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Initial Dental Exam
Portland, OR


A smiling child in an exam chair at Great Grins for KIDS - Portland in Portland, ORThe initial dental exam for children is advised at 12 months of age or within six months of the first tooth eruption. Typically, this first visit lasts between 30 to 60 minutes. As it is routine, all patients must have an initial dental exam before the treatment session. At Great Grins for KIDS - Portland, our pediatric dentists advise making sure the child has an initial dental exam before the age of three.

What Does the Initial Dental Exam Entail?


The initial dental appointment aims to establish comfort with the dentist. It is advised to schedule this visit by the time your child reaches 12 months of age. This initial visit is tailored to their age and may include teeth, jaws, gums, bites, and oral tissue assessment to monitor growth and development. If necessary, a gentle cleaning may be performed, involving tooth polishing and the removal of any plaque, tartar, and stains.

During the visit, the pediatric dentist may show proper home cleaning skills such as flossing and brushing and guide the use of fluoride. Since baby teeth naturally fall out, X-rays are not commonly taken. However, if the dentist deems it necessary based on their age, X-rays may be recommended for diagnosing decay or to assess if the root of a loose baby tooth could be impacting an adult tooth. It is generally advised that young children only undergo dental X-rays when necessary.

Sometimes, a child might need a cleaning done on their first visit. After checking, the dentist will decide if it is the proper treatment for them. Certain conditions determine if a cleaning is not the best first option. After the initial oral health checkup, you can expect progressive exams and cleaning appointments together.

Progressive Dental Checkups


Like grown-ups, kids should visit the dentist every six months. Dentists may want to see them more often, like every three months. This helps kids feel more comfortable and confident. Going more often also helps catch any problems early.

Oral Hygiene Review


One of the most critical steps of the initial dental exam is the oral hygiene review. Dental cleaning may take place during this visit, but it is not a must. Sometimes, the dentist may proceed with dental cleaning if the specific case of the child is urgent. However, in some cases, you may have to schedule a new visit for proper cleaning. The outcome of the initial oral exam determines all the details.

During the dental hygiene appointment, the dental hygienist will discuss dental history. Pediatric dentistry tries to answer questions on teeth care, recognize signs of gum issues, and the proper way to brush and floss.

At first, the hygienist will examine the mouth and gums. Then, they will look for signs of oral cancer. Following that, they will clean and polish the teeth thoroughly. The cleaning process might involve regular dental or specialized water-powered tools, depending on what is best for their oral health.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends fluoride treatments for children, so your hygienist might suggest this. Lastly, the hygienist will provide tips on maintaining good oral hygiene for kids and preventing gum issues.

How Regular Should Dental Examination Happen?


Regular visits to the dentist are essential for keeping teeth and gums healthy. These visits help catch any problems early before they become more significant issues. When visiting a pediatric dentist for the initial exam, it is recommended that the child is checked before they start teething. From that point, the dentist will give you a regular schedule for oral examination.

Remember, having dental checkups is a big part of staying healthy overall. The pediatric dentist will examine the gums, neck, mouth, and throat of your child. As a result, they can detect any issues affecting the dental health.

Benefits of the Initial Dental Exam


All children should visit a dentist early enough and undergo an initial dental exam. Some may think it is not necessary, given children do not even have teeth. On the contrary, the dental exam has many benefits for both the child and the dentist. It is the first time the pediatric dentist gets to look at the child and assess the development of their teeth. Missing this stage would mean more complications in the future.

The initial dental exam provides room to analyze the overall dental health and hygiene. Further, regular dental examination reduces the chances of tooth decay and gum disease. The dental examination process provides accurate information for preparing a custom treatment plan for the child and proper oral development.

An initial dental examination can also be utilized to carry out a proper dental cleaning for children who have already developed teeth. It provides room for all dental diagnostic procedures to be undertaken.

How to Protect the Teeth at Home


The initial dental exam only highlights the potential issues with the teeth of your child. However, without proper care, even pediatric dentistry checkups may not help. The duty of maintenance of proper oral health remains with the parents. Here are some guidelines on caring for the oral health of children:

Before the first teeth come in, regularly clean the gums with a cloth. Brush their teeth when the first tooth appears. Use a small, soft toothbrush and a minimal amount of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. After they turn three years old, they switch to a pea-sized fluoridated toothpaste. Make sure they do not swallow after brushing.

Prevent baby bottle tooth decay by only filling bottles with breastmilk or formula. Avoid giving them bottles with juice, soft drinks, or sweetened liquids. Please encourage your child to finish their bottles before bedtime to limit the time their teeth are exposed to sugary liquids. Introduce your child to a cup around their first birthday.

Please help your child brush their teeth until they are about seven or eight years old. Show them the proper brushing technique and make sure they follow the same pattern to ensure all areas are cleaned thoroughly.

It is a fact that the initial oral exam plays a vital role in the future treatment of dental problems in children. It is also necessary to prevent further dental issues as the child grows. At Great Grins for KIDS - Portland, we recommend dental examination before undertaking any medication or treatment. It is necessary to determine the medical history before starting treatment. To get an initial dental exam for your little one, contact us at (971) 470-0054 for more details.


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Initial Dental Exam Portland • Great Grins for Kids - Portland
Schedule your child's initial dental exam at Great Grins for Kids in Portland, OR. Expert care for healthy smiles. Book an appointment today!
Great Grins for KIDS Portland, 13908 SE Stark Street, Ste C, Portland, OR 97233-2161, (971) 470-0054, portlandchildrensdentist.com, 4/23/2024, Key Phrases: pediatric dentist Portland,