Do you have kiddos that you want to keep in the best health possible? Are you wondering how often they should be getting their teeth cleaned?
Regular dental cleaning is about so much more than a shiny grin. It can make a tremendous impact on your child’s overall health, well-being, and future.
Here’s what you need to know about children’s dental cleaning.
How Often Should My Child Get Their Teeth Cleaned?
As with adults, it’s recommended that children get their teeth professionally cleaned once every six months. Dentists advise making your first excursion to the dentist with your little tot when they are around one year old, or after their first tooth sprouts.
Trips to the dentist when your child is a toddler will probably involve a full mouth exam. This involves teeth, jaws, and gums. Your child can also have a gentle dental cleaning that involves light polishing.
Once your child is between the ages of 4 and 6, they will begin to get X-rays. This can help your dentist to discover any cavities hiding behind teeth.
When your child is between the ages of 6 and 9, your dentist may recommend a sealant. This is a plastic resin that can prevent cavity-causing bacteria from settling into the nooks and crannies of teeth. When your child is around 7, your dentist may also suggest a trip to the orthodontist.
What Are The Benefits of Regular Dental Visits For Children?
Going to the dentist early means that your child will learn all about the importance of oral hygiene. Knowing the right way to brush and floss will keep their teeth healthy and happy for years to come. In addition, they likely won’t be facing a fear of the dentist as adults if they have gone regularly as children and had a positive experience.
A dentist can detect cavities early and treat them before they cause additional damage to teeth. These are often caused by bacteria and sipping sugary drinks.
Dental cleanings go beyond regular brushing and flossing, cleaning plaque off of your teeth. This can reduce your child’s risk of cavities and their chances of tooth loss. It can also help prevent embarrassing problems such as bad breath.
As your child gets older, they will appreciate having teeth that are in good shape. In fact, poor dental health can lead to an increased risk of developing heart disease and oral viruses.
In addition, your dentist can recommend orthodontic care if necessary. This will help your child get that straight smile they’ve always wanted so they can enter young adulthood with confidence.
What Should I Look For In A Dentist?
It’s important to find a dentist that is comfortable treating children. If possible, find a qualified pediatric dentist in your area.
Pediatric dentists have had extra training in the unique issues of children’s teeth and gums at various stages of childhood. They also understand the unique emotional issues involved in treating children.
Qualified pediatric dentists have completed four years of accredited dental school training, as well as two to three years of pediatric dentistry. They will need to be licensed as a pediatric dentist in your state.
A pediatric dentist’s office won’t look like a traditional dentist’s office. There will likely be colorful walls and games in the waiting room that will appeal particularly to children. If your child is a little fearful about their first time at the dentist, they might be encouraged by the friendly, positive vibe at an office designed especially for younger patients.
Pediatric dentists also don’t necessarily cost any more than other dentists. Check with your insurance company to see which local options are on your plan.
If you haven’t taken your child to the dentist in a while, ask for recommendations on social media village or community groups. Chances are that a good dentist will be recommended by more than one other local parent.
You can also check out online reviews and see what former patients are saying. The right dentist for your child will be seen as positive, professional, and sensitive to the needs of kiddos.
How Can I Afford Dental Cleanings For My Child?
Twice-yearly dental cleanings for children are usually covered under dental insurance. If you don’t have insurance, ask local dentists about payment plans. These will allow you to pay off dental visits a little bit each month, so they’ll fit better into your monthly budget.
Still, other parents can ask their employers about Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs.) These allow you to put aside money from your paycheck every month that can get used to cover health expenses. The money is tax-sheltered, so you’ll get to take home more of your own paycheck.
The money from both HSAs and FSAs can get used for dental visits, glasses, or copays. The main difference between the two is that an HSA is owned by you, while an FSA is owned by your employer. With an HSA, you can rollover any unused funds from one year to the next.
If you’re still worried about affording dental cleanings, talk to prospective dentists. The right one will help make your child’s visits affordable.
Getting your child’s teeth cleaned regularly is a critical part of their overall health and well-being. With the right dentist and the right treatment, they could be on their way to a happy future.
Don’t stop getting smart about your child’s oral health now. For quality dental professionals in your area, contact us today.