Most parents are diligent in keeping up with doctor’s appointments, vaccinations, and other essential medical care for their children – but dental care is often forgotten until the child already has a full mouth of teeth. Many parents wonder how often a child should get their teeth cleaned.
Taking care of your child’s teeth early means shorter appointments, fewer issues, and a more comfortable and easy experience for the child.
The American Dental Association recommends that children get their teeth checked and cleaned every six months.
This is the same schedule as adults. While most of us aren’t great at squeezing in a doctor’s appointment every six months for ourselves, these early appointments are critically important for our kids.
When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?
As soon as those first few teeth pop through, it’s time to head to the dentist. This is usually around their first birthday. These early appointments make a huge difference in the dental future of your child. Early appointments in the toddler years teach children that the dentist is someone to trust and not fear.
These first few appointments are about getting comfortable at the dentist without any whizzing or scraping noises. A toddler checkup can ensure their teeth are coming in correctly, check for any major issues, and begin a positive relationship with dental hygiene.
Why is teeth cleaning important for kids?
While brushing at home is the backbone of oral hygiene, it is not enough. No matter how consistent you are with brushing and flossing, there are certain areas you just can’t get with a toothbrush or dental floss.
It is in these areas, we use special tools to scrape away plaque, check for problems, and give the teeth and gums a deep clean.
Oral hygiene is also indicative of overall health.
The mouth sort of acts like a window to the rest of the body. Many health problems first begin with symptoms in the gums, teeth, tongue, and mouth.
Your dentist is trained to look for these issues, which allows parents to be aware of medical problems earlier simply by keeping their regular dentist appointments.
To keep your child’s gum and teeth healthy and strong, you need both good oral hygiene at home and professional teeth cleaning.
What can I expect during their first appointment?
A regular checkup at the dentist’s office usually takes less than an hour, but the benefits can be long-lasting.
Each appointment is catered and adjusted to the comfort level of the child, but will cover these basics:
- Teach basic oral hygiene habits.
- Check for proper growth patterns.
- Cleaning of plaque and tartar which may be staining your child’s teeth.
- X-Rays and/or fluoride treatment once they are necessary and the child is old enough to tolerate the process.
- Identify any issues early so that timely remedies can be made.
- Discuss treatment or prevention of cavities, infections, and other oral health challenges.
What if we have never been to the dentist?
Now is a great time to start! If you have older children who have never been to the dentist, or who have not been in a few years, plan for the visit with these simple tips:
- Tell your child ahead of time, nobody likes a surprise trip to the dentist.
- Make sure your child is prepared for what they might see, hear, or feel at the dentist’s office.
- When you schedule the appointment, let the receptionist know it’s your first time so they can schedule additional time if necessary.
- Be prepared for the possibility of more extensive work and a longer cleaning.
A Clean in Time Saves Tartar!
You care about your child’s health, and so do we.
A teeth cleaning is a good way to prevent cavities and gum disease, while also caring for your child’s overall health. Make it a priority to get to the dentist’s office every six months for a thorough cleaning and examination. Schedule routine appointments for your child to keep their mouth clean and healthy.
If you have never taken your child to the dentist, or it’s been a while – don’t procrastinate, we are here to help. Call our office near you and schedule an appointment today.