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Is My Child Too Young for Teeth Cleaning?

Starting proper oral hygiene care at a young age lays the groundwork for a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles. So when should you first take your child to the dentist? And what can you expect? Here’s all you need to know about dental cleanings and their importance for your little one’s oral health. 

When Should Your Child First Visit a Dentist?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, you should schedule your child’s first dental visit when the first tooth appears and no later than the first birthday. Seeing your little one from a young age allows us to identify dental concerns that may arise as your child grows and develops. It’s also essential to establish an oral hygiene routine early on to keep your child’s smile cavity-free. 

Children typically require twice-yearly visits to the dentist to keep their teeth healthy and sound. However, some children may require more frequent care. Even though the first visit occurs before the first birthday, the first dental cleaning will probably take place a little later when more teeth arrive, between 12 and 36 months of age.

What Happens During a Pediatric Teeth Cleaning?

Visiting Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry is always a treat. We will start by welcoming your little one and introducing our kid-sized dental tools using child-friendly terms. Our hygienist will gently scrape off cavity-causing plaque and remove surface stains, leaving your child’s smile clean and bright. Next, we will apply fluoride varnish to protect your little one’s pearly whites and make them resistant to tooth decay. 

After cleaning your little one’s teeth, our hygienist will demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques to ensure your child’s smile stays healthy between visits. We always welcome your questions and are happy to address any concerns. 

How Should You Care for Your Child’s Teeth at Home? 

Maintaining proper oral hygiene care begins even before any teeth appear. Make sure to clean your baby’s gums with a clean, damp gauze or cloth, especially after feedings. 

Once the first baby tooth appears, begin brushing using a soft, infant-sized toothbrush and a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. Around age 2-3, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and teach your child how to spit after brushing. Keep the toothpaste out of your child’s reach and help with brushing until about age six. 

It’s also important to start flossing when two teeth touch, typically when around when your child turns two. The best way to determine if it’s time to start is to slide a piece of floss between two teeth. If it sticks even a little, it’s a good time to start. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. 

Pediatric Dental Cleanings Near Me in Glendale, AZ

Visit Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about keeping your little one’s smile healthy and bright. Our kid-centered team will do everything possible to ensure your child has a stellar time at our office. We look forward to setting the stage for healthy smiles for life. Call us at 623-322-2277 to schedule your child’s appointment today!