While your child will start to see a dentist regularly around their first birthday, the first dental cleaning will probably take place a little later, once most of the baby teeth have emerged.
This is why a dentist typically performs the initial cleaning during the toddler years, when a kid is between the ages of 12 and 36 months. At this point, your child's dentist will be able to find and remove plaque and tartar buildup before they turn into a serious issue.
Preparing Your Child for Their First Dental Cleaning
We recommend spending some time chatting with your child about what will happen before the first cleaning. Speak to children about why it's important to keep their teeth healthy, and explain what the dentist will do in language that is attuned to their age and stage of development.
You may want to try and stick to basics. Offering too many details might cause your young one to become concerned. Most of the time, we suggest that parents consider saying something along the lines of the following:
"The dentist is going to look at your teeth, count them, and make sure they are healthy and strong. The dentist’s name is Dr. Doctor. They are really nice!"
If your child is already worried about going to the dentist, try to avoid using unpleasant words and phrases around him or her. However, even if you use softer language to describe the discomfort, such as terms like "not too bad" or "only a little," words such as shot, pinch, and needle are likely to stick in the mind of your child.
If dentist appointments are a source of worry for you, try not to express your feelings to your kid during the session. When it comes to responding to new experiences, they look to you for direction. 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 ensure that they receive the care that they require.
At the beginning of the session, we will inspect your child's teeth, jaws, gums, and bite to ensure 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.