Dental check-ups for children

Revisión y educación dental, JM Arizala

Children should be taken to the dentist’s for a check-up from ​one year old​, and yearly thereafter.

Purpose of dental check-ups in children

At dental check-ups we study the following aspects:

Dental eruption

We look for ​dental eruption​, ​to see whether the child’s teeth are growing in at the right time​, i.e. during, before or  after the expected time for their growth. In the case of permanent teeth, we check to see that the milk teeth have fallen out properly, or if it is a time when the temporary tooth and its corresponding final tooth are seen at the same time.We also check to ensure that the tooth is growing in the right place and whether or not the child or  adolescent is in pain or has an infection.

Position of the teeth

  • We check to see that the teeth are in the right place, and ​in their corresponding order​.
  • We also check for cr​owding​, or the opposite, ​separations between their teeth​.
  • We study the relationship between the top and bottom teeth, i.e. that the child has a ​good bite​.
  • The top teeth must come down in front of the bottom teeth, coming into contact with them. The space  between them must not be overly large.
  • We ​study their face ​to make sure that the relationship between the jawbones is correct, and that their  chin is neither too far forward nor back with respect to their upper lip.
  • We therefore estimate ​whether orthodontics are necessary or not​, given that childhood and above all  early adolescence are the best times to ​correct wrongly placed teeth​.

Tooth decay

Decay ​must be treated to ​prevent ​painful and infectious ​complications​, in the case of both temporary and permanent teeth.

We must analyse the ​reasons for the decay​,​ studying and improving the child’s dental hygiene and eating habits, correcting insufficient or incorrect brushing, and/or an excessive intake of sweets.

Gum condition

The child’s gums mustn’t bleed ​spontaneously or when brushing their teeth. If they do bleed, it means that they have ​gingivitis or inflamed gums​, either due to insufficient or incorrect brushing, or to eating too many sweets between meals. In this case the child will have to ​improve their hygiene and eating habits​, as with tooth decay.

We also analyse the ​rest of the oral mucosa​, i.e. the surface of the tongue, the inside of the lips and cheeks, for sores, marks, cuts, etc.

Prevención de la caries en los niños

Periodical check-ups = child’s trust in the dentist

It is important for the child to get used to visiting their dentist, as a regular occurrence.

The point is that​, in their first ever check-ups​, given that they generally have no dental problems, the child will simply ​learn how to brush their teeth and how often​. This improves their parents’ efforts to make them brush their teeth.

The young patient ​learns to visit the dentist without associating them with injections or pain​, and when the time  comes for treatment, the child will be relaxed, making the process easier and more pleasant for all involved.

Their parents must behave naturally​, without consciously or unconsciously making them afraid. Making too much of the visit or repeatedly telling the child that everything will be fine and that they’ll feel no pain sets the alarm bells ringing, making the child think that something strange is about to happen, so that they become nervous and tense.

The mother, father or another adult are always present at dental check-ups in our surgery ​so that they can observe their child’s dental hygiene and health for themselves and learn what they can do to improve it.

However, ​when giving them treatment, the child will come into the surgery alone​, given that they behave far better when left alone, making the treatment easier and more pleasant for all involved.

Only in exceptional cases, if the child becomes very upset, will the mother or father be asked into the surgery​.

Boys and girls who are used to having dental check-ups will take much better care of their teeth, meaning fewer problems and, when required, less traumatic treatment.

More information

You can read more on this subject in ​Pediatric Dentistry (Children and Adolescents)​.

You can also call us directly on 943 45 90 45 or come along to our San Sebastian clinic in the Calle Ferrerias 5.