Keeping up with your child’s regular dental cleanings can make a big difference in their oral health – and it doesn’t have to be scary! Here’s a closer look at how dentists clean a child’s teeth and why it’s important.
Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Generally, your child should have their first dental visit after they get their first tooth or by age 1 – whichever is sooner. Since there aren’t too many teeth to clean yet, you don’t need to worry about any intensive cleaning at this point.
Here at Pediatric Dentistry of the North Shore, we typically use this first visit to show children the tools and instruments we will use to help keep their smile healthy when more of their teeth come in. Much of the time is spent getting to know them, performing evaluations, and setting the stage for a lifetime of good dental health.
What Do Regular Dental Cleanings Entail?
As children grow and get their full set of primary teeth, they can experience the continued benefits of regular dental cleanings. Just like adults, children may develop plaque and tartar on their teeth that can only be removed by a professional. Typically during a regular cleaning:
- A procedure called scaling will be used to remove tartar from the teeth with a special tool.
- After scaling, the teeth will be polished to remove any stains and plaque, so that the teeth look shiny and smooth.
Supporting Healthy Teeth and Healthy Habits
During your child’s cleaning, the dentist will also check for any signs of decay or other problems. In some cases, dental X-rays may be recommended to get a closer look at the teeth or underneath the gum line.
Cleanings also provide a great opportunity for the dentist to remind your child about the importance of healthy habits, including:
- brushing twice a day
- flossing daily
- eating a healthy diet
- avoiding sugary foods
How Often Should Kids Go to the Dentist?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a check-up every six months is recommended in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.
What If My Child Is Scared to Get Their Teeth Cleaned?
It’s natural to get a little anxious about going to the dentist – for children and adults alike! Seeing a pediatric dentist can provide a more supportive environment that is specially designed to help children feel more at ease.
For certain times when extra help is needed to comfort and calm a child, we can offer parents the choice of considering the safe option nitrous oxide to help make getting treatment less scary.
Schedule Your Child’s Dental Cleaning in Danvers, MA
The team at Pediatric Dentistry of the North Shore is committed to making your child’s visit to the dentist a comfortable and positive experience, whether they need a routine cleaning or a specific procedure. To schedule an appointment or learn more, contact us at 978-777-3744.