Limited Exams: There are special situations when, for a variety of reasons, children are referred to us for evaluation and possible treatment by Dr. Halley or Dr. Andy. It is our practice to arrange with you a limited exam (consultation) to determine which treatment option is best for your child. We schedule these as an initial visit for Dr. Halley or Dr. Andy to meet you and your child, complete an exam and review x-rays. This appointment gives your child an opportunity to gain a sense of comfort and trust your doctor and their team. We will schedule treatment for another day after all your questions have been answered.
Infant Oral Exam: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association recommends the first dental examination for your child occur around age one or within six months of the eruption of the first tooth. Dr. Halley and Dr. Andy believe it is essential to begin informing parents and caregivers about the importance of infant and toddler oral health. The Centers for Disease Control have defined early childhood caries or decay (ECC) as a specific disease affecting the primary teeth of very young children (about 0-36 months) that can include baby bottle tooth decay, nursing caries, other feeding-related caries and rampant decay of unknown origin. At the first exam, your doctor will discuss the following: feeding practices, recommended cleaning routines for oral hygiene, teething and eruption patterns, pacifier and thumb sucking habits, use of fluoride, family dental history and dental safety issues for your child. They will brush your child’s teeth with a toothbrush, complete a dental exam and apply a fluoride as a preventative measure. One of our treatment rooms is designed specifically for young children to complete these knee-to-knee exams. Please do not be concerned that your young child may not behave for this exam! Most often we expect a noisy and fussy patient. This is an age-appropriate reaction and will diminish as your child matures and becomes familiar with our office at each continuing care visit.
Preschool Child: If your child’s first visit occurs once all 20 primary (baby) teeth have erupted, Dr. Halley or Dr. Andy and their clinical staff may complete a prophylaxis or dental cleaning. Depending on the age of your child, their behavior and additional risk factors, your doctor may also recommend radiographs (x-rays) be taken to diagnose areas of concern. The visit will conclude with a professionally applied topical fluoride treatment. Your doctor will discuss any specific findings and address concerns you and your child may have following this comprehensive exam. A separate appointment will be scheduled if your child has additional treatment needs.
School Age Child: Dr. Halley or Dr. Andy will carefully monitor growth and development changes as your child transitions from primary teeth to a full adult dentition. A dental prophylaxis, fluoride treatment and appropriate radiographs along with a comprehensive examination will help your doctor and their team to individualize recommendations for oral hygiene at home. We will work with your child to assist them with gradually taking responsibility for their own oral health through an understanding of dental disease, oral hygiene, and the role of diet as it relates to their overall health.