What To Expect At A Child's Dental Cleaning

A child's first dental cleaning may be a little more involved than your average adult cleaning. Here are some of the common parts of a dental cleaning procedure for children, so that you can prepare your child for what will happen.

Talking with the Parent

The first thing that should happen before the cleaning is to talk about your child's traits. For instance, fearful or defiant children can be a challenge in the dental chair, especially when the cleaning tools are brought out. The dentist will work with you to keep your child calm during the visit.

Receiving Nitrous Oxide

Many adults elect to get laughing gas or nitrous oxide to make their dental cleaning experience more comfortable. Nitrous oxide is also an option for children, although your dentist will need to administer a smaller dose based on the child's weight and age.

Tools Used in the Cleaning

You may also want to get your child familiar with the tools of the dental cleaning before the procedure begins. If the child has some plaque on their teeth, the dentist may use a tool called a scaler. This is a hook-like tool that can be used to remove food and other debris from the child's gums and in between the teeth. Since a scaler can be uncomfortable for first-time patients getting their teeth cleaned, make sure to communicate with the dental hygienist if your child is in too much pain. The hygienist may also use a device to squirt water into the child's mouth to rinse away particles that are dislodged during the cleaning.

The Procedure

The process for a child's dental cleaning is a bit different than the steps for an adult cleaning, since you'll often lump a cleaning in with a routine checkup. The first step is to examine the mouth and the bite to make sure everything is growing in correctly. Then, the dentist will take time to remove plaque on the surface of the teeth, and then to use the scaler to remove plaque in between the teeth.

A key part of the dental visit for children is showing children and parents the correct ways to floss and brush teeth. Going over these skills with the dentist can help show your child areas that he or she is missing while brushing and flossing.

For children, a dental cleaning can be a scary process. But as the child starts to get regular cleanings, the process can become even easier, as your teeth become less sensitive to the tools and procedures of your cleaning. By helping your child understand the steps above, you can come into the appointment prepared to have an easy cleaning. Contact a local dentist, like Dillon Family Dental PLLC, for more info.