First time taking your kid to the dentist? Believe it or not, it’s ok to feel anxious about it. This is a big step in your and your child’s personal hygiene journey. But even though this time is anxiety-inducing, it doesn’t have to be. Learning about what your kid will experience at a kids teeth cleaning will help you keep your cool in the waiting room. It will also help with your kid’s nerves as well.
Want to learn more about your kid’s first time at the dentist and how to manage those nerves? You’ve come to the right place. Everything you need to know and more is right below.
When to Take Your Child to the Dentist
If you’re a first-time parent or new to the pediatric dental care world, you might be asking yourself if now is even the right time for your kid to get a dental cleaning. Chances are the answer to this question is yes. Parents should take their children to the dentist as soon as they notice teeth.
It does not matter how many, the presence of teeth is the best indicator that a trip to the dentist is due. The earlier you go, the better your child’s teeth will be in the future. This is because dentists can detect the early signs of tooth decay or dental deformities before they get out of hand.
Semi-annual trips to the dentist can also help teach you the best oral care for your child, allowing them to grow up in a house with proper dental care and fewer issues regarding their teeth.
What to Expect During a Kids Teeth Cleaning
Arguably the biggest question bouncing around in your head regarding your child’s dental cleaning is about what they’re going to experience. If the thought of walking into the office without any prior knowledge scares you, don’t worry. Chances are you’ve been to the dentist enough to have a rough idea of what is going to happen.
But if you’re still just as anxious as your child, remember all the information you need is at your fingertips; read up.
1. Tartar and Plaque Removal
The first thing your child’s dentist will do is scrape and plaque or tartar lingering on your child’s teeth. It does not matter how many teeth they have, your child will need this treatment. Plaque is hard for the untrained eye to see because it is always clear, making it nearly impossible for parents to control on their own.
When left long enough, plaque and tartar will begin decaying your child’s tooth, causing cavities. Dental assistants use special tools to carefully scrape the substance off each tooth and ensure they are cleaner than before. After removing this damaging substance, your child’s teeth will look and feel much healthier.
2. Tooth Polishing
After tartar and plaque are removed from your kid’s tooth, they will then get to experience their first tooth polish. During this, their tooth will get gently brushed with a rubber polishing tool and a flavored paste. Some dental assistants may even allow your child to choose the flavor of the polishing paste.
This step will give their teeth a bright, white, clean, and shiny exterior for their dentist to examine.
3. Tooth Examination
During their visit, your child will then experience a regular tooth examination, similar to the one you receive each time you visit the dentist yourself. Here, the kid dentist will check for tooth decay, gum inflammation, bite issues, and any other problems that may affect your child’s teeth in the future.
If the dentist notices anything unusual or concerning about your child’s teeth, this is when they will tell you. This is also the step where you should bring up any questions or concerns you have regarding your child’s teeth.
4. Flouride Treatment
The final step of any dental exam is a quick and easy fluoride treatment. The application of fluoride will help protect your child’s teeth from cavities by strengthening them. This treatment is similar to the one you’ve received in the past and only takes a few minutes to complete.
After this final step, you and your child are good to go!
How to Reduce Your Child’s Nerves
Before going to their dentist, especially for the first time, it is not unusual for your child to feel a little nervous. Cartoons and hearsay don’t always paint a trip to the dentist in a good light. This is why you need to check in with your child and make sure they feel confident.
If they are as nervous as you, it is best to find a way to lower their nerves.
Hold a Mock Visit
One of the best ways to prepare your child for their upcoming dental cleaning is pretending to have one at home. You can do this by using a toothbrush and mirror to mimic what they will experience at the dentist. This will give them a better idea of what to expect and ease some fear of the unknown.
Don’t Over Explain
If your child has questions about their dentist appointment, try to answer them as simply as possible. The more detailed or confusing you make the appointment, the more questions and fears they will develop. The best way to do this is to give your child a brief outline of what they will experience.
Avoid discussing details that may come off as scary. A few examples of this include dental tools, time, or worst-case scenario events.
Hold Your Child
If your child is still anxious the day of their visit, ask the dental assistant if you can hold them during their cleaning. This may feel comforting to your child and help them manage their feelings. If you cannot hold your child in your lap, try simply holding their hand.
Even the smallest sign of comfort is effective.
Schedule Your Child’s Dental Cleaning
If your child is ready for their first cleaning and you are tired of searching the web for, “pediatric dental care near me”, give The Kid Dentist a call. We are a pediatric dentist in Spanish Fork, dedicated to giving your child the best kids teeth cleaning possible.
Explore our website to learn more about our services, hours, team, or schedule an appointment.