Regular Checkups and Dental Cleanings for Children

Regular checkups and dental cleanings for children are an important part of their preventive health care.  Having regular visits with the dentist not only helps to establish good oral hygiene at an early age but it also helps the dentist to detect any Pediatric Dental Issues early on before they become worse.

When Should You Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Appointment?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends that a child’s first dental appointment occur by the age of 1, or within 6 months of the first tooth eruption. This first visit will allow you to introduce your child to our Burlingame dental office in a comfortable and relaxing manner. We strive to make our office a welcoming place for kids, so if treatment is required, we can make your child’s first dental visit a positive one.

If parents have a particular concern about their child’s oral health, they should schedule an appointment as soon as possible with one of our dentists. It is better not to procrastinate until the baby has a dental emergency or wait for other milestones like when the child is ready to start school.

What Happens During Your Child’s First Dental Checkup?

The most important part of your child’s first dental visit is ensuring your child’s comfort because as long as the child feels comfortable, the visit stays positive. Check out more tips on how you should prepare for your child’s first dental visit here.

During the dental exam, your dentist will check your child’s existing teeth for decay, examine your child’s bite, and look for any potential problems with the gums and jaw, or signs of oral health issues. If indicated, your dentist or hygienist will clean any teeth and assess the need for fluoride treatment.

What is Fluoride and is it Safe for Children?

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources, including oceans, rivers, and lakes. It is also added to some community tap water, toothpaste and mouth rinses.

Infants and toddlers who do not receive an adequate amount of fluoride may be at an increased risk for tooth decay since fluoride:

  •  helps make tooth enamel more resistant to decay
  •  helps repair weakened enamel
  • makes teeth stronger

Bottled water may not contain fluoride; therefore, children who regularly drink bottled water or non-fluoridated tap water may miss out on all the benefits of fluoride. If you are unsure whether your tap water has fluoride, contact your local or state health department or water supplier.

Discuss your child’s fluoride needs with your dentist or pediatrician. They may recommend a fluoride supplement if you live in an area where the community water is not fluoridated.

How to Clean Your Child’s Teeth?

It is important to start cleaning your child’s mouth and gums a few days after birth by gently wiping their gums with clean, wet gauze or washcloth.

Similarly, teeth should be cleaned as soon as they start to erupt. Use a child-sized toothbrush and a smear-sized (the size of a grain of rice) amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush your child’s teeth twice a day, morning and night. As soon as your child has two teeth that can touch, you should begin cleaning between their teeth daily.

For a child 3 years or up, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Continue to brush your child’s teeth two times a day until you are confident that your child can do it alone. Of course, supervise your child’s brushing to ensure the use of an appropriate amount of toothpaste and that toothpaste isn’t swallowed.

Why Are Regular Dental Check-Ups Important for Your Child?

It is important to have regular dental check-ups every 6 months so your dentist can see if there are any changes to your child’s oral health. This way, if there are any issues, they will be detected early on and it will be easier to address them.

Why Are Dental Cleanings so Important?

Dental cleanings are important for good oral hygiene. If you don’t have good oral hygiene, bacteria can build up in your mouth and cause dental problems such as gingivitis, dental caries, staining, and even dental abscess.

What is Considered Proper Dental Hygiene?

Proper dental hygiene requires following a daily routine, brush, floss and rinse daily. Sticking to this kind of routine will remove plaque from your child’s teeth, which is important because if not removed it combines with sugars to form acids that can lead to tooth decay and cavities.   

Most importantly, do not let your child go to bed without brushing their teeth.  Make dental hygiene a part of their bedtime routine.

Call Burlingame Dental Arts at (503) 218-4285 to schedule dental cleanings and regular check-ups for your child.