Despite the fact that your child will start to visit the dentist regularly around their first birthday, their first dental cleaning will most likely take place a little later, once most of their baby teeth have emerged.
This is why an initial cleaning is usually performed during the toddler years, when a kid is between the ages of 12 and 36 months. It's during this period that your child's dentist will be able to detect and remove plaque and tartar buildup before these become a serious problem.
Preparing Your Child for Their First Dental Cleaning
Before your child attends their first cleaning visit with the dentist, it's important to spend some time talking with your young one about what will take place. Discuss the significance of keeping their teeth healthy and what the dentist will do in language that's appropriate for their age and stage of development.
You might want to try and keep this discussion basic and high-level. Offering too many details may cause your youngster to become concerned. Usually, we recommend parents say something along the lines of:
"The dentist will look at your teeth, count them, and make sure they are strong and healthy. The dentist's name is Dr. Doctor. They are really nice!"
If your child is already worried about their first appointment with the dentist, try to avoid using words and phrases they may find unpleasant. However, even if you use softer language to describe discomfort, such as terms like "only a little", or "not too bad", words including pinch, needle and shot are more likely to stick in your child's mind.
If you feel worried before going to the dentist, try not to express your feelings to your kid during the session. Kids take their cues and directions from us when responding to new experiences. If you appear to be concerned, they will be as well.
During the Appointment
We encourage you to speak with us in advance and tell us a little about your child's personality. Do they have a tendency to be afraid or rebellious when confronted with unknown situations? Does your child have any attachment or developmental concerns that we should be aware of and address during the appointment?
The more information we have, the more we will be able to cater to your child's individual requirements and allow them to receive the care that they require.
At the beginning of the session, we will inspect your child's teeth, jaws, gums, and bite to confirm that they are in good health.
In addition, we will use specialized devices to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth, exactly like we do with adult patients.
We will present recommendations for correct brushing and flossing techniques. Whether your child washes and flosses his own teeth or you still do it for them, it never hurts to get a refresher course on the subject.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have concerning your child's oral health or any impending dental treatments during the visit.
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.