Pediatric Dentistry: A Step-by-Step-Guide to a Children’s Teeth Cleaning

Pediatric Dentistry: A Step-by-Step-Guide to a Children’s Teeth Cleaning from Jayne F. Scherrman JS Pediatric Dentistry in Cape Girardeau, MODentists who practice pediatric dentistry diagnose and treat dental issues in kids and teenagers. Oral health is critical at every stage of life, particularly in childhood. A common chronic condition for children is tooth decay. Dentists perform a professional cleaning on young patients' teeth to help stop cavities and prevent future problems.

Steps involved in a professional child’s teeth cleaning

Before the first teeth cleaning, consider preparing your child for the big day. If your kid experiences any nervousness, knowing step-by-step what to expect can help.

1. Taking X-rays

If the cleaning happens at the first appointment or your child has not been to a dental professional in six months to a year, the dentist may take X-rays of the teeth. Digital X-rays can reveal any oral issues the dentist cannot see, such as decay, movement, or bone loss.

2. Examining the mouth

In pediatric dentistry, the professional must look carefully at the child's mouth. During the examination, the dentist or dental hygienist looks at the mouth, gums, and teeth for any signs of disease or decay. During this process, the dental practitioner may question your child about any sensitivity of the teeth. The dentist can also answer any questions about new dark spots or unique concerns with your child's teeth.

3. Removing plaque and tartar

The first step of the actual cleaning process involves removing any tartar and plaque present on the teeth. Professionals remove the plaque and tartar with a handheld tool called a scaler. Using this tool and a mirror, the dental professional removes all plaque and small deposits of tartar. If your child has large deposits of tartar, the dentist can use an ultrasonic scaler that utilizes vibration and water to remove large amounts of tartar.

4. Polishing the teeth

Polishing leaves your kid's teeth shiny and smooth. The practitioner uses gritty toothpaste and a high-powered brush to clean the teeth. The polish smoothes the teeth and removes stains, making it difficult for plaque to continue to build up between cleanings.

5. Flossing the teeth

During professional flossing, the practitioner uses dental floss to get between your child's teeth, particularly in troublesome spots. The flossing can remove any leftover plaque on the teeth and any spots missed during the polishing.

6. Applying fluoride

Fluoride strengthens your child's enamel and helps defend against tooth decay. Typically, kids receive a fluoride treatment following a cleaning. The practitioner may fill a tray with fluoride gel or foam and ask your child to bite down on it for about one minute. When the process is completed, the dentist rinses your child's mouth.

Another way to apply fluoride is with a brush. The dentist paints fluoride varnish onto the teeth. The fluoride hardens on contact, so the child cannot swallow it.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Pediatric Dentistry in Cape Girardeau, MO


Taking children to a pediatric dentistry office sets them up for a lifetime of positive oral hygiene habits. Kids become acclimated to visiting the dentist when exposed from a young age. Likewise, kids who see a pediatric dentist tend to have better teeth throughout adulthood because of routine cleanings.

Request an appointment or call Jayne F. Scherrman JS Pediatric Dentistry at 573-271-3062 for an appointment in our Cape Girardeau office.

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