shirley checkups for kids

Every six months, we want kids ages two and older to undergo a routine checkup and clearing visit. These may seem like minor appointments, but they are actually key to good oral health and staying free of cavities and gingivitis. In today’s blog, your Shirley, NY, pediatric dentist and orthodontist talk about how we help kids with preventive visits.

The Dental Checkup

The first checkup a child receives should happen at around age one, once the first baby tooth has erupted. This visit usually doesn’t require treatment at all, and lets the dentist know the teeth are erupting as they should. At around age two, kids should begin to undergo regular checkups every six months. An exam twice a year means a chance for our team to keep a close eye on a smile as it grows and develops, so we can identify problems early and treat them before they cause discomfort or complications. We typically look for indicators of tooth decay and gingivitis, and also make sure baby teeth are falling out on schedule and that permanent ones are erupting properly.

Cleaning the Smile

During the same visit, we will also have a chance to clean the teeth. The dental cleaning removes all plaque and tartar from the teeth with an ultrasonic scaling device and a manual tool. While brushing and flossing at home control buildup, only this procedure can completely remove it from the smile, a process that lowers the risk of cavities and periodontal issues, keeping smiles safe and whole. When we finish removing buildup, we will carefully polish the teeth for a brighter appearance. This short procedure is often followed with fluoride treatment to help strengthen the outer enamel, or possibly the placement of dental sealants to keep the rear teeth free of tooth decay.

Care at Home

In between these visits, your family still needs to maintain good oral hygiene habits from home. This means taking time to brush twice a day for two minutes. Kids three and younger should use a rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, while kids over the age of three can use a pea-sized amount. Children also need to floss as soon as there are teeth sitting side-by-side. Trying to cut back on sugary foods and drinks is helpful too! If you have any questions about how we help kids of all ages enjoy good oral health and brighter smiles, then contact our team today to learn more or to schedule a visit.

Your Shirley, NY, Orthodontist and Pediatric Dentist Provides Preventive Care

Our team wants to help kids enjoy good oral health and strong smiles. To learn more about our approach to pediatric dental care, then contact Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in Shirley, NY, by calling (631) 399-1600.