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We recommend that your child visit Upper East Side Kids Smiles once every six months for a dental cleaning and examination. Dr. Shiva evaluates your child’s teeth, gums, and jaw to look for indications of oral health problems. This is necessary to spot tooth decay as well as other oral health issues as early as possible. Treating a dental disease or condition proactively is always preferable to treating it after symptoms are causing distress.
Your child’s bi-annual check-up allows us to detect problems such as:
- Damage to bones
- Extra teeth such as wisdom teeth
- Gum disease
- Improper tooth alignment
- Jaw pain caused by temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
- Tooth decay
What to Expect at Your Child’s Oral Examination Appointment
In addition to a thorough cleaning, your child’s bi-annual preventive care appointment typically includes screening for periodontal disease and TMJ. The first focuses on treating gum disease, which could involve periodontitis, gingivitis, or both. Untreated gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss.
TMJ can cause significant pain and needs to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Everyone has a temporomandibular joint located near the front of the ear. This is the intersection of the lower jaw and skull. Some symptoms of TMJ include:
- Ear pain
- Pain near the ears when your child speaks, yawns, laughs, or sneezes
- Pain in the shoulders, neck, face, or jaw joints
- Popping and clicking sounds when opening the mouth
It’s possible that another medical condition is causing your child’s symptoms, which is why a prompt evaluation is critical.
If Dr. Shiva suspects a specific dental problem, she will complete a digital dental X-ray at this appointment as well. This helps her confirm or rule out a diagnosis allowing her to create and present the most appropriate treatment option.