Preventive Dental Cleanings in Fishers
Early childhood tooth decay is the most common health problem children suffer from, with reports showing that the condition is five times more common than asthma and four times more common than childhood obesity. In fact, reports have shown that almost a quarter of children have undiagnosed and untreated dental cavities, causing them daily discomfort.
In addition to being painful for children, a simple cavity can go on to become a full-fledged oral infection or abscess, potentially affecting the child’s overall health, which is why preventive care is so essential. Routine preventive cleanings performed by some of the best pediatric dentists in Fishers can help your child to stay healthy and happy. Here is more information about what your child should expect during preventive dental care cleanings, and how you can prepare them for the visit.
Preventive Cleanings: What to Expect
Step 1: Discussion and Physical Exam
Before your child’s cleaning begins, you will be asked to update their medical history. You will also have the chance to talk with your child’s dental hygienist about any areas that have been bothering your child. Next, the hygienist will carefully examine the entire mouth to look for issues. A small mirror is used to check the condition of the teeth, gums, palate, and oral tissues.
Step 2: Plaque and Tartar Removal
Next, the hygienist uses a tool called a scaler to remove plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth and from the areas near the gum line. Dental hygienists at the Children’s Dental Center are incredibly gentle, and will do everything in their power to keep your child comfortable during this part of the exam.
Step 3: Gritty Toothpaste Polishing
After plaque and tartar have been removed, the teeth are polished by using a high-powered toothbrush and a gritty toothpaste. Although this part of the exam is noisy, it just feels like an in-depth tooth brushing. Your child will have the chance to pick their preferred toothpaste flavor, like mint or strawberry. During this stage, any plaque or tartar remnants are moved and the teeth are polished to a shine.
Step 4: Flossing and Rinsing
Before the teeth are rinsed, they are flossed carefully by the dental hygienist. This is done before rinsing to work some of the paste between the teeth to clean the area. After the teeth have all been flossed, your child will be asked to swish their mouths with water to rinse away the paste.
Step 5: Inspection by the Dentist
After the teeth have been cleaned, polished, and rinsed, the dentist will come in to examine your child’s teeth. The dentist examines the teeth after they have been cleaned so that they can determine whether or not any damage needs to be corrected at a later appointment. During this stage, the dentist will also examine any X-rays that were taken. If your child needs additional dental work, the dentist will schedule the appointment and tell you what to expect.
Step 6: Fluoride Treatment
To keep your child’s dental enamel strong and healthy, the preventive cleaning appointment ends with a fluoride treatment. Fluoride strengthens the molecular bonds within the dental enamel, helping to ward off dental decay. During this step, your child will be asked to swish with a very mild fluoride mouthwash for two minutes.
Step 7: Dental Sealants
If you really want to keep your child’s teeth safe, consider asking the dentist about dental sealants, which consist of a food-safe plastic that is painted directly onto your child’s teeth. Sealants are incredibly effective at preventing dental decay, and can last as long as ten years.
How to Prepare Your Child for a Preventive Cleaning
One of the best ways to prepare your child for a preventive dental cleaning is by being positive about the appointment. Never refer to dental appointments as something your child “has to” do, but instead explain that it is just a routine part of overall healthcare. To make your child feel more comfortable, consider scheduling your appointment on the same day, so that your child can watch the process before they undergo their own cleaning.
Try to highlight the fun parts of visiting your Fishers pediatric dentistry office, such as visiting fun dental hygienists, talking to the dentist, or enjoying a family tradition after the appointment. Many parents make dental appointments fun by taking their child to pick out a new toothbrush or an inexpensive toy after their routine appointment. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that your child understands that you will be there to support them, but that they have nothing to fear when they come in for their cleaning.
For more information on how preventive dental cleanings for children could help your child, make an appointment with the Children’s Dental Center. With years of experience and a staff that truly cares about your child’s comfort and happiness, your kid’s next appointment will be simple, enjoyable, and effective.