How Often Should a Child Get a Dental Cleaning?

Are you trying to decide whether or not to bring your kids in for a dental cleaning? You might have questions about how often kids truly need to see a dentist or even if cleanings for kids are really all that important. At All Smiles Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Houri specializes in dental care for kids. Here’s everything you need to know about the frequency of kids’ dental cleanings and checkups:

Frequency of Kids’ Dental Cleanings

Just like adults, kids need to have dental checkups and cleanings every six months. It’s best to start with your child’s first dental exam by their first birthday (or whenever their first tooth erupts) and every six months thereafter. As soon as your child starts having teeth erupt and will sit cooperatively, we can gradually shift into gentle cleanings. Most insurance companies pay for these visits twice a year, so we can gradually progress with more thorough cleanings as your child grows. These appointments are about more than “just having their teeth cleaned!”

Importance of Pediatric Dental Cleanings

Most pediatric dental diseases are avoidable with preventative care and good oral hygiene. By partnering with your family, our Vista kids dentist can help intercept smaller issues as soon as they become visible. This step will reduce the amount of decay or treatment your child experiences in the future.

It’s worth noting that children’s primary (baby) teeth are not nearly as dense as their adult counterparts. In turn, they can decay at quite rapid paces. A small cavity today could, in a year, become an abscessed tooth. By scheduling regular children’s cleanings every six months, Dr. Houri can treat those small areas of decay before they spread into something worse.

Your child’s regular six-month dental checkups are essential when it comes to breaking the cycle of tooth decay, dental emergencies, gum disease, or tooth loss in kids (and future adults!)

Plus, regular checkups will help keep dental care prevention-driven rather than associated with painful infections or emergencies. These preventative appointments are usually more relaxing and fun, instilling a positive experience in your child’s mindset when it comes to visiting the dentist. As the years go by, this can significantly reduce phobia and dental-related anxiety.

What’s Included in a Dental Cleaning for Kids?

There are several essential steps to your child’s dental cleaning appointment, including:

Exam—Dr. Houri will carefully evaluate each of your child’s teeth, the way they bite together, jaw anatomy, and oral function to provide essential advice as their mouth develops.

X-rays—Your child’s mouth is developing at a rapid pace. Our Vista pediatric dentist uses low-radiation digital imaging to screen for cavities and monitor tooth growth. That way, we can intercept issues as quickly as possible while they’re less complex to treat.

Cleaning—We’ll gently remove plaque and tartar buildup across your little one’s smile, including just under the edges of their gumlines and between their teeth. Then we’ll polish their enamel to remove stains and leave them with a brighter smile.

Oral Hygiene Education—Depending on your child’s brushing habits and where the most buildup is in their mouth, we’ll provide them with one-on-one advice and tips on how to clean their teeth (in an age-appropriate manner, of course!)

Nutritional Counseling—Kids who have a higher risk of tooth decay can benefit from nutritional tips from our dental team. From choosing healthy snacks to discussing the frequency of different drinks throughout the day, we’ll educate your child on how to make smart choices.

Fluoride Treatment—After your child’s teeth cleaning, we’ll apply a prescription-strength fluoride treatment. This step helps remineralize any weak enamel to make their smile stronger against acids and bacteria.

Dental Sealants—If your child is ready for sealants on their new permanent molars, we can arrange to place them during this visit. Sealants help block-out cavity-causing germs to keep their teeth cleaner and healthier. But they only work if you put them on right after those teeth erupt!

Schedule a Kids Teeth Cleaning Today

At All Smiles Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Houri and our staff offer comprehensive pediatric care, including dental cleanings for kids. If your little ones are due for a kids teeth cleaning, contact our Vista dental office today!

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