If you’re a parent, you might be nervous or concerned about what will happen during your child’s dental cleaning, especially if it’s their first one. While it’s natural to be concerned about your child feeling anxious or curious about the process, we can assure you that they are in good hands here at The Little Royals: Dentistry for Kids.
We will always work gently and at a relaxing pace to make your child comfortable. Read on in this blog to find out what happens during a child’s cleaning and why they’re so important.
A dental cleaning involves polishing the teeth and removing plaque and tartar buildup. Very young children under the age of 2 will receive a lap exam, which is when the parent can hold them in their lap while we examine their teeth and clean their individual teeth and gums.
This is a safe method for young children because they feel more comfortable sitting in your lap, which reduces anxiety and stress. This generally increases cooperation among young children but if they are unwilling to cooperate, that’s okay.
These early appointments are mostly about building trust and forming a positive relationship with dental care. Children older than 2 who have most of their baby teeth will receive a standard dental cleaning that is performed on adults.
This involves brushing the teeth with a high-powered electric toothbrush, scaling above the gum line to remove plaque and tartar, flossing their teeth, rinsing, and applying fluoride varnish to protect against cavities. During dental cleanings, we also look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer.
Dental cleanings reduce your child’s risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. With consistent cleanings that are carried out every 6 months, we can also detect problems such as oral cancer early enough to reverse them.
Not only are dental cleanings extremely important for maintaining good oral health, but they’ll also improve the smell of your breath and the appearance of your teeth. Lingering plaque and food particles can cause a foul odor from sulfur-producing bacteria. Stains can also build up on your teeth and plaque can cause a yellowing appearance of the teeth if this isn’t removed.
Let’s start with when you should begin taking your child to a dentist. The answer is, surprisingly early. If your child receives their first tooth before their first birthday, this is when you should take them to the dentist.
Otherwise, you can wait until they turn one. We will examine their tooth, provide you with educational information, teach you how to care for their teeth, and build trust with your little ones as we get them used to visiting their pediatric dentist.
After this, you should continue to take your child to the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings every 6 months, as recommended by the ADA. That means your child should be going to the dentist twice a year, at a minimum. Some people require more frequent visits if they are at high risk for cavities.
If your child hasn’t had a dental cleaning in the past 6 months, you should take them to get caught up on their oral health maintenance. If plaque isn’t removed within 72 hours, it can harden into tartar, which increases their risk for serious conditions like gum disease. Contact us at The Little Royals: Dentistry for Kids today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sal or Dr. Yasi.