Routine dental cleanings are important to maintaining good oral hygiene, particularly for pediatric dental patients. Professional cleaning can remove mineralized plaque that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach. We recommend that you child see us for a teeth cleaning once every six months.
You can expect a pediatric dental cleaning to last between 30 minutes and an hour. Typically, a trained dental assistant will do the cleaning, and the dentist will come in for an exam at the end. Teeth cleanings are painless, and do not cause any discomfort. There are two important steps to a dental cleaning. The first step is scaling the teeth, which will remove the plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces. The second step is polishing to remove any final plaque and buff the teeth.
Routine dental exams are important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Additionally, they can help you avoid the financial costs associated with large treatment plans later on. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends twice yearly checkups. At this frequency, most problems can be caught early.
The dentist first examines your child's mouth visually, using dental equipment such as mouth mirrors, dental picks, and high intensity lights to look for cracked and decayed teeth. The dentist might also review items such as:
- Medical history review: The dentist will assess how any new medical conditions or illnesses may affect your dental health.
- Tooth decay evaluation: Your mouth will be checked for cracked or decayed teeth.
- Oral cancer screening: The face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums will be checked for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum decay evaluation: Your gums and bone around the teeth will be checked for any evidence of periodontal disease.
- Examination of existing restorations: Current fillings, crowns, and other restorations are made sure to be in good order.
- Diagnostic X-rays: Bitewing x-rays are typically taken every 12 months and a panographic x-ray, which revolves around the head, is taken every 3-5 years.
We provide high quality pediatric dental exams and cleanings for children of all ages through San Luis Obispo County, including the communities of Atascadero, Paso Robles, Templeton, and San Luis Obispo.