Lesson #5: Ask Your Dentist to Give Your Child a Dental Risk Assessment
I wish I had known about this tool when our kids were little. It took a former dental executive to inform me of something called a Risk Assessment. It helps figure out your child’s most appropriate dental health choices.
When your child goes to a dentist appointment between ages 4 and 14, you may ask if the dentist uses a Risk Assessment. It’s a good sign if the dentist uses one to guide their decisions. The Risk Assessment is a series of questions to evaluate the child’s risk of decay. This evaluation helps you and the dentist make decisions about procedures as they arise--cavities, sealants, flouride treatments, pulling teeth.
The assessment will categorize a patient’s overall risk of developing caries, based on family history and clinical examination. It gets a baseline of the teeth and the child’s diet, including whether they have sugary drinks regularly, the warning signs of cavities, how deep the lesions may be, the mother’s cavities. It’s a series of questions to evaluate the family history, daily habits and current oral health of the child. Learn more: CAMBRA, Caries Management by Risk Assessments. As always, be kind with yourself. We parents are doing the best we can with what we have!
Ask your dentist
Do they offer a Risk Assessment?