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A New Parent's Guide to Oral Exams

Good dental care habits should be established early to ensure a bright, healthy smile for life. That's why parents must be diligent about scheduling oral exams for their kids all throughout childhood. Here's an overview to prepare you for your little one's first few dental appointments.

How Often Should Children Undergo Oral Exams?

Most children develop their first teeth between six months and one year of age. The first dental exam should happen within six months after the first tooth erupts, but no later than the child's first birthday. 

From there, most dentists recommend scheduling exams every six months. However, if there are concerns about dental decay or development, a professional might suggest follow-up appointments every three months to check the progress.

What Should Parents Expect From These Exams?

The primary purpose of a child's first visit is to assess their dental development and to acclimate them to the clinic. A dentist may only briefly check the child's mouth for abnormalities, such as tooth decay. Be prepared for questions regarding your child's diet, bottle-feeding habits, and current dental care. The dentist may encourage you to clean your child's mouth with sterile gauze or a clean cloth after feedings. Once more teeth develop, the dentist will provide instructions on brushing and flossing at home.

As your child grows older, oral exams will become more comprehensive. The dentist will clean the teeth to remove plaque and reduce the risk of decay. They will also take X-rays to assess dental development. X-rays show problems with underlying adult teeth and misalignment, which might require future orthodontic treatment. The dentist may also provide dental sealants or fluoride treatments to strengthen tooth enamel and defend against cavities.


When the time comes for your child's first oral exam, turn to Splendental Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Columbus, OH. Dr. Douglas Nartker and his team provide preventive and restorative treatments to patients of all ages. He is compassionate and will keep your little one comfortable during the appointment. Learn more about the office online, or call (614) 588-0678 to schedule an appointment.

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