Along with proper at-home oral hygiene, professional teeth cleanings are an important part of your child’s preventive care regimen. Teeth cleanings at a pediatric dental office are simple and often times fun! It is a way for kids to become comfortable with being in a dental office and building a relationship with their oral health care provider.
A professional cleaning ensures that all plaque, food debris, and tartar is removed from the mouth and also teaches techniques to use at home to accomplish the same goal. Pediatric dental cleanings by Dr. Bana Ball and her team are meant to be highly educational as well. In the infant and early toddler years, the primary benefit is for the parents or caregivers, and as the children grow and become more independent, we teach them the proper ways to take care of their teeth. We also teach them to still let a grown-up help, since their fine motor skills are often not developed enough to be thorough with brushing and flossing until the time they can start writing in cursive (approximately age 8).
Fluoride treatments today are different than when you were a kid. Rather than the dreaded trays filled with foam or gel that made you drool all over yourself, today’s fluoride application is simple. Dr. Ball will paint a thin layer of clear fluoride varnish to your child’s teeth, which hardens upon contact with saliva. The best part: they can eat and drink right away afterwards.
It’s important to know that fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can help to harden or “remineralize” the teeth, which makes them more resistant to cavities. Fluoride can reverse the effects of the cavity-causing acid from oral bacteria, keeping your child’s teeth strong. Fluoride treatments contain a much higher concentration of fluoride than regular toothpaste and must be professionally applied. Fluoride is also highly helpful for sensitivity.
Prescribing Dental Radiographs for Infants, Children, Adolescents, and Individuals with Special Health Care Needs, 2017. www.aapd.org/globalassets/media/policies_guidelines/bp_radiographs.pdf
At Shady Grove Pediatric Dentistry, we use the ALARA principle when it comes to x-rays. We only recommend obtaining x-ray images when clinically appropriate, and we are thoughtful and deliberate in our approach. We follow the guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and select the type and frequency of x-ray images based on age, stage of dental development, and risk for cavities and/or other oral problems, such as missing teeth or ectopic eruption. Risk is determined via a combination of medical history, dental history, and clinical exam findings.
Dental x-rays are often an essential tool to achieve an accurate diagnosis, and our team will walk you and your little one through every step of the process to keep you informed and comfortable. We use digital x-rays, which are safe, quick and painless. Getting this important piece of diagnostic information will allow us to know if your child is 100% cavity free and developmentally on track or determine the extent of any problems that may exist.
It is important to note that there is no specific age at which a child is "old enough" to get dental x-ray images. It all depends on each individual child's clinical exam and history. Our approach is methodical and personalized for each child.
Check the AAPD guidelines so you’re familiar with the typical frequencies of recommended dental x-ray images:
Have questions about preventive dentistry from Shady Grove Pediatric Dentistry? We’ve got answers.
Yes. Dental visits every six months are especially important for young kids. Your child’s mouth is growing and developing fast, and a lot can change in half a year. Dr. Ball will help you understand the importance of routine dental visits, and we will make scheduling them easy. You can schedule your appointment online 24/7 and we will contact you to confirm all the details.