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Protecting All Children's Teeth (PACT): A Pediatric Oral Health Training Program
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Clinical Evaluation

A complete oral examination should be part of every routine visit, beginning at 6 months of age.

For a thorough examination, you need:

  • A good light source
  • A good look at the patient's mouth.

A tongue depressor improves visualization of mouth surfaces.

Examination Technique
A knee-to-knee examination is often best for an infant or small child.

To perform this exam, sit down facing the parent, knee to knee, with the child sitting on the parent’s lap facing the parent. Then have the child lie back onto your lap.

Fast Facts
A complete oral examination should be part of every routine visit, starting at 6 months of age.
The most important tools include a good light source and a tongue depressor.
The knee-to-knee exam is often best for young children.
It is important to examine the gum line for plaque and all stages of dental caries, as caries usually begin along the gum line.
It is important to document all findings and refer any abnormalities to a dental provider.
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