Going to the dentist is something we should all be doing twice a year every year, and it’s something we should make sure our children are doing too. If you and your children are already in the habit of coming in for regular cleanings, that’s wonderful! If not, here’s what you can expect from a typical cleaning appointment.
Your Child’s Check-Up
When visiting the dentist for a check-up, there are a few things that will typically happen. If the patient doesn’t have any existing dental concerns or conditions, the first step is usually dental X-rays. Your child’s medical and dental history, age, and current oral health will determine how often these are necessary. Dental X-rays help dentists to find and diagnose tooth decay hiding between the teeth and other places hard to see with the naked eye. They also identify dental and orthodontic issues beneath the gums.
Next, the hygienist will begin cleaning your child’s teeth. They use a small metal tool called a scaler to scrape away any tartar in between the teeth and around the gumline. Then they’ll polish the teeth using a lightly abrasive paste and a polishing tool. This gives the teeth a nice, deep clean and removes any remaining tartar. They finish the cleaning off with flossing.
Once the hygienist is done, it’s the dentist’s turn. They’ll review your child’s X-rays, check their teeth and gums for signs of decay and gum disease, measure the depth of their gingival pockets, check for swelling and redness, and test how well their teeth come together when they bite down. When they finish, they’ll discuss treatment for any dental work your child may need and give you and your child tips on improving their daily dental care routine.