The most appropriate time for a child to have his or her first dental exam is after the first baby tooth falls off or upon reaching one year old, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Afterwards, this should be regularly done at least twice a year or every six months until adulthood.
The pediatric dentist conducts the dental exam in children, armed with enough knowledge and training in dealing with children’s fears and behavior when it comes to their oral health. During the first dental checkup, expect the dentist to discuss your child’s oral hygiene and eating habits. They should also give tips on the proper techniques of brushing and flossing. Besides dental cleaning, having regular dental visits will also help your child prevent oral injuries and give you knowledge on first aid techniques just in case.
Dental Emergencies in Children
Toothaches are one of the most common oral problems and cause of emergencies in children. When your child complains of this discomfort, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water. Then, use dental floss to remove any food debris caught in between teeth as gently as possible.
If food is not the source of the pain, take your child to an emergency dentist. Take note that you shouldn’t put aspirin on the affected tooth or gums to relieve your child of the pain for this will only burn the gum tissue.
Teeth gets easily knocked, chipped or broken off due to sports-related accidents or injuries in playing activities. For a cracked tooth, you should also rinse it first with warm water then apply cold compress on your child’s face to prevent any swelling. Immediately seek dental help afterwards.
Meanwhile, if the tooth that was knocked off is a permanent one, don’t hesitate to call for immediate medical help. Carefully pick up the fallen tooth and keep it moist in a glass of milk or container until you have brought the child to a dentist. A thrusted baby tooth is usually not a cause for panic, but it still has to be brought nevertheless.
Having an oral checkup is the most effective preventive measure for such injuries. Besides the routine cleaning and assessment, the dentist will also check for any type of wounds or irregularities in the interior of your child’s cheeks, around the tongue and on the top area of the mouth.
If you live in Philadelphia, look for an experienced pediatric dentist with adequate knowledge in handling dental emergencies for kids in the gentlest way possible, like Dr. Gerald Regni, DMD.
Dental Emergencies: What Parents Need To Know. Healthychildren.org
Dental exam for children. Mayoclinic.org