Childhood and adolescence are times of very rapid growth and development, and to keep things on track and help prevent serious issues as a child grows into adulthood, it’s important to see a dentist who understands these issues and knows how to spot -- and treat -- them in their earliest stages. Dentists who offer pediatric dental care services are skilled in the techniques used to identify emerging issues and in applying the most innovative solutions to help kids’ teeth and mouths develop properly.
Children should see the dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings, just like adults. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children visit the dentist by the time they’re a year old. Early and regular office visits help Dr. Koo identify problems in their earliest stages so a preventive and corrective treatment plan can be developed; regular visits also help kids accept dental care as part of the normal routine of life, which in turn helps decrease their anxiety. Early routine visits are instrumental in preventing cavities and the drilling that goes along with their treatment.
Pediatric dental checkups begin with a review of any symptoms the child may be having and a quick visual exam of the teeth. Then, Dr. Koo or one of her hygienists will perform a thorough cleaning, taking care to clean the surfaces of every tooth, including the areas along the gums and between teeth. During the cleaning, the hygienist will look for areas where at-home brushing and flossing are missing, providing tips and hands-on guidance to help children take better care of their teeth between visits.
Dental X-rays may be taken during the appointment to provide a view of the developing adult teeth below the gums as well as the roots of the teeth and underlying jawbone. Then, Dr. Koo will check each tooth for signs of decay and other issues that need to be addressed. Finally, fluoride treatments or dental sealants may be administered to help strengthen and protect teeth from decay. At the end of the visit, Dr. Koo will discuss recommended treatment strategies and answer any questions the child or parent may have.
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