The Importance of Dental Checkups for Kids


Pediatricians and dental professionals suggest that all children have their first dental check-up by age one (or when they get their first tooth). It is easier to build a relationship with a family dentist at an early age, as it helps:

● Reduce dental anxiety
● Avoid tooth decay before it starts
● Catch problems when they’re smaller and easier to correct

We want your child’s first visit to the dentist to be a pleasant one. We can help your child have healthy teeth for life by performing routine check-ups and providing preventative care. As a result, they’ll link dental services with something fairly enjoyable or even fun in the future.

Why Early Cleanings Matter

Although children are not as susceptible to periodontal disease as adults, they do develop tartar and plaque accumulation on their teeth. Without regular removal, these deposits can contribute to gingivitis and social issues that can leave them feeling self-conscious.

The adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never been more accurate. A child’s primary (baby) teeth can decay at an alarming rate. It is easier to analyze and handle difficulties before they become larger issues. For example, a deep groove in the tooth can be sealed up rather than repairing a cavity six months later.

What Happens at a Child’s Dental Checkup?

During your child’s dental cleaning, we’ll gently remove plaque and buff away any surface stain with a soft polishing cup. You’ll probably notice that their adult teeth are slightly darker than their baby teeth when they grow in. This is perfectly normal because permanent teeth have a thicker layer of yellow “dentin” beneath the enamel.

Our Waco team will also take X-rays, discuss underlying medical issues that may affect their oral health, and provide age-appropriate oral hygiene instruction for better home care between visits.

Fluoride Treatments for Kids

We’ll apply a professional fluoride varnish or gel once your child’s teeth have been thoroughly cleaned. The fluoride will be applied with a small brush or tray, depending on the solution. Professional fluoride in its concentrated form helps to remineralize weak enamel in your child’s mouth, making it more resistant to tooth decay.

For children considered “at-risk” for cavities, such as those who wear braces, have reoccurring decay, or have a family history of cavities, we may also prescribe a fluoride rinse to use at home each night.

Early Check-ups Can Save You Money

Your insurance plan will usually cover preventive cleanings, fluoride treatments, and protective sealants. Even if you don’t have insurance, paying for preventive care is less expensive than preventative, more costly treatments once your child ages. When issues do arise, we can intercept them earlier with minimally-invasive restorations.

Schedule a Check-up

At Route 32 Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, Dr. Pendleton suggests a six-month check-up beginning around the time your child’s first teeth erupt. Call us today to make an appointment.