accessibility ACCESSIBILITY
Leading Edge Dental Center
Michael A. Goone, DDS
Creating Beautiful, Healthy Smiles For A Lifetime

How Often Should Children Have Dental Checkups?

Regular visits to our office allows Dr. Goone to monitor new developments in your child’s mouth, evaluate changes in the condition of teeth and gums, and continue to advise the child's parents on good oral care strategies.

We may schedule additional visits for children who are particularly susceptible to tooth decay or who show early signs of orthodontic problems.

What is the purpose of dental checkups?

First, we aim to provide a “good dental home” for the child.  If a dental emergency does arise, parents can take the child for treatment at a familiar, comfortable location.

Second, we keep meticulous records of the child’s ongoing dental health and jaw development.  In general, painful dental conditions do not arise overnight.  If we understand the child’s dental health history, it becomes easier to anticipate future issues and intervene before they arise.

Third, Dr. Goone will educate the child's parents and children during the visit.  Sometimes the pediatric dentist wants to introduce one or several factors to enhance tooth health - for example, sealants, fluoride supplements, or xylitol.  Other times, the pediatric dentist asks parents to change the child’s dietary or oral behavior - for example, reducing sugar in the child’s diet, removing an intraoral piercing, or even transitioning the child from sippy cups to adult-sized drinking glasses.

Finally, dental X-rays are often the only way to identify tiny cavities in primary (baby) teeth.  Though the child may not be feeling any pain, left unchecked, these tiny cavities can rapidly turn into large cavities, tooth decay, and eventually, childhood periodontal disease.  Dental X-rays are only used when the pediatric dentist suspects cavities or orthodontic irregularities.

Are checkups necessary if my child has healthy teeth?

The condition of a child’s teeth can change fairly rapidly.  Even if the child’s teeth were evaluated as healthy just six months prior, changes in diet or oral habits (for example, thumb sucking) can quickly render them vulnerable to decay or misalignment.

In addition to visual examinations, our dental hygienist will provide thorough dental cleanings during each visit.  These cleanings eradicate the plaque and debris that can build up between teeth and in other hard to reach places.  Though a good homecare routine is especially important, these professional cleanings provide an additional tool to keep smiles healthy.  Our dental hygienist also applies fluoride gel or varnish to the teeth after the cleaning.  Topical fluoride remineralizes the teeth and staunches mineral loss, protecting tooth enamel from oral acid attacks.  

If you have questions or concerns about when to schedule your child’s dental checkups please contact your pediatric dentist.