5 Reasons Children Need Regular Dental Cleanings
Why Six-Month Hygiene Visits Are Important, Even For Kids
Just like adults, kids should visit their pediatric dentist every six months for a hygiene visit. Dental cleanings for children typically involve a basic examination, X-rays if needed, and a regular cleaning with an experienced dental hygienist.
Skipping hygiene visits isn’t recommended for a number of reasons. Even if your child is a toddler without a full set of baby teeth or a preteen with a fastidious brushing regimen, routine checkups and cleanings are still necessary.
Here are 5 big reasons why regular cleanings are crucial for helping your child maintain a healthy smile.
1. Only professional dental cleanings for children remove all plaque from their teeth.
Daily flossing and brushing twice a day, for two minutes, while practicing proper technique will go a very long way in keeping your child’s teeth clean. However, even the very best at-home dental care routine isn’t a replacement for professional dental cleanings for kids.
While great at-home oral hygiene will help prevent cavities and reduce most plaque buildup, there are still nooks and crannies in your child’s smile that can’t be completely cleaned. For example, reaching all surfaces of the back molars can be tough, which is why these teeth often have more plaque buildup than others.
A professional dental cleaning will remove all traces of plaque and tartar and leave your child’s teeth smooth and polished. This polishing effect helps prevent future plaque buildup as well.
2. Hygiene visits are an essential part of preventing tooth decay, premature tooth loss, and pediatric gum disease.
Tooth decay, or cavities, is the most frequently seen oral health issue in children of all age ranges. It can lead to painful toothaches, premature loss of baby teeth, loss of adult teeth, and a host of other related issues. Pediatric gum disease can also develop from plaque buildup, irritating the gum tissue.
Another added benefit of routine six-month cleanings is that you can opt in for your child to have a fluoride treatment. This doesn’t add very much time to their cleaning but yields excellent benefits for cavity prevention and strong tooth enamel. You can also push cavity prevention further by having dental sealants added during one of these routine visits.
Remember, your child’s oral and overall health are connected. A healthy smile promotes a healthy body and vice versa.
3. Routine checkups give dentists a chance to notice small issues before they become big problems.
Every dental cleaning appointment includes a brief examination first to ensure there aren’t any problems that need to be tended to before a cleaning. Even though your child may have a more in-depth annual dental exam, these routine checkups give the pediatric dentist a chance to see how your child’s smile is developing.
Most importantly, these routine precleaning checkups can reveal early signs of trouble before any symptoms show themselves. The most common example is your child’s pediatric dentist noticing the start of a cavity before it begins to cause pain or sensitivity. The sooner the dentist is aware of a problem, the sooner your child can be treated, and the less time and money needs to be spent on treatment.
4. Regular visits to the dentist help keep kids engaged and interested in caring for their oral health.
A lot more goes on during a hygiene visit than just a dental cleaning. A great pediatric dentist and their team will use these visits as a way to connect with their patients and learn more about their oral health.
We’ll go over age-appropriate dental care basics, like why brushing is important, and we’ll show them how to properly brush and floss their teeth. Diet is another topic we’ll cover, including a gentle reminder about why sugar in sweets, sodas, and juice aren’t the best choices. We’ll also encourage them to ask us any questions they might have about caring for their teeth.
5. Kids who develop healthy dental care habits at an early age are more likely to carry them through to adulthood.
Seeing a dentist multiple times a year keeps kids interested in their oral health and encourages them to develop a trusting relationship with their pediatric dentist. Instilling these habits early on pays off for parents in the long run, as their kids are going to be much more likely to carry these habits through to adulthood.
Pediatric Dental Specialists provide thorough but gentle dental cleanings for kids.
The hygienists at Pediatric Dental Specialists can give your child’s smile a deep clean and polish with a gentle touch. We focus first on ensuring kids are comfortable and relaxed during their cleaning, making these routine visits a positive experience for them to remember next time.
We provide dedicated, comprehensive pediatric dentistry to kids of all ages, from babies to high school seniors. Seeing our team for a visit is a breeze, as we have four conveniently located offices around the greater Omaha area.
Schedule a cleaning and checkup for your child today by calling your preferred PDS location or requesting a visit online.