Your Child’s First Dental Cleaning: What to Expect

Posted Jun 20th, 2018 in General Information, Preparing Your Child, Pediatric Dentistry

Your Child’s First Dental Cleaning: What to Expect

Your child should begin visiting the dentist twice a year starting at the eruption of the first tooth. Here’s what to expect from the first dental cleaning.


Though your child will be visiting the dentist regularly starting around the age of 1, the first dental cleaning will probably happen a little later than that, when the majority of the baby teeth have arrived.

This means that the first cleaning usually takes place during the toddler years, when the child is between 12 and 36 months. Regular examinations during this time will allow your child's dentist to find and remove plaque and tartar buildup before they get out of hand.

Preparing Your Child

Before the initial cleaning appointment, you should take some time to talk to your child about what will happen. Talk to them about the importance of keeping their teeth healthy, and explain what the dentist will do using age-appropriate language.

It's a good idea to keep it simple; too many details might alarm your child. We typically advise parents to say something along the lines of this:

“The dentist is going to look at your teeth, count them, and make sure they are healthy and strong. The dentist’s name is Dr. Kanani, he’s really nice!"

Click here for more advice on preparing your child for the dentist »

During the Appointment:

Talk to us ahead of time and tell us a little about your child’s personality. Do they tend to be fearful or defiant in unfamiliar situations? Are there any attachment or developmental issues that we may have to navigate during the appointment?

The more information we have, the better we can attend to your child’s specific needs, and make sure they get the care they need.

At the beginning of the appointment, we will examine your child’s teeth, jaws, gums and bite.

We will also use specialized instruments to clean away and plaque or tartar on the teeth, just like we do with adult patients.

We will provide tips for proper brushing and flossing technique; whether your child brushes and flosses his own teeth, or you still do it for him, a refresher never hurts!

During the appointment, please feel free to ask any questions you may have about your child’s oral health or upcoming dental procedures.

Once the exam and cleaning is complete, we will book any necessary follow up appointments. If you like, we can book the next cleaning and checkup appointment straight away as well.

If you need additional advice or information about your child’s first dental cleaning appointment, please Langley children’s dentists today!

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