For a dental check-up for kids, as well as cleanings and restorations, parents frequently turn to their dentist. Bringing your child to a regular dentist is not always ideal, though. Every child should get the specialized care provided by a pediatric dentist, as they offer dental treatment for children from infancy through adolescence.Many parents are…
Maintain Your Child’s Oral Health With a Kids Dental Cleaning
A kids dental cleaning helps to protect your child’s teeth against tooth decay, the top reason parents take their children to the dentist. The most important thing any parent can do to protect their child’s oral health is to teach them good oral hygiene habits.
Good oral hygiene for children starts with parents taking care of the teeth of babies, toddlers, and infants, then teaching them how to clean their mouths on their own when they get older. It often takes children time to understand the importance of good oral hygiene, so parents bear a responsibility to help them clean their teeth until they can properly and regularly clean them on their own. Parents should teach their children to brush at least twice a day, with one of those times being before going to bed.
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth that feast on sugars and excrete acids that wear down teeth and create tiny holes called cavities. When left untreated, these holes expand until affected teeth are damaged to the point they fall out or become infected. Kids dental cleaning is the second line of defense against tooth decay, second to only good oral hygiene.
How kids dental cleaning protects teeth
The American Association of Dentists recommends getting children’s teeth cleaned at least twice yearly. These treatments involve using a scaler to remove plaque and tartar from teeth. Plaque is the sticky film that bacteria build in the mouth; it creates the sticky feeling people have in their mouths after waking up from sleep.
Plaque contains acids that damage teeth but can be removed by brushing and flossing. Plaque changes into tartar when left on teeth. Tartar also contains acids made by oral bacteria, but it is too hard to remove with a brush or dental floss. A scaler and ultrasonic tools are typically used to remove tartar during dental cleanings.
A teeth cleaning session involves a dentist removing tartar and plaque from teeth, protecting them against tooth decay. These appointments also serve as an opportunity for the pediatric dentist to examine the patient’s teeth so developing problems can be pinpointed and rectified. Other preventative treatments like dental sealants and fluoride therapy can be performed after teeth cleaning treatments.
There is a common misconception that a child’s baby teeth are not as important as the permanent teeth that emerge later, but that is simply not true. Baby teeth help to maintain the proper alignment of teeth and one falling out prematurely can lead to bite issues later in life. Baby teeth are more prone to decay than permanent teeth due to their thinner enamel – the outer layer – so preventative treatments like kids dental cleaning are needed to protect them.
Some of the benefits of getting your child’s teeth cleaned regularly include:
- Prevents cavities: Tartar is one of the leading causes of tooth decay for people of all ages. Tartar also gets to stay on teeth a lot longer than plaque since it gets to build up on teeth between dental visits. The acids made by the bacteria destroy teeth enamel, leaving teeth vulnerable to decay
- Prevents premature tooth loss: Plaque and tartar can also lead to gum disease which can lead to premature tooth loss. People over 30 are more prone to gum disease, but it can affect children as well
- Makes teeth look better: Teeth cleaning often gets rid of surface stains on teeth as most form on tartar deposits. As a result, patients typically walk away with brighter-looking teeth
- Improves dental health: Ensuring a child gets regular teeth cleanings reduces their risk of developing dental problems like decay, periodontal disease, and infections. These appointments also allow for the early detection of existing issues
- Saves money: Taking a child in for biannual teeth cleanings saves parents money in the long run since it leads to fewer unscheduled trips to the dentist. The child becomes less vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease and the many issues they can lead to
Taking your child to the dentist
Children should be taken to a clinic as soon as their first set of teeth emerge or before their first birthday. Early visits help to familiarize children with the pediatric dentist while the professional a chance to assess if their teeth and jaw are developing properly. Teeth cleanings can be completed in less than 45 minutes, yet they protect teeth from decay for several months.
Your child’s dental health is our top priority
Our pediatric dentist has years of experience helping to protect children’s oral health. Call or drop by our Richmond clinic to set up an appointment.
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