Ideally, your child should begin visiting the dentist every 6 months starting at the eruption of the first tooth. Here’s what to expect from the first dental cleaning.
Though your child will, ideally, be visiting the dentist regularly starting at the age of 1 or so, the first dental cleaning will probably take place a little later than that, when more or most of the baby teeth have arrived.
The first cleaning usually takes place during the toddler years, between 12 and 36 months. Regular examinations during this time will allow the dentist to find and remove plaque and tartar buildup before they get out of hand.
Preparing Your Child
Before the first visit, you should prepare your child for what will happen. Talk to him about how important dental health is, and explain what the dentist will do using age-appropriate language.
Keep it simple; too many details might alarm your child. We typically advise parents to say not much more than this:
“The dentist is going to look at your teeth, count them, and make sure they’re healthy. The dentist’s name is Dr. Kanani, he’s really nice!"
At the Appointment:
Talk to us ahead of time and let us know a bit about your child’s personality. Does he tend to be fearful or defiant in unfamiliar situations? Are there any attachment issues or developmental issues that may interfere with the appointment?
The more information we have, the better we can attend to your child’s needs during the appointment.
We will begin the appointment by examining your child’s teeth, jaws, gums and bite.
Using specialized instruments, we will clean away and plaque or tartar on the teeth, much like we do with adult patients.
We will also demonstrate proper brushing and flossing technique; whether your child brushes and flosses his own teeth, or you still do it for him, a refresher never hurts!
You will have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your child’s oral health or upcoming dental procedures.
Finally, we will book any necessary follow up appointments, and if you like, we can book the next cleaning and checkup appointment straight away as well.