Pediatric Dental Cleanings in Lancaster, PA

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What Are Pediatric Dental Cleanings?

Daily brushing and flossing and other oral hygiene habits are important for your child to keep up with at home. However, it is also essential to schedule routine dental cleanings at least twice each year with a team that understands children's dental health. Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates is pleased to offer dental cleanings as a preventive care measure to remove plaque, tartar, and stain that accumulate on your child's teeth between visits. Our skilled team uses advanced instruments to reach into areas where your child's toothbrush and dental floss are less effective and help maintain a healthy oral environment. During routine cleanings, we also examine the mouth for gingivitis, cavities, and other concerns and offer tips on how to maintain good oral hygiene on a day-to-day basis. But most of all, we seek to make dental visits fun and help your child develop a positive relationship with dentistry. To schedule a dental cleaning visit for your child or teenager, contact our friendly practice in Lancaster, PA.

What Are the Benefits of Pediatric Dental Cleanings?

Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates understands that children's dental needs differ from adults. A pediatric dental cleaning can benefit your child in many ways including:

  • Dental concerns are often caught at an early stage
  • We use a prevention-based approach — our dentists seek to educate and teach good oral hygiene techniques
  • Helping to overcome a fear of visiting a dentist
  • Specialized training in dental treatments for children

Who Is An Ideal Candidate for Cleanings?

Our experienced pediatric dentists recommend that children and teens have their teeth cleaned professionally at least twice each year. Younger children should visit the dentist before the first tooth erupts, which is typically before their first birthday. When your child visits our practice for the first time, one of our specialists will help you establish a recare program and recommend when the next visit should take place. Regularly scheduled dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar deposits, which harbor disease-causing bacteria, and help to reduce the chance of cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. Professional cleanings also eliminate surface stains from the teeth, helping to brighten the smile. At Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates, our entire team is focused on making dental visits positive and fun for patients and their parents. Even if your child is fearful, has special needs, or requires extensive care, we look forward to helping them enjoy stress-free visits and a healthy, happy smile.

What Can We Expect During The Dental Cleaning Visit?

When your child arrives for their dental cleaning, we will have them relax comfortably in one of our treatment chairs. Specially designed instruments will be used to gently remove plaque and tartar from teeth without causing harm to the enamel or gum tissues. We may use an ultrasonic instrument, which combines a fine water mist and sonic vibrations in certain cases to remove heavier deposits of plaque or tartar. Smaller areas of buildup will then be lightly scaled with hand instruments. Once your child selects their choice of special toothpaste, our team will polish the teeth to remove surface stains with our special handpiece or a regular toothbrush. Dental exams are also performed during most dental cleaning visits to check for cavities and other oral concerns. At the end of the dental cleaning visit, a fluoride treatment will be applied to the teeth to help further prevent tooth decay. Your child will then be given a goodie bag filled with a new toothbrush and other hygiene products, as well as a special coin they can redeem for a prize from one of our toy towers.

What Should We Expect After Dental Cleanings?

Scheduling biannual dental cleanings for your child at Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates can help to keep their teeth and gums healthy and lessen the need for more expensive dental care in the future. However, our dentists may recommend more frequent cleanings if your child wears braces or has other oral health needs. During your child's cleaning visit, our experienced team will take time to show them how to brush and floss in the most effective way, pointing out any areas of their oral hygiene that may benefit from more attention. We encourage you to co-brush and floss your child's teeth until they reach the age and dexterity level of being able to accomplish proper oral care on their own.

Will Insurance Cover Dental Cleanings?

As preventive procedures, dental cleanings are generally covered at least twice each year by most dental insurance plans. We will review your family's insurance benefits prior to your child's appointment and let you know of any anticipated uncovered expenses. Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates wants all patients to reap the long-term benefits of good oral health and can help you select the payment option best for your family's budget.

Pediatric Dental Cleanings FAQ

How often should my child get their teeth cleaned?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that both children and adults get their teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year. They should also receive an annual dental exam to check on the health and function of their teeth.

When should my child begin getting regular dental cleanings?
Your child should begin having professional dental cleanings around 12 months or once their teeth begin to come in. To prevent them from developing cavities, your child's teeth should be brushed and flossed twice daily.

What happens during my child’s first visit to the dentist?
Your child's first visit will likely be quick and easy. Our team will get to know your child and provide you with general information about how to properly care for children's dental needs. Then, we will begin the exam by checking their teeth for placement and any developing issues, and if necessary, we will clean the teeth. If you or your child have any question about caring for their teeth or their oral health, feel free to ask our team!

At what age should my child start using toothpaste?
Introducing toothpaste into your child's oral hygiene routine should begin as soon as their first tooth appears. For children younger than three years old, use a smear of toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice. This helps to minimize ingestion while still providing the necessary fluoride to help prevent tooth decay. From ages 3 – 6, you can increase the amount to a pea-sized dollop, encouraging your child to spit out the toothpaste after brushing. Starting toothpaste use early helps to establish good brushing habits while protecting emerging teeth against cavities and promoting overall oral health.

What kind of toothpaste should my child use?
Choosing the right toothpaste for your child in between professional dental cleanings is crucial for maintaining their oral health and instilling good hygiene habits. For children, it's recommended to use a fluoride toothpaste that carries the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval, ensuring it meets safety and efficacy standards.

If baby teeth fall out, why is it important to take such good care of them?
Even though baby teeth are temporary, taking good care of them is essential for a child's overall health and development. Healthy baby teeth serve several critical functions: they aid in proper chewing and nutrition, support the development of clear speech, and hold space in the jaws for adult teeth that are growing under the gums. Furthermore, cavities in baby teeth can cause pain, infection, and can potentially affect the health of the underlying permanent teeth. Establishing good oral hygiene habits early on, including regular brushing and dental check-ups, helps set the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums, emphasizing the importance of caring for baby teeth even though they eventually fall out.

A Healthy Foundation

Dental cleanings with our specially trained pediatric team can help give your child's smile a foundation for lasting health. At Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates, our pediatric specialists strive to make dental visits fun, positive, and relaxing, no matter what your child's dental needs or anxieties might be. Routine dental cleanings at least twice each year can improve oral hygiene and help prevent tooth decay, gum problems, and other future oral health concerns. Give your child a healthy, happy smile by scheduling routine dental visits at our kid-friendly Lancaster, PA pediatric dental facility.

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