When Should My Child Get a Dental Cleaning for the First Time?

Most dentists recommend taking a child to see the dentist regularly starting at the age of 1 or so, as their first baby teeth start to erupt. However, their first dental cleaning will likely take place a little bit later, after most of their teeth have grown in.

This first cleaning is incredibly important for your baby’s oral care. Though it mostly involves non-invasive procedures, some parents may feel understandable anxiety. Here's everything you need to know about it!

Why Are Dental Cleanings Important for a Baby?

A child’s first dental cleaning can take place when the baby is anywhere between 12 and 36 months old, depending on when their teeth erupt - every child is different in this sense, so don’t be concerned if your child’s teeth are late or early!

Dental cleanings have an important role in your child’s oral development. First, they can greatly reduce the risk of gum inflammation or cavities, as the dentist can properly remove bacteria buildup from the teeth.

During these cleanings, the dentist also has the opportunity to closely inspect the teeth and see whether there are any signs that might need to be addressed, such as a cavity showing, or an issue with the baby’s tooth alignment.

How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Dental Cleaning

First, you should talk to your child about their appointment, and explain how important it is to make their teeth healthy and strong. Children won’t feel like going to the dentist is “bad” or a “punishment” if they can understand why it’s important for them.

You don’t need to go into too many details, but some children can feel better if you also describe the process:

  • The dentist will ask you to open your mouth so they can count your teeth
  • They will also look at your gums, cheeks, and jaw
  • Then, they’ll use a tool to brush all your teeth, and then floss
  • And you’re done!

Talk to Your Pediatric Dentist Before Your Appointment 

It can also help to reach out to the dentist before your appointment if you’re seeing someone new, to let them know a little bit about your child.

Be sure to mention details about their temperament or whether they have any special needs, so the dentist can fully prepare for the appointment.

How Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry Can Help

Your child’s first dental cleaning is a huge milestone, and Ashburn pediatric dentist Dr. Jonathon Konz will do everything he can to make this process run as smoothly as possible.

We encourage you to book a dental cleaning appointment for your child at Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry online, and bring your little one in to get their teeth shiny and clean!

Want to learn more about pediatric dental cleanings or our other services? Then feel free to call us at (703) 687-1581 today. We'd have to answer all your questions. 

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