You should see a dentist at least once a year to have your teeth cleaned and your mouth examined. The dentist will decide how often you should have check-ups based on your oral health. An annual check-up may be enough for some people, but others will have to have their teeth checked more often.
If you take medication, tell your dentist, especially if it makes your mouth dry.
Young children should see a dentist for the first time when they are around 1 year old. During this first visit, the dentist will:
examine the child’s mouth before a possible dental problem develops;
advise parents on how to clean and take care of their child’s mouth properly.
After the first visit, have your child’s teeth checked by a dentist at least once a year, or as recommended. This will allow the dentist to:
ensure your child’s teeth are cleaned professionally so that his mouth stays clean and healthy;
promptly identify dental problems and prevent cavities from developing.
If necessary, the dentist can also recommend ways to lower the risk of your child getting cavities. These include:
fluoride supplements A dentist can prescribe fluoride supplements for children at risk of tooth decay and who live in areas where the water does not contain enough fluoride.
fluoride treatment A dentist or dental hygienist can apply fluoride varnish on your child’s teeth. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and makes teeth more resistant to acid, which attacks teeth and causes tooth decay.
application of dental sealants A dentist or dental hygienist can apply a dental sealant on some permanent teeth. A dental sealant is a liquid substance that coats the grooves of teeth and hardens. The surface of the teeth becomes smoother and easier to clean. This is very effective in preventing tooth decay.
Services covered by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec
Some dental services, including annual check-ups, are free for children under 10 years of age. These services are offered at dental clinics or in some hospitals upon presentation of your child’s health insurance card. Go to the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec website for more details.