Although your child will begin visiting the dentist regularly around the age of one, the first dental cleaning will most likely occur later, once the majority of the baby teeth have emerged.
As a result, the initial cleaning is typically performed during the toddler years, when the child is between the ages of 12 and 36 months. During this time, your child's dentist will be able to detect and remove plaque and tartar buildup before it becomes a major issue.
Getting Your Child Ready For Their First Dental Cleaning
It's a good idea to speak with your child about what will happen before arriving for the appointment itself. Talk to children about the significance of keeping their teeth healthy, and describe what the dentist will do in language that is suitable for their age and stage of development.
You might want to try to keep it simple. If you provide too many details, your child may become concerned. Most of the time, we advise parents to say something along the lines of:
"The dentist is going to look at your teeth, count them, and make sure they are healthy and strong. The dentist’s name is Dr. Doctor. They are nice!"
If your child is already anxious about going to the dentist, try to avoid using obnoxious words and phrases around them. Even if you use softer language to describe the discomfort, such as "not too bad" or "only a little," words like shot, pinch, and needle are likely to stick in your child's mind.
If dental appointments make you nervous, try not to express your feelings to your child during the appointment. They look to you for guidance when it comes to responding to new experiences. They will most likely follow your lead if you appear fearful.
During the Appointment
We encourage you to contact us ahead of time and tell us a little bit about your child's personality. Do they tend to be fearful or rebellious when confronted with unfamiliar situations? Is there anything about your child's attachment or development that we should be aware of and address during the appointment?
The more information we have, the better we will be able to cater to your child's specific needs and ensure that they receive the care they require.
We will inspect your child's teeth, jaws, gums, and bite at the start of the session to ensure that they are in good health.
In addition, just like with adult patients, we will use specialized devices to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth.
Recommendations for proper brushing and flossing techniques will be presented. Whether your child washes and flosses his teeth or you still do it for him, it never hurts to brush up on the basics.
During the visit, please feel free to ask any questions you may have about your child's oral health or any upcoming dental treatments.
Following the completion of the exam and cleaning, we will schedule any required follow-up visits. Also, if you like, we may schedule the next cleaning and checkup session sooner if necessary.