If needed, your dentist will put a sealant on the chewing surface of your teeth to help prevent cavities. sealants keep food and bacteria from getting stuck in the rough chewing surfaces or grooves of your teeth, and they protect your teeth from plaque.
Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other health problems. Your dental hygienist will begin to clean your teeth by scraping hard mineral build up (tartar) off your teeth with a small metal tool. Then the hygienist will floss your teeth, use a polishing compound, and apply fluoride. Cleanings usually aren't painful. Sometimes your dentist will want to take x-rays. The x-rays will only take a few minutes.
Your dentist or technician will have you put on a heavy apron to shield your body from radiation. Everyone else in the room will either wear a protective apron or step behind a protective shield. Your dentist or technician will have you bite down on a small piece of plastic. This will help align your teeth properly for the machine. Your dentist or technician will repeat this process several times to get pictures of all your teeth.
By the time your child is 6 months of age, your doctor should asses the likelihood of your child having future dental problems. If they think your child will have dental problems, be sure your child sees a dentist before his/her first birthday or 6 months after first primary teeth appear, whichever comes first. After your first visit, schedule regular visits every 6 months, or as your dentist recommends.
Experts recommend that your childs dental care start at 12 months of age. If your baby has dental problems caused by injury, disease, or a developmental problem, see your pediatric dentist right away.
Basic dental care includes brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, seeing your dentist and/or dental hygienist for regular check ups and cleanings, and eating a mouth-healthy diet, which means foods high in whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and dairy products.
Dr. James L. Johnson