Pediatric cleaning & exam is a process done to a child who needs a cleaning and a complete evaluation of the teeth. This procedure will be done by a dentist or a pediatric dental specialist. It is essential that the child is willing to cooperate with this procedure, or it may be a difficult situation for all involved.
Pediatric Cleaning Benefits
Preventing Tooth Decay
Prevention of diseases associated with the teeth to ensure good oral hygiene. Primary dental care can be taught to the child so that when all their permanent teeth come, it is easy for them to clean appropriately to avoid any gum disease or cavities. Cleaning and examing teeth are also done to check for other issues like orthodontic problems and oral diseases.
Generating Dental Care Routines
Pediatric dental cleaning and exam may help establish a long-lasting routine for brushing, flossing, and rinsing the mouth to ensure good oral hygiene. Parents are trained how to clean their children’s teeth to continue to brush regularly even when the child is not around. It is also a good opportunity to establish and maintain rapport with parents and caregivers, who help the child maintain their oral health.
Preventing Development of Dental Problems
Early detection of dental problems helps treat them properly before it progresses further. Conditions like TMJ, enamel defects, and thumb sucking are identified early before becoming severe for the child’s future. If non-treatment of such problems leads to growth and development issues, they must be treated early. This is very important for children with special needs like autism and attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Preventing Orthodontic Problems
Early dental check-ups help in identifying orthodontic problems that may need further treatment. Such treatments are done early to avoid any future complications with the growth of the jaws and other teeth issues. The dentist will be able to advise parents what needs to be done so that it does not cause any serious problems later on.
Methods of Pediatric Cleaning and Exam Procedure
There are several ways in which this procedure can be done. It will depend on the child’s willingness to cooperate and the age of the patient. The dentist may use one or more of these methods:
Non-anesthetic Gas Dentistry
This method is preferred for young children, not cooperative enough and has very high anxiety. The dentist will use nitrous oxide gas to help relax the child and ease any pain they may experience while cleaning or examining their teeth. Nitrous is a type of sedative that helps calm the patient without putting them to sleep.
Oral Sedation Dentistry
This method is preferred for children who have very high anxiety and may not be cooperative enough during cleaning or examining their teeth. Oral sedation uses an anti-anxiety medication to help relax the child so that they do not feel any pain or discomfort. This process will put the patient into deep sleep for a short time, making it much easier for the doctor to clean or examine their teeth.
This method uses anesthesia injected into the patient’s gums to help them stay still during treatment. This is chosen when the child does not prefer other ways, and they do not allow any other dentist to examine or clean their teeth. The anesthesia used during the procedure helps make them numb so that they do not feel any pain or discomfort from cleaning or examining their teeth.
General Anesthesia Dentistry
This method includes administering a general anesthetic to the patient before cleaning and examining their teeth. This is only recommended for patients who do not allow any other way to use them. General anesthesia will cause the patient to sleep for a short period so that their teeth can be cleaned appropriately or examined. This is the safest way but requires more attention from the doctor and nurses during administration, monitoring, and recovery post-treatment.
Pediatric Cleaning and Exam Procedure
The child is first sedated with nitrous oxide to help them relax and make the procedure easier. The doctor will clean the teeth properly, removing all plaque, tartar, and other deposits on the tooth surfaces. X-rays are taken by making the child bite down on a film, which helps see any problems like cavities or bone issues. A fluoride treatment may be given to help remineralize or strengthen the teeth.
Fluoride varnish is a good option for a young child’s sensitive gums and can also be used to protect their teeth after cleaning. The dentist will then examine the inside of the mouth, the tongue, palate, and throat. Any problems that are identified are treated before the child leaves.
The pediatric dentist is an essential part of early dental care. Seeing them as soon as possible can help prevent future orthodontic issues or decay. The sooner the problem is treated, the better it is for the patient.