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How Often Do Kids Need a Teeth Cleaning?
Make sure you include a teeth cleaning on your to-do list when it comes to wellness and health care. This is true for yourself and for your children. From a young age, patients should regularly visit the dentist for a checkup. These appointments give you the chance to talk to the dentist about your child’s oral health. The dentist and hygienist will also spot emerging issues that could turn into severe problems down the road.
Elements of a teeth cleaning appointment
Before the hygienist cleans a patient’s teeth, a dental staff member will usually take X-rays. The dentist looks at these to determine whether the person has cavities or other concerns that require treatment. The hygienist will scrape away plaque and other buildup that could otherwise lead to gum disease, cavities, or infections. An assistant may also polish the patient’s teeth. Children will often have a fluoride treatment as well.
Frequency of cleaning visits
From the time a child gets their first tooth, parents should start bringing them to the dentist’s office. This will usually occur around age 1. From this point on, wellness checkups are vital for dental health every six months. Young patients may have shorter appointments, but once a child has a mouthful of baby teeth, a full teeth cleaning can take place.
When more appointments may be necessary
A twice-a-year teeth cleaning is the rule that dentists recommend for kids and adults. However, there may be times when a patient should come even more frequently. Older children who have never been to the dentist, or who have not been in a few years, may need to come every three or four months to get back on track. It is likely that such patients will need more extensive work and cleaning. Also, kids with specific needs and concerns such as gum disease and severe decay may need more regular appointments.
Importance of cleaning appointments
Even patients who brush and floss properly should never procrastinate coming to the dentist’s office for a teeth cleaning. These visits are not only for people who have poor oral hygiene. The dentist will use ultrasonic tools that do a deep cleaning that brushing cannot duplicate. A cleaning visit will also help the dentist monitor certain conditions. These appointments also keep parents and kids accountable and commit to good habits. Also, a cleaning trip may reveal that the child has a serious oral health issue.
Make these visits a priority
As a caregiver, you want your son or daughter to enjoy good health. This is true for oral hygiene as much as anything. A teeth cleaning is a good way to keep cavities and gum disease at bay. Going occasionally or when you think it is necessary will not be enough. Make sure your child is going to the dentist’s office every six months for a thorough cleaning and examination. If you have not taken your child to the dentist for a while, call an office near you and schedule an appointment today.
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