Regular pediatric dental checkups are fairly routine and straight forward. Generally, pediatric dentists recommend that once the first tooth is visible, that’s around when you should schedule the first visit to the dentist’s office. From there, it’s usually recommended that the child has a regular check-up and cleaning every six months (or more frequently). Before coming in for your child’s dental appointment, make sure to verify your insurance benefits (if you have insurance), and remember to bring your ID and insurance card with you. It’s also important to note that showing pictures and videos of the dental office to your child can help familiarize them with the office and eliminate fear of the unknown if it’s the first visit!
Things To Consider Before Scheduling A Kids Teeth Cleaning Appointment
Some things to consider before scheduling a kids teeth cleaning appointment include the following:
- What do the reviews from other patients say?
- Does the dentist specify that they are a “pediatric dentist”? Pediatric dentists have extra training in school to specifically treat children’s teeth.
- How much experience does the dentist have?
- What kinds of services are offered within the office? (Not requiring a referral)
What To Expect During A Kids Teeth Cleaning
During a kids teeth cleaning appointment, the following steps will be taken once the child and parent have checked in and filled out any necessary paperwork:
- First, the pediatric dentist will introduce themselves and tell the child a little bit about what they’re going to do. If x-rays are needed, the dentist or the dentist’s assistant will take some quick pictures to make sure they don’t miss any cavities or signs of abnormality that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
- Next, the dentist will do a thorough examination of the soft tissues inside of the mouth. This is to check for any abnormalities and make sure that the teeth are developing the way they should be. They will use a curved tool to poke the teeth to check for cavities and measure the pockets between the teeth and gums (this shouldn’t hurt, and the dentist may refer to it as “counting the teeth” so as not to alarm the child).
- The next part involves the cleaning itself, in which the dentist uses an electric spinning tooth polisher to clean the teeth using a fun flavored toothpaste. They will also check for any hardened plaque (also known as tartar) and remove it with another curved tool to prevent tooth decay from tartar build-up.
- Finally, if approved by the parent and/or guardian, a flavored fluoride varnish may be painted onto the teeth or applied using a q-tip and left to set for a few minutes.
- If all goes well and there aren’t any cavities or concerns, the dentist may verbally reinforce at-home oral hygiene steps to take with the child and parent/guardian. Depending on the child’s age, dental sealants (a quick and painless way to seal and protect teeth from cavities) may be suggested for the next appointment or applied then and there if time allows.
Schedule your child’s next pediatric teeth cleaning in Garden City, NY at 516-758-KIDS (5437) with Dr. Sybil Padavathil! Click here to learn more.