric dentist, Dr. Mary Hayes says that during the summer, children often let habits slide since “normal routines can go out the window and there are a lot more treats around.” Wondering what’s on the agenda at the back-to-school check-up? Here are five things you can expect when you schedule your child’s appointment.
At each visit, your child will have a routine cleaning. This is necessary to protect their teeth from cavities. A cleaning will remove bacteria in those hard-to-reach places. It will also keep your child’s gum tissue healthy and allow us to determine if there are any problem areas that need to be addressed before decay sets in. Even if your child is an excellent brusher, it’s impossible to remove stains and bacteria completely without professional help.
If we are concerned about potential decay between your child’s teeth, we will do an x-ray. Not every child requires x-rays, but this is an important step if we are to catch and stop tooth decay before it’s too late. We may also take an x-ray of your child’s mouth to make sure their tooth roots are healthy and that their teeth are developing correctly.
If your child is getting into sports, they need a mouthguard to keep their pearly whites protected during practice and games. If you child already plays sports, we encourage you to bring their mouthguard to the appointment. We can make sure it still fits correctly and give it a good cleaning. If there is too much wear and tear, or your child has experienced a growth spurt, their mouthguard may need to be redone.
Sealants are protective applications on your child’s permanent molars. This is optional but decreases your child’s risk of cavities by 80%. Sealants prevent cavity-causing bacteria and food particles from getting stuck in those hard-to-reach places. Typically, sealants are applied once permanent molars have come in, usually around ages 6 and 12. If you have questions about sealants and whether or not they are beneficial for your child, ask us at your back-to-school dental appointment.
During this visit, we will also give you an overview of your child’s dental health. We can give you an idea of any orthodontic problems that may arise, determine if the teeth are lining up correctly, and let you know if we have any concerns about your child’s bite.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly dentistry in the Bryan-College Station area, look no further than Anderson & Atkins, DDS. Our team of dentists and dental hygienists are skilled at pediatric dentistry. Schedule your back-to-school dental visit today by calling our office at (979) 846-1813, or sending us an email.