How Do Dentists Clean a Child’s Teeth?

Team Pediatric Dentistry

Dentists clean children’s teeth just like they clean the teeth of adults, except that the tools are generally smaller. A teeth cleaning will involve plaque removal, flossing, and polishing. Periodically your child will also have reduced-radiation digital x-rays taken for preventative and diagnostic purposes. Suppose your child has difficulty sitting still or has special needs. In that case, your pediatric dentist may also offer sedation dentistry to ensure your child is comfortable while they receive essential oral health care. 

Plaque Removal for Children’s Teeth

Bacteria form in everyone’s mouth all the time. This is natural and healthy. However, when bacteria mix with food, beverages, and even saliva, it creates plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that settles on the teeth, at the gum line, and beneath the gum line.

Brushing and flossing remove most of the plaque. However, even kids who brush for the recommended two minutes twice daily and floss daily will still develop some plaque on their teeth. 

That’s precisely why children should see the dentist for a cleaning and exam every six months. Plaque that has hardened to the teeth (tartar) in hard-to-reach places leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Your pediatric dentist or hygienist will use specialized tools to gently scrape off the plaque and tartar between teeth and at the gum line. 

Once the plaque has been removed, your hygienist or pediatric dentist will floss your child’s teeth. Finally, their teeth will be polished before they leave their appointment. 

How Pediatric Dentists Prevent Future Problems

During your child’s dental cleaning, your pediatric dentist will also evaluate the health and strength of the teeth. If any signs of weakened enamel or demineralization are present, your pediatric dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment. This is an entirely painless procedure. It involves nothing more than painting varnish on the teeth. Your child can return to normal activities immediately.

Your pediatric dentist will also examine the surface of the teeth used for chewing. Your dentist may recommend dental sealants if your child has deep grooves in their molars. Dental sealants are also entirely painless. The sealant is painted on the back teeth to prevent bacteria from accumulating in the grooves of the teeth, causing cavities. 

Pediatric dentists also help prevent future problems by educating each patient. Pediatric dentists will be sure to demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques. They will explain the importance of maintaining good oral health, and when your child has digital x-rays, they will likely show them the images of their teeth. After all, pediatric dentists know that when children are encouraged to take ownership of their oral health, they become the best defense against cavities and gum disease!

Schedule a Pediatric Dental Exam and Cleaning in Orange County, NY

Orange County Pediatric Dentistry is located in Monroe, NY. We provide comprehensive pediatric dental care to patients of all ages and abilities. For your convenience, we offer weekend appointments once a month on Saturdays. Orange County Pediatric Dentistry provides discounted services to patients without dental insurance through our Smile Care Dental Club. Message us or call 845-928-2206 to schedule an appointment.