WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD FIRST SEE THE DENTIST?
The Canadian Dental Association recommends the assessment of infants, by a dentist, within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by one year of age. The goal is to have your child visit the dentist before there is a problem with his or her teeth. At the first visit we will review and discuss your child’s health history, provide an oral exam, discuss diet and oral hygiene recommendations, and assess their risk for developing any future conditions.
In most cases, a dental exam every six months is recommended to monitor the eruption of the remaining teeth, get your child comfortable with the dentist, and ensure they detect any problems early.
WHY DO I NEED AN EXAM IF I DON'T HAVE ANY DENTAL ISSUES?
Dental disease is usually not reversible, so prevention and early detection is extremely important. The early stages of dental disease do not have any symptoms. An example is caries (tooth decay). Tooth decay often does not hurt until it gets close to the nerve of the tooth. It is not uncommon to see a patient with a large cavity who has never felt a thing. The dentist can usually detect a cavity 3-4 years before it develops any symptoms. This early detection can help you prevent more extensive treatments such as root canals or extractions.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED X-RAYS?
We determine the frequency of x-rays taken depending on your oral health. A healthy patient, who has not had cavities or other problems for a couple of years, probably won’t need x-rays at every appointment. If you are at higher risk for cavities or have active gum disease or potential infection, we may require more frequent x-rays for an accurate diagnosis.
If you are not sure why a particular x-ray is being taken, ask us! At Old South Dentistry, we use digital sensors, which gives 60% less exposure to radiation than conventional films. They are often a vital tool to ensure that small problems don’t develop into bigger ones.
I REALLY DON'T LIKE GOING TO THE DENTIST. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO TO HELP ME RELAX?
Yes! We offer TV monitors, noise canceling headphones, and oral or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) sedation to make your visit more comfortable.