Teeth cleanings, along with practicing good oral hygiene at home, are your child’s best defense against cavities. For this reason, we recommend that your child receive a teeth cleaning at least every six months. Our pediatric dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, will make sure that your child’s teeth stay clean and healthy for years to come.
Here’s what your child can expect during their teeth cleaning appointment.
A hygienist will call your child from the waiting room and guide them to sit in one of our dental chairs. They’ll then perform a quick but thorough exam of your child’s mouth. During this initial exam, the hygienist will be looking for obvious signs of decay, gum disease, or other oral health issues.
If they spot an issue that needs immediate attention, they’ll flag down our pediatric dentist to take a look and determine your child’s next steps for treatment. If they don’t spot any obvious issues, they’ll move forward with your child’s teeth cleaning.
We may need to take new X-rays during your child’s appointment if it’s been a while since their last ones. Dental X-rays are completely safe and allow us to examine what can’t be seen by the naked eye. For example, an X-ray may reveal a small cavity between your child’s teeth or wisdom teeth starting to form in the jaw.
“They give them little glasses to put over their eyes so that the light doesn’t hurt their eyes. The kids love that.”
X-rays help to give us a full picture of your child’s oral health so we can provide them with the best patient care. We also do everything in our power to make sure the experience is safe, comfortable, and fun for your child.
The hygienist will use a dental tool called a scaler to gently remove plaque and tartar from your child’s teeth. While plaque can be removed at home by brushing and flossing, only a skilled dental professional will be able to remove tartar. This is why routine dental cleanings are so important.
Left untreated, tartar buildup will lead to cavities and other oral health problems. The good news is that we’ll be able to thoroughly clean your child’s teeth to prevent this from happening.
The hygienist will ask your child to select a flavored tooth polish. This polish is like toothpaste but with a gritty texture to help polish your child’s teeth so they feel smooth and healthy. Your child’s hygienist will then use a high-powered toothbrush with the polish for a thorough clean.
Next, the hygienist will floss to remove any lingering plaque or food particles hiding between your child’s teeth.
Once we’re done with the dental cleaning, Dr. Kim will examine your child’s teeth and any X-rays we may have taken during their appointment. If we detect any oral health issues during your child’s appointment, we’ll call you back so Dr. Kim can explain your child’s treatment options.
“He is very thorough. We go through everything, from the procedures to the imaging, and he takes his time to explain everything. I really respect his ability to communicate and his thoughtfulness regarding the care of our children.”
At the end of the appointment, we’ll go ahead and set up your child’s next visit with us so they can maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Dr. Wanki William Kim is an experienced pediatric dentist in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He’s also accepting new patients and would be more than happy to help your child maintain a healthy smile. To request an appointment, please call the Pediatric Dentistry of Michigan at (616) 447-7900. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our office will reach out to you soon.