How Long Should A Child's Teeth Cleaning Take?
Every child past the age when their first teeth erupt needs dental cleanings twice a year. A pediatric dental cleaning usually takes between 30 minutes and an hour.
Why Visit a Child-Friendly Dentist?
Children may be anxious or have difficulty sitting still during dental appointments. Pediatric dentists receive special training in strategies to distract, comfort, and calm young patients during exams.
How Pediatric Dentists Clean Children's Teeth
Step 1: Comprehensive Exam
A teeth cleaning appointment begins with a comprehensive exam. The dentist will check the child for signs of good oral health and evaluate whether the parent takes proper care of their teeth at home.
Older children may receive dental X-rays or radiographs if needed. Generally, children do not receive their first X-rays until ages four to five unless signs of decay are evident.
Step 2: Plaque and Tartar Removal
The dentist will gently remove plaque and tartar with special tools. Adult caregivers find it hard to see plaque, but trained dentists and hygienists can get it all.
Step 3: Polishing
The dentist will use a rubber-tipped tool to polish the child's teeth. They may be able to choose the flavor of the toothpaste.
Step 4: Oral Care Instruction
The dentist or hygienist will teach the parent and child about proper brushing and flossing. The parent will be able to ask questions, and the child will learn important lifelong oral healthcare skills.
Step 5: Fluoride Treatment
Today, children of all ages receive fluoride treatments. Medical researchers emphasize their benefits. Fluoride is a natural substance that hardens and protects tooth enamel. Most pediatric dentists use a varnish that dries instantly upon contact with saliva, preventing young children from swallowing the treatment.
Call Davis Gribble Hollowwa Dental
Children's teeth cleanings are vital to help protect their lifelong oral and overall health. The earlier a child begins regular dental visits, the easier it will be to care for their teeth as they grow.
Please call our Albuquerque, NM, office at 505-898-1976 for further information or to make an appointment for your child.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pediatric Dentistry
Why do children need dental cleanings at such a young age?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recently changed its early dental care recommendations because childhood tooth decay is rising. Children and their parents need support to promote good oral health. Children need fluoride as soon as their first teeth erupt.
How can I help my child become accustomed to the dentist?
One of the most important steps is to model a positive relationship with the dentist. A parent voicing their anxiety about visiting the dentist may easily transfer to their children. Show the child videos of pediatric teeth cleanings to create a familiar scene. Help them role-play with toys to prepare them for the dentist. You can also read the book that Dr Connor Hollowwa wrote titled "The Dinosaurs' Dentist" which familiarizes children with expectations at the dentist!