Child Dental Cleanings

young girl having a dental cleaning

Not all dental offices offer pediatric dentistry, but Dexter Family Dentistry in Dexter, Michigan, is proud to provide an enjoyable dental experience for patients of all ages. Regular dental exams and cleanings for children are a critical part of preventive tooth care. Our experienced dental team helps children learn the importance of taking care of their baby teeth and continuing this care when they get their adult teeth.

Founded in 2006 by Dr. Brent Kolb, our compassionate doctors and staff treat every patient respectfully and provide the same level of service they would for their own families. We strive to provide a comfortable, stress-free environment to help relieve your child’s anxiety about going to the dentist and establish good oral health from an early age.

Pediatric Dental Exams

During your child’s dental exam, the dentist evaluates your child’s risk of tooth decay. The exam might also include dental X-rays or other diagnostic procedures to look for cavities and other signs of decay. The hygienist cleans your child’s teeth and may apply fluoride and/or sealant to reduce the risk of cavities. We will then discuss diet and oral hygiene habits, as well as proper brushing and flossing techniques, with you and your child.

Importance Of Dental Cleanings For Children

Some parents believe that regular teeth cleanings aren’t important for children, because they still have their baby teeth. However, this isn’t true, and we can’t stress the importance of early oral health education and treatment enough. Beginning at age one, children should have a “happy visit” for the dentist or hygienist to do an initial screening and discuss the child’s diet and oral hygiene regimen with the parent(s).  By age two, children should have two cleanings per year, just like adults. Healthy baby teeth help keep the gums strong, which provides a solid foundation for permanent teeth. Having healthy teeth also helps ensure comfort while chewing, saves space in the jaw for adult teeth, and assists in speech development.

During the first 10 years, children are at high-risk for cavities, so cleanings and examinations are vital to their dental health. Even if your child does an exceptional job of brushing and flossing, it isn’t enough to keep their teeth clean. Toothbrushes can’t reach all the grooves, and certain angles in the mouth are difficult to reach- especially for children. Flossing must occur daily, but even this won’t remove everything that becomes lodged between the teeth and gums.

Dental cleanings help prevent cavities by removing hard to reach debris and plaque that naturally accumulate on teeth. Skipping regular cleanings allows cavities to spread and become worse. Early evaluation, detection, and intervention are crucial to ensuring a positive dental experience for your child.

Child Dental Cleaning Procedure

Parents sometimes worry about bringing their child to the dentist because the child doesn’t understand what’s happening, which makes them afraid. Regular dental visits help your child understand that we’re “on their team” and it’s our goal to keep their teeth healthy. To ease their anxiety, we explain to your child exactly what we’re doing during the cleaning process and why it needs to be done. By partnering with you to establish a happy, safe “dental home”, we can ensure a positive experience for you and your child!

As soon as your child’s first tooth comes in, schedule a pediatric cleaning and examination. During your child’s cleaning, our dentists and hygienists typically:

  • Look at the teeth, gums, mouth, lips, tongue, head, and neck and check for possible problems
  • Remove any plaque by flossing in between the teeth and using special tools to clean off tartar
  • Use toothpaste on a motorized brush to clean and polish the teeth
  • Provide a fluoride treatment to protect the teeth
  • Discuss and encourage a healthy diet and positive homecare routine

Our dentist may also decide to take X-rays to double check that everything is okay with your child’s teeth and mouth. We may also suggest applying a sealant to further protect the teeth from cavities and decay.

Caring And Patient Dentists

It’s never too early to begin preventive dental care. Schedule an appointment at our office for your child around their first birthday, so we can check on the development of their teeth. Bringing your child to the dentist at an early age helps them get accustomed to visiting, making it less likely that they will experience anxiety during later visits.

At Dexter Family Dentistry, we welcome patients of all ages and treat everyone like family. We want to ensure a happy, healthy smile from the time your child gets their first baby tooth. Contact us at (734) 426-9000 for more information about our pediatric dental cleanings or request an appointment online today.