Routine Dental Check-ups

By six years old, your child has hopefully already had several dental visits and is now comfortable with the routine dental exam. A routine exam, including dental x-rays and a dental cleaning, should be done at least every 6 months or two visits per calendar year.  Depending on the results of your oral health exam, you may have to see your provider more frequently.  Your child may have dental insurance coverage from either a private plan from a parent, or if they have Medi-Cal, they automatically have coverage for dental services.

Virtual Dental Visits

A virtual dental visit is a safe way to see the dentist. It can help identify tooth decay early, it is a way to get fluoride varnish to help protect teeth from cavities, and is a way to get oral health information to maintain good dental habits. Call your dental office and ask if a virtual dental visit can be scheduled.

Cavity-Free San Francisco has created 4 videos to help you with your virtual dental visit. Click on the links below to watch. The videos are also available in Spanish and Chinese.

Welcome to Your Teledentistry Visit.

  • Learn how to get set-up, what to expect during the teledentistry visit, and how to position yourself and your child.

How to Take Photos of Your Child’s Teeth.

  • Watch this 2 minute video on how to take the best pictures of your child’s teeth prior to the teledentistry visit.

How to Apply Fluoride Varnish at Home.

  • Watch this 90 second video to learn what comes in a mail home varnish kit and how to properly apply the varnish to your child’s teeth with a dental team supervision.

Brushing Your Child’s Teeth.

  • Watch this 90 second video to learn how to brush your child’s teeth, the amount of fluoride toothpaste to use, and how often children need to brush their teeth.

Molar Sealants Prevent Cavities

At six years old, the first adult tooth to come in is the first molar (one of the back teeth), also known as the “six-year-old molar.” Tooth decay is preventable, thus your dental provider may suggest to “seal” these first teeth as they erupt. A sealant is a white-filling material that is put into the grooves of the adult molars to prevent future cavities from forming on the chewing surfaces of the tooth. This service can be suggested for all the premolars and molars, the back teeth in the mouth.

Fluoride Varnish

At the routine dental exam, your dental provider or doctor may recommend applying fluoride varnish onto your child’s teeth. Application of the fluoride varnish is quick and painless, it involves the provider using a small brush to paint it onto tooth surfaces. Fluoride is a natural mineral, and it helps make the tooth enamel stronger, to protect against future cavities.

Care by Dental Professionals Other than a Dentist

A dental provider or dental professional is a licensed individual that can provide dental services to you.  A dental provider is not limited to a Dentist. There are many other types of dental providers. You might receive a preventive dental service from a Registered Dental Hygienist, a Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice, or a Dentist.

Services providers by these professionals are also not limited to a dental clinic. You might be able to receive services in your community at a school, a nursing home or a mobile dental van. A few preventive treatments include: a dental cleaning, fluoride varnish application, placement of sealants, and placement of a temporary filling. Restorative treatments can only be provided by a Dentist in a clinical or a community setting; these treatments include: permanent cavity fillings, tooth extractions, root canal therapies, etc.

Medi-Cal has Dental Covered

If your child has Medi-Cal, they also have coverage for dental care. The Medi-Cal Dental Program covers a full range of dental services. If you have not found a dental home for your child yet, click on “More Information” below  to find a Medi-Cal Dental Provider and additional Medi-Cal Dental resources.