It’s important to schedule an appointment with an experienced pediatric dentist as soon as possible after their first baby tooth erupts (usually between 6-12 months), so they can begin learning healthy habits early in life that will help ensure lifelong oral health! At this appointment, the pediatric dentist will review basic oral hygiene techniques with both you and your child while also providing preventive care such as examining their mouth for any potential problems like cavities or misalignment of their bite (occlusion).
During a professional dental cleaning, the dentist or hygienist will typically use specialized tools to gently remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth and along your gum line. They may also floss between each tooth before polishing them with special instruments that help leave them feeling smooth and looking shiny. In some cases, they might also apply fluoride treatments to strengthen enamel and protect against tooth decay.
Most dental insurance plans will cover all or part of the cost of routine preventive care such as professional teeth cleanings and exams. Additionally, many plans also include coverage for additional treatments such as X-rays or fluoride treatments when necessary. Check with your insurance provider for specific coverage details related to your plan.
The American Dental Association recommends that adults visit their dentist at least twice a year for regular check-ups and professional teeth cleanings. However, depending on your individual oral health needs and risk factors, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits. For instance, if you are at an increased risk of cavities or gum disease or have other oral health issues, you may need to visit the dentist more regularly for evaluations and cleanings.
Generally, no, dental cleanings do not hurt. During a cleaning, the dentist or hygienist may use a special tool to scrape away any tartar buildup on your teeth and along your gum line. This process may cause a slight sensation due to the pressure that is being applied to your teeth, but it should not be uncomfortable or painful. If you experience pain during a cleaning, tell your dentist right away.