Dental Health Screenings Important for Children
A dental health screening is a brief examination of your child’s teeth, gums, tongue and soft tissue of the mouth performed to identify abnormal conditions so the child can come to the dental office for treatment. Screenings should occur regularly after the first tooth has erupted.
A dental screening by someone other than a dentist—often first performed in the pediatrician’s office—is usually the first dental care a child receives. These screenings are usually performed by a dental hygienist, pediatrician, nurse or physician’s assistant. People who serve at-risk children are often trained to screen the mouths and teeth of young children. Some states require proof of a dental screening before a child can enroll in school.
Dental health screenings help to identify tooth decay, infected gums and other oral problems. While 89% of America’s one-year-old children have had an office-based physician visit, only 1.5% of the same aged children have visited a dental office.
A dental health screening consists of three parts. The screener first inquires about the child’s dental health history. This is followed by a brief physical examination of the child’s mouth. Finally, the screener will offer a referral to a dentist for preventive care and treatment.
Common problems spotted during a dental health screening include
- baby bottle tooth decay
- cavities—28% of children age five and under have one or more cavities
- missing or damaged teeth
- sore, swollen or infected gums
In order for these problems not to worsen and compromise your child’s health and performance in school, they should be treated by their pediatric dentist. Dr. Jared will screen your child in our office or accept referrals from other screeners.
If you have further questions regarding dental health screenings,click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.