To maintain healthy teeth and gums, it is vital that children see a dentist every six months even if they have healthy teeth.
During these regular preventive care appointments, Riley at IU Health pediatric dentists are able to identify any problems (such as cavities), recommend sealants if needed and help teach your child how to take care of his or her teeth.
Preventive care appointments at your child’s dentist office take about an hour.
The first step in a preventive dental care appointment is a thorough examination of your child's teeth followed by a cleaning by the dentist or dental hygienist. The cleaning removes debris such as plaque. Removing plaque helps prevent tooth decay and keeps gums healthy. Your child’s teeth will also be flossed and polished. An X-ray of the teeth may also be done to check for cavities or assess growth and development.
Following the cleaning, your child’s dentist will examine his or her teeth for any problems and explain how to brush and floss. Patients will then receive fluoride treatments that help strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. Fluoride is painted on the teeth with a Q-tip or small brush. Your child's teeth may feel slightly sticky for about an hour or so after the treatment.
It is important that you help your child develop healthy dental habits in between preventive dental care appointments. Children should brush their teeth twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss once per day. Young children should be monitored to ensure they are brushing and flossing correctly. As a parent, you can help your child keep his or her teeth healthy by encouraging a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and discouraging sugary beverages and snacks.
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.