Children's Oral Examinations in Flagstaff, AZ
What is a dental exam?
A dental examination is an important first step in evaluating your child’s oral health. The health of your child’s teeth and mouth are important for their overall well-being. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a visit to the dentist within six months of the eruption of your child’s first tooth, or by their first birthday.
Our kid-friendly dentists will evaluate your child’s mouth, including the teeth and supporting structures, and may recommend dental x-rays. Dental x-rays are an important diagnostic tool that provide valuable information not only about your child’s teeth but about their growth and development.
Together we will develop a comprehensive preventative plan to ensure a lifetime of optimal oral health. If your child requires dental treatment, we will review treatment options to ensure your child has a positive experience.
Why does my child need a dental examination?
Regular oral examinations performed can help detect and intercept dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease and bone loss. After evaluating your child’s teeth, bite and the supporting hard and soft tissues of the mouth our dentists will provide recommendations specific to your child that will help prevent dental problems in the future, such as fillings or dental crowns.
Schedule a dental check-up for your child today!
At Flagstaff Dentistry 4 Kids we are dedicated to helping your child maintain a healthy smile. To schedule a dental examination for your child with one of our kids dental experts, please click the button below.
Of course! Not only do we allow parents to stay with their kids during exams and most treatments, we encourage it. We have found that having a parent stay with their child lessens the anxiety for both the child, as well as the parent. Younger patients will often lay in their parent's lap during the exam to provide the most soothing experience.
Also, being with your child during their dental appointment allows the dentist and parent to discuss their child's dental health and provide realtime feedback and tips.
The only exception is during General Anesthesia. Parents are able to be with their child when they fall asleep and wake up, but not during treatment. The treatment room is small and with the dentist, dental assistant and the anesthesiologist, the room is just too crowded to provide the safest environment for your child. During this time, you are asked to wait in the lobby. The office staff will bring you updates during treatment.
A baby tooth may need a crown if the tooth is missing a significant amount of its structure due to a large cavity or fracture. Dental crowns restore the tooth’s natural form and function and protect it from further breakdown. We offer white (zirconia) crowns as well as silver (stainless steel) crowns.
Your child's gums may be sore after a crown is placed. If they are experiencing any discomfort you may give them Tylenol or Motrin and encourage them to eat soft foods until the discomfort subsides. Crowns should be brushed and flossed just like natural teeth. Brush your child’s crowns gently but thoroughly twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush. It is important to avoid sticky foods which can dislodge the crown.
Many children experience no discomfort at all following a dental extraction, commonly referred to as having a tooth pulled. Some children may experience mild pain or soreness which may last 1-2 days. This can be alleviated by Tylenol or Motrin but your dentist will discuss with you what is appropriate for your child.
We recommend a soft food diet for the first day or two following an extraction (pasta, rice, applesauce etc.). Avoid drinking high temperature liquids as they may cause an increase in blood flow and bleeding at the extraction site.
If a baby tooth is lost prematurely sometimes a space maintainer or spacer is recommended. Space maintainers help preserve space in your child's mouth for their permanent teeth to come in properly in the future. A space maintainer is custom fit to your child's mouth and may be on just one side (unilateral) or span both sides of the mouth (bilateral), depending on your child’s specific needs.
Space maintainers protect your child's teeth by keeping them in their original position. Most children adjust to them easily within a few days. In most cases a space maintainer will stay in your child's mouth for several years, until the permanent tooth comes in. Our dentists will evaluate your child's space maintainer at each appointment and recommend it be removed when it is appropriate.
If your child has received local anesthesia to complete their dental work their lips, cheeks, and tongue will remain anesthetized (numb) for a few hours following their appointment. Because they cannot feel these areas, sometimes children will accidentally bite them which causes them to swell. It is very important to monitor your child closely after their dental appointment and remind them not to suck, bite or chew on their lips, cheeks or tongue. Cold liquids, ice packs, or frozen treats (popsicles) will help provide pain relief if this occurs. If your child has any swelling following their dental appointment, please contact our office so it can be evaluated.
Monitoring your child’s diet and oral hygiene are important factors in preventing dental decay. We recommend helping your child brush their teeth twice a day and floss any teeth that are touching nightly. A good rule of thumb is if your child can cut meat into perfect squares they likely have the manual dexterity to start brushing and flossing on their own.
When your child is ready for this transition, we recommend you continue to supervise their oral hygiene. After nighttime brushing and flossing, only allow your child to have water before bed. Never allow your child to sleep with juice or milk overnight. Frequent sipping on sweet drinks (juice, soda, sports drinks) can increase your risk of getting cavities. Try to limit these types of beverages as much as possible. Drinking water with meals or after snacks helps wash off the food and sugars from teeth and is especially important if your child is drinking sugary beverages.
While breastmilk alone does not cause cavities, after your child’s teeth have erupted breastfeeding in combination with carbohydrates and sugars can cause cavities. It is important to begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they come in.