Dental Examinations and Cleanings
Dental Exams and Cleanings
Dental exams and cleanings are one of the most important components of maintaining overall oral health. Regular examinations help our Pediatric Dentists to identify problems in your child’s mouth at an earlier stage. This gives our doctors the opportunity to discuss non-surgical options (when possible) or to treat problem areas before they become more painful or when extensive damage has occurred to the teeth. We highly recommend that our patients schedule their dental examinations and professional cleanings at least twice per year. Our Pediatric Dentists will let you know if your child or if your adult with special needs would benefit from a more frequent interval.
Our Pediatric Dentists will perform a thorough dental exam during your child’s dental visit. Regular visits will include the following (will vary based on each patient’s cooperation and age):
Diagnostic X-rays (varies based on cooperation and individual caries/cavity risk): X-rays are necessary in order to detect cavities and tooth development. In addition, they can be used to assess tooth position, tooth eruption, root position, tumors, cysts, bone loss, and the quality of prior dental treatments.
Oral Cancer Screening: a preventative procedure, through which your child’s neck, throat, face, lips, tissues, gums and tongue will be checked for any indications of oral cancer.
Evaluation of Periodontal (Gum) Disease and Soft-tissue Abnormalities: our doctors will examine your child’s gums in order to assess periodontal disease. Yes, even children and teenagers can have some forms of periodontal (gum) disease. We will also perform an assessment for other soft tissue abnormalities which may be present in your child’s mouth, head, and neck.
Dental Examination: our Pediatric Dentists will evaluate your child’s mouth to see which teeth are present, unerupted, or missing. Each tooth will be checked for cavities, broken/chipped teeth, and existing dental work. Our dentists will evaluate the condition of previous dental treatment to determine if it is sound or if it requires monitoring or replacement.
Orthodontic Evaluation: an orthodontic evaluation is performed to determine if your child’s bite is developing normally or if there are problems or potential problems that are present. Many orthodontic problems can be managed with early intervention if they are caught at a young age.
Diet and Hygiene Counseling: our doctors and staff will discuss potential areas that can cause harm to your teeth and will work with you to develop a healthier home care program. A short questionnaire will help us assess areas with your child’s diet and hygiene that could increase your child’s chance of getting cavities. Orange County Pediatric Dental Group strongly believes in practicing preventive dentistry and offers many ideas that can be used at home to support optimal oral health.
Airway Assessment: our doctors will evaluate your child’s airway. Did you know that snoring and grinding are not normal? We will ask relevant questions to determine if there could be airway abnormalities that could be contributing to these habits. Based on our findings, we will make recommendations for follow-up with your child’s physician or specialist.
Habits: many habits such as thumb and finger sucking, tongue thrusting, pacifier use, nail biting, etc. can have a negative effect on your child’s teeth and bite. Our doctors will perform an evaluation based on a written questionnaire and an examination of your child’s mouth to determine if these are having an impact on your child’s mouth.
Professional Dental Cleaning During this appointment, the plaque on your child’s teeth will be professionally removed. Plaque contains a growing bacteria colony, which is fed by carbohydrates that we eat and drink. When the bacteria are fed, they produce toxins, which cause inflammation (redness and swelling) to the gums. This can lead to periodontal (gum) disease. Existing calculus (tartar) will be removed as well. When the plaque on the teeth hardens it results in calculus. Calculus can form above and below the gum line. Calculus can only be removed by special dental instruments. A professional cleaning is necessary because calculus can’t be removed safely at home. Special polishing material and equipment will be used in order to remove plaque and most surface stains on the teeth, as tolerated by your child or adult with special needs.