Kids Dental Cleaning
Your children’s teeth affect everything from their physical appearance to their speech to their diet. Missing or damaged teeth as a result of poor dental hygiene can distort facial features and limit the foods your kids can eat. So you should know how to teach kids dental cleaning and dental hygiene when your kids are still at a young age.
Typically, your children start seeing their first teeth when they’re six months old. By the time they’re three, they should have a full mouth of teeth. From three until six, your little ones begin losing their baby teeth as their adult teeth grow in. By the time your teenagers begins puberty, they have 32 adult teeth that need to last them for the rest of their lives.
Regular kids teeth cleaning, done by your dentist, has been shown to be the one of the best treatments for preventing gum disease, second only to good personal hygiene. In fact, kids dental cleaning, also called prophylaxis cleaning, is a procedure that’s medically recognized as being a preventative care. It’s most effective when done two times a year.
The teeth cleaning process removes problem substances that cause plaque and tartar. Plaque causes cavities, gingivitis and periodontal disease. Your dentist cleans your children’s teeth during every regular check-up. Your dentist is trained to care for your children’s teeth and gums through their growth phases until they’re ready to leave the nest.
Starting Dental Health Habits Early
From toddlers to teenagers, your kids depend on you to guide them in making healthy life decisions. Health care with prevention in mind is some of the best advice you can offer. And prophylaxis cleaning or kids dental cleaning is one of the most important things you can emphasize to your kids. Start bringing them to your dentist before their first birthday.
Teeth cleaning removes plaque and hardened plaque called tartar. These buildups can’t be removed simply by brushing or flossing. If left unchecked, plaque and tartar build-ups can lead to more serious dental issues. Just as you encourage your children to wash their hands to prevent illness, you should be educating them on the importance of regular kids teeth cleaning.[pgcallout]
Why Baby Teeth Are Important
Kids teeth cleaning begins as early as two years old. Teeth cleaning may occur on the first visit, but this isn’t the case for every child. Whether or not your dentist decides to clean you child’s teeth on the first visit or even to introduce your child to a teeth cleaning process depends on how much build-up of plaque and hardened tartar that’s already present.
Don’t believe that cleaning baby teeth isn’t important because adult teeth eventually replace them. Baby teeth help your children accomplish many things, and teaching them to care for their baby teeth establishes hygienic routines early in life. So it makes sense to care for baby teeth even though they may last only several years.
Dental Cleaning for Pre-adolescents and Teenagers
Your children should develop excellent dental health care routines when they’re young. These habits will allow your children to keep their teeth later in life. And while good oral hygiene is the best prevention, the next best thing is regular kids dental cleanings.
Kids dental cleanings are also a good opportunity for your child to hear from someone other than you about the importance of daily dental hygiene. Your dentist can also tell from the initial examination how good or bad your child’s habits are. This is a great opportunity for your dentist to impress upon your child the advice you’ve been giving for years.
Getting Rid of the First Visit Jitters
As soon as your child turns one, your dentist recommends that he has his first visit. Studies have shown that many kids have cavities by age two. What’s more shocking is that 25 percent of all children have had a cavity by the age of four in the United States. This is why most dentists recommend starting a kids dental cleaning around the first birthday. The first visit to the dentist:
- Helps your child get rid of first-time jitters
- Allows your kid to start building a relationship with the dentist
- Teaches kids about fluoride use
- Establishes expectations for future teeth development
- Allows for an examination of current oral habits — including thumb sucking
When your child begins a relationship with your dentist, he learns to trust the dentist. This relationship with your local dentist grows from the age of one to 18. Unless you move away, there’s never a reason to change dentists.
Building a Relationship with Your Dentist
You care for your children and constantly do what’s in their best interest. It’s no different concerning their oral hygiene. Unlike many other medical specialties, your dentist meets with your children regularly throughout their lives. This is actually one of the most important jobs of a dentist: to support you as a parent in helping your children understand why hygiene is vital to their long-term health. Together, you’re be able to:
- Teach the importance of flossing
- Establish the teeth cleaning process
- Learn warning signs of teeth issues
- Practice brushing techniques that won’t damage the gums
- Incorporate fluoride appropriately
- Have a positive impression of dental hygiene
Find a Dentist
Your dentist is more than just a dental professional. Because he works with kids, you can expect him to go above and beyond to make your kids comfortable. Some of the factors you can expect from your dentist include:
- Having additional training beyond dental school
- Working to make children comfortable
- Catching potential problems
- Correcting poor techniques
- Educating your kids on the importance of dental hygiene
- Working with children-specific tools
- Having a warm and kid-friendly environment
Be sure to contact your dentist and set up an appointment as early as your child’s first birthday. Continue making regular teeth cleaning appointments to foster a relationship between your child and his doctor and to foster a teeth cleaning process. As always, your dentist and his staff will be happy to answer any questions and discuss any concerns.