Health and Fitness

What Dentists Look for in Young Children

A child with a dentist in a dental office. Dental treatment in a children's clinic.

Dentists are always looking for the earliest signs of dental problems in their young patients. Often, they can detect cavities and other problems during routine check-ups. 

Here is a look at three of the things that dentists look for when examining children’s teeth. 

How Teeth Are Coming In

As a parent, you may be concerned about your child’s oral health. Fortunately, dentists are trained and experienced to provide guidance and advice when it comes to taking care of young children’s teeth. One critical factor dentists assess is how teeth have emerged from the gums; crooked or missing teeth can lead to difficulty with eating and speaking, as well as tooth decay due to lack of exposure to proper brushing. 

While regular dental visits in early childhood are necessary for any parent, understanding what dentists look for during those visits can help you prepare your child and ease their anxiety when visiting the dentist. Know that your child’s dentist will carefully inspect their mouth and all incoming teeth while they provide extra dental education tailored specifically for bubs — ensuring they have healthy smiles far into adulthood.

Bite Issues

As a parent, it’s essential to be aware of the potential bite issues your child could develop and how they should be addressed by your dentist. These issues include open bites, deep bites, crossbites, underbites, and other misalignments. 

Crossbite is when the upper back teeth are inside relative to the lower dental arch and is particularly important to prevent due to possible negative effects on speech development. Untreated crossbites can lead to speech impediments and dental issues in children. These issues may require orthodontic adjustments or corrective surgeries if left untreated. Pediatric dentists work hard to monitor these bite problems in young patients so that any necessary action can be taken well in advance.

Cavities and Gum Health

At the dentist, young children sometimes get an extra special check-up. Dentists can be on the lookout for signs of cavities and other problems with gum health. For example, they can use special dyes to test for early signs of decay in teeth or fluoride to reduce cavities in newly erupted teeth. They may also examine the gums to look for signs of disease or infection that can impact a child’s long-term oral health. Every step is taken with care to ensure that each child’s mouth is healthy and free from pain or discomfort. Rest assured that your friendly neighborhood dentist will keep your little one’s smile looking great!

Keeping your children’s teeth healthy means regular dental visits. While at the dentist, it is important to understand exactly what they are looking for. Ask your child’s dentist about these three elements of their dental health for a clearer idea of their health.

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