How Do Dentists Clean Toddler Teeth?

How Do Dentists Clean Toddler Teeth?

Nov 01, 2022

Excellent dental care for your children ensures normal oral development, function, and future oral health. Daily brushing and flossing may not adequately protect your mouth from dental concerns.

Experts recommend taking your child or toddler for regular dental exams and cleanings. Make their first appointments as soon as their first tooth erupts.

If you’ve scheduled a pediatric dental cleaning appointment for your child, you might be curious about what to expect.

This guide highlights what to expect during your child’s first dental cleaning appointment and how often you should make them.

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Children’s Dental Cleaning Process

Fortunately, a child’s teeth cleaning process is easy, quick, pain-free, and straightforward. The specific procedure will depend on the child’s age.

The steps typically involve:

Medical Review 

The dentist will begin by conducting a short interview. They will review the child’s oral and medical health.

Be sure to notify the dentist if you have noticed any oral concerns such as pain, bleeding, and gum redness or inflammation.

● Examination

Next, the dentist will inspect your child’s mouth, including the teeth, gums, and bite, for symptoms of gum disease, tooth decay, cavities, and bite issues.

These can include tooth pain, dental trauma, gum inflammation, poor bite, sore or red gums, cavities, and abnormalities like lesions.

● Tartar and plaque removal 

Like a regular adult tooth cleaning, the hygienist will use special tools to scrape off plaque and tartar from the child’s mouth. Plaque is a sticky bacteria film that forms on the teeth.

Over time, plaque hardens to tartar, a hard deposit that you can only remove with professional cleaning. When not removed sooner, plaque and tartar erode the tooth’s enamel and irritate the gums, leading to cavities and gum disease.

Removing these deposits reduces your child’s risk of developing oral problems.

● Tooth polishing, brushing, and flossing

The hygienist uses a rubber polishing tool and pastes to polish the child’s teeth. It gives them a brighter and smoother appearance.

Then, they will use a string of dental floss to remove any remaining debris between the child’s teeth. Lastly, their mouth is rinsed thoroughly.

● Fluoride treatment and dental sealants

Finally, the hygienist will recommend fluoride treatment to strengthen your child’s teeth and protect them from cavities. The treatment involves applying a fluoride gel, rinse or varnish on their teeth.

The dentist can also recommend dental sealants to protect the child’s teeth from cavities. The treatment involves applying a clear or white sealant material on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, guarding them against plaque and tartar development.

● Follow-up appointments 

After the dental exam and cleaning, the dentist will notify you if they have noticed any concerning issues in your child’s mouth. The dentist will give more details about your options if treatment is required and schedule you accordingly.

The dentist can also give you more tips for caring for your child’s mouth. Before leaving, be sure to schedule the next dental cleaning appointment.

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How Often Should A Child Visit The Dentist For Cleaning?

Regular dental visits significantly reduce the risk of your child developing oral issues like cavities and gums.

It also facilitates early detection of potential dental concerns like a poor bite, cavities, and gum inflammation. The sooner these issues are caught, the easier they are to treat and reverse.

You should make the first toddler tooth cleaning appointment as soon as their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday.

The American Dental Association recommends taking your child to routine dental appointments every six months. The dentist can recommend more regular treatments if your child has existing oral issues or treatment.

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For more information about children’s dental cleanings, contact Jeffrey L. Cohen, DDS.

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